The University of Toronto will not be holding in-person exams effective Dec. 16 and will delay most in-person learning until Jan. 31 to help curb the spread of COVID-19 amid the emergence of the Omicron variant. Click here to learn more.
Construction is about to begin on Indigenous House, a new gathering place at the University of Toronto Scarborough that’s dedicated to learning about Indigenous culture and ways of knowing. Click here to read more.
Students, faculty and staff from the University of Toronto will meet with officials from the City of Toronto for a two-day virtual event focused on developing an equitable and inclusive pandemic recovery policy framework. Click here to learn more.
Developing solutions to address climate change represents a huge opportunity for Ontario – click here to learn how the University of Toronto can play a key role in helping to lead the way.
Peter Janos Galambos The Urban Studies Program would like to welcome Professor Peter Janos Galambos, instructor for URB336 – Creative Cities. Keep reading to learn more about the Urban Studies Program's newest professor!
Q: What is one thing you are proud of?
A: Prior to the beginning of the pandemic, I had my first photography exhibition at the Toronto Public Library in Yorkville. I have long been a lover of documentary and street photography and try to have my camera with me as often as I can. Despite years of taking photos, the exhibition was the first time I publicly displayed my work. It may have been a modest exhibition, but it was an exciting first step for me.
Q: Tell us about your approach to teaching URB336 – Creative Cities.
A: I like to describe myself as someone who has his head in the Humanities and Social Sciences and his heart in the Arts. My studies and career path have somewhat reflected this. While I studied Political Theory and Urban Politics in my degrees, my first teaching experiences have come at Arts and Design institutions. These early teaching experiences taught me many things. Most importantly, they opened my eyes to the multitude of ways for communicating ideas beyond what I became accustomed to in my own studies.
Creative Cities is a course that explores the role of culture, the arts, and creativity more generally, in city building. In it, we examine the history of the Creative City planning paradigm, and evaluate both government-led and grassroots efforts to harness creativity for building vibrant and successful communities. I aim to teach the course with an approach that matches the subject matter. Students in the class will be both introduced to and asked to engage with course material through a variety of different methods, many which are creative in nature. The course covers many subjects that are dear to me, and I am excited to share it with you.
Q: What draws you to the study of cities? How does this interest inform your approach to understanding Toronto?
A: This will be a difficult one to answer in brief! I have always been a lover of cities. As a youth growing up in the suburbs, I would often spend hours on public transit just to get to downtown Toronto. I would wander the streets, from Front to Eglinton, snapping photos, digging through old thrift stores, and just experiencing the life of the city.
In terms of academics, my first scholarly love was Political Theory. While this first love has not faded, it wasn’t until I started studying cities, architecture, and the built environment more generally, that theory began to feel more grounded, more concrete.
One of my favourite metaphors for describing the built environment is the petrified forest. In many respects, we inherit the once living ideas and social relations of the past in the form of stone and concrete. These forms can often feel as though they have always been there - as if they were simply the backdrop for the events of our lives. Of course, neither of these is true.
My approach to understanding Toronto, or any other city, reflects this idea. My goal is to try to make sense of the complex storm of ideas and forces that gave shape to the built environment as we find it, and then to reveal our role in re-shaping it for the future. This is the core idea that informs my teaching.
USP Winter 2022 Course Offerings
Still looking for a course for next term? Here are a couple of Winter 2022 USP courses with available spaces. View the Arts and Science 2021-2022 Timetable here.
URB236H1-S: A Multidisciplinary Introduction to Urban Studies II: Urban Challenges and Theoretical Application
Jumpstart your writing projects with UofT Shut Up And Write sessions on Zoom. Whether you are working on long-standing project (academic, creative) or finishing up discussion posts for your courses, SUAW session can help you keep on track with timed blocks and breaks within an online community.
Level UP is an innovative work-integrated learning program powered by Riipen and sponsored by the Government of Canada to prepare students in post-secondary education and employers (or organizations) to thrive in their future careers. Click here to learn more on how to connect with organizations for short-term paid projects that help you gain relevant work experiences.
Evergreen’s volunteers are vital to make our cities flourish. They are city builders who support a host of projects and programs at Evergreen Brick Works (Toronto) and across the country. The volunteers will receive training and learning opportunities, regular communications, ongoing support and appreciation. Click here to learn more.
Know a fellow city lover? Gift these urban-centric books!