2020-2021 Graduate Geography Course Timetable

Fall 2020

Course Code Course Title Instructor Delivery Method Time Online Cap (Section (9101) In Person Cap (Section 0101)
GGR1105H MA Geography Core Course Mark Hunter Online Wednesdays, 1-4pm 1st year MA only  
GGR1110H Issues in Geographical Thought and Practice (PhD Human Geography Core Course) Sharlene Mollett Online Thursdays, 10am-12pm 1st year PhD Geography only  
GGR1200H Physical Geography Core Course Danny Harvey, Yuhong He Online Fridays, 12-3pm 1st year MSc and PhD Physical Geography only  
GGR1216H Advanced Biogeochemical Processes Igor Lehnherr Online Thursdays, 1-4pm 10  
GGR1218H Quantitative, Open-Source Methods in Physical Geography Research Trevor Porter Online Mondays, 2-5pm 10  
GGR1407H Efficient Use of Energy Danny Harvey Online Mondays, 5-8pm 10  
GGR1822H Queer Geographies Natalie Oswin Online Mondays, 11am-1pm 20  
GGR1911H Remote Sensing Jane Liu Online Mondays, 10am-12pm (lecture), Tuesdays, 1-3pm (lab) 10  
JPG1503H Space, Time, Revolution Kanishka Goonewardena Online Wednesdays, 5-8pm 20  
JPG1512H Place, Politics and the Urban Alan Walks Online Fridays, 12-3pm 20  
JPG1516H Declining Cities Jason Hackworth Online Tuesdays, 3-5pm 20  
JPG1525H* Urban, Regional and Community Economic Development Jason Spicer Online Mondays, 4-6pm 20  
JPG1558H History & Geography of Cycles and Cycling Lea Ravensbergen Online Wednesdays, 10am-12pm 20  
JPG1616H The Cultural Economy Debby Leslie Online Mondays, 2-4pm 20  
JPG1621H Innovation and Governance Harald Bathelt Dual Tuesdays, 10am-12pm 10 10
JPG1812Y* (Fall/Winter) Planning for Change Julie Mah, Tim Ross Dual Fridays, 9am-12pm 10 10
JPG1814H Cities and Immigrants Vincent Kuuire Online Thursdays, 1-4pm 20  
JPG1818H The Geography and Planning of Climate Action and Activism Sue Ruddick Online Thursdays, 4-6pm 20  
JPG1835H Anti-Colonial Planning Heather Dorries Online Tuesdays, 9am-11am 20  
JPG1906H Geographic Information Systems Kristian Larsen Online Mondays, 1-3pm (Lecture), 3-5pm (lab) 30  
JPG2150H Special Topics: Production of Space - Aesthetics, Technology, Politics Kanishka Goonewardena Online Wednesdays, 10am-1pm 20  
ENV1103H The U of T Campus as a Living Lab of Sustainability John Robinson TBD Tuesdays, 2-4pm Contact School for Environment for enrolment Contact School for Environment for enrolment

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Winter 2021

Course Code Course Title Instructor Time
GGR1411H Nature and Justice in the Anthropocene Neera Singh Tuesdays, 5-7pm
GGR1422H The Geography of Urban Air Pollution Matthew Adams Thursdays, 1-4pm
GGR2150H Special Topics: Geographies of Markets Jun Zhang Thursdays, 1-3:30pm
JPG1120H Advanced Qualitative Methods: Methodology and Epistemological Foundations for Planning and Geography Katharine Rankin Tuesdays, 1pm-3pm
JPG1400H Advanced Quantitative Methods Christopher Higgins Tuesdays, 9am-12pm
JPG1428H Managing Urban Ecosystems Tenley Conway Mondays 1-3pm
JPG1504H Institutionalism and Cities: Space, Governance, Property & Power Andre Sorensen Mondays, 3-5pm
JPG1507H Housing Markets and Housing Policy Analysis TBD Wednesdays, 12-3pm
JPG1511H The Commons: Geography, Planning, Politics Sue Ruddick Thursdays, 1-3pm
JPG1825H Black Geographies of the Atlantic Rachel Goffe Thursdays, 3-6pm
JPG1909H Advanced GIS Data Processing Jue Wang Wednesdays, 10am-12pm
JPG2151H Special Topics: Natural Heritage System Planning Carolyn DeLoyde Wednesdays, 3-6pm
ENV1444H Capitalist Nature (Contact School for the Environment for enrolment) Scott Prudham Thursdays, 11am-2pm
EES1126H Hydrology and Watershed Management (Contact Physical & Environmental Science for enrolment) Carl Mitchell Wednesdays, 2-5pm
JSE1708H Sustainability and the Western Mind (Contact Munk School for enrolment) John Robinson Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-12pm

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Course Descriptions

GGR1105H: Human Geography Core Course

This course will feature discussion of a number of issues pertaining to what life is like as an academic and some of the related skills and experiences that go along with it (e.g., the tenure process, journal peer review processes, tips on how to publish journal articles, research collaboration, conference presentations, teaching, the academic job market, relationship between academia and the wider world, public intellectualism, theoretical versus applied work, etc.). In addition, it will include engagement with non-academic career trajectories, including how skills and experiences from graduate school can contribute to (or hinder?) success in policy deliberations, activism, government and non-profit work, etc. It will also encompass an overview of non-profit work, major debates in the field, and of theory and explanation in geography. The course incorporates a workshop on proposal writing or research statement element for MA students. The main difference between GGR 1105H and GGR 1110H is in the reading load but also the contrast in specific goals. Specifically, GGR 1110H emphasizes critical reading and thinking drawing on contemporary texts by or relevant to geographers, discussion of readings and the role of theory and evidence in explanation, and perhaps also paying explicit attention to different writing styles. GGR 1105H is more of a wide-ranging course but with some emphasis on practical survival tips for academic and related spheres of life.

GGR1110H: Issues in Geographical Thought and Practice

How do geographers go about addressing the challenges and problems of the world? How does the wider context (social, institutional, environmental….geographical!) shape the kinds of issues geographers examine, how these issues are framed, and how they are addressed? How do broad intellectual currents influence the work that is done in geography (and vice versa), and how do we understand the relationships between the broad intellectual currents and the “world out there”? Consistent with current emphasis in critical geography, all geographers, whether explicit or not, are using both theory and so politics in their work, along with some implicit or explicit problem statement in framing what they look at and what are they trying to explain. Even the choice of phenomena to examine is a political choice. Thinking carefully about these issues helps to understand the relationship between scholarship (geographical or otherwise) and the “real world”, while at the same time facilitating reflexive and careful consideration of research topics and approaches. This is, in our view, preferable to relying uncritically on policy or academic discourses and their prevailing theories, debates, questions, and approaches.

GGR1200H: Physical Geography Core Course

This is a mandatory core course for all first year physical geography (MSc and PhD) graduate students. The main objective is to introduce students to successful approaches in graduate school and for conducting scientific research. Specifically, topics will include: fellowship application, literature review, experimental design, presentation skills, proposal preparation, and disseminating scientific research. It also will provide an overview of physical geography as a discipline and include guest presentations by members of each of the four newly established physical geography research clusters. The course will foster intellectual interactions and build support within student cohorts and include mandatory attendance at departmental and university seminar series. Doctoral students who completed their Master’s in Physical Geography in this department and who took this course as a Master’s student are exempted from taking this course as part of their doctoral course work. Following discussion between student, supervisor, and the Associate Chair, Graduate, exemption from this course may also be granted to certain PhD students who have taken an equivalent course as part of their MSc program. 

GGR1216H: Advanced Biogeochemical Processes

Biogeochemistry explores the intersection of biological, chemical, and geological processes that shape the environment. In an era of unprecedented human-induced environmental and climate change, research in this field is advancing rapidly. This seminar course explores the biogeochemical cycles of major and trace elements including carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and mercury, and examines how humans alter these cycles resulting in many of the environmental issues we are faced with today, such as eutrophication, climate change, ocean acidification and pollution by toxic contaminants. Additionally, the course focuses on the mechanisms controlling biogeochemical processes at local to global scales, including interactions between abiotic and biotic factors, such as climate, redox conditions, microbial metabolism and ecology. Topics covered include biogeochemical processes in the atmosphere (e.g., aerosols-ecosystems productivity interactions, black carbon), aquatic ecosystems (e.g., redox controls on sediment P release in eutrophic lakes) and terrestrial environments (e.g., soil respiration of legacy carbon in thawing permafrost), as well as some of the emerging techniques (e.g., stable-isotopes, -omics, paleo-proxies) used in biogeochemistry. Exclusion: GGR406H5 (UTM).

GGR1218H: Quantitative, Open-Source Methods in Physical Geography Research

Quantitative research in physical geography and the earth sciences has increasingly relied on custom, open-source coding solutions in programming languages such as R and MATLAB in order to efficiently mine large datasets and analyze and visualize spatiotemporal phenomena. This course provides hands-on, workshop-based training in two of the most widely used programming languages in the geosciences, R and MATLAB. The workshops will focus on applications of data mining, exploration and management; working with self-describing, multi-dimensional data formats (e.g., NetCDF); publication-quality figures and data visualization; statistical analysis; linear regression modelling; time-series and signal processing; and mapping. Students will complete four assignments to hone their coding and problem-solving skills, and a final project that applies these skills to their research. This course is specifically aimed at students with little to no coding experience. Students interested in taking this course are strongly encouraged to contact the professor before the start of the semester to discuss your motivations in taking the course and research interests so that lessons can be customized to the broad interests of the class as much as possible. 

GGR1407H: Efficient Use of Energy

The course examines the options available for dramatically reducing our use of primary energy with no reduction in meaningful energy services, through more efficient use of energy at the scale of energy-using devices and of entire energy systems. Topics covered include energy use in buildings, transportation, industry, and agriculture. Each topic will cover (i) the underlying physical principles that determine the potential of and the limits to energy efficiency improvements, (ii) the difference in potential savings when focusing on individual energy using devices rather than entire energy-using systems, (iii) examples of efficiency improvements that have been achieved in practice in various countries around the world, and (iv) the cost and financing of energy efficiency improvements. As well, the role of the so-called rebound effect in eroding the energy-saving benefit of efficiency improvements will be discussed. Exclusion: GGR347H1 (STG).

GGR1822H: Queer Geographies

Queer “is about messing things up, creating disorder and disruptive commotion within the normative arrangements of bodies, things, spaces and institutions” (Manalansan, 2015: 567). In this course, we will explore queer in this manner – as mess maker, disruptive force, and sanctuary for social difference. Though formal legal equality for LGBT people has been achieved in some countries around the world, homophobia and transphobia persist everywhere. So do heteronormativity (the privileging of certain heterosexual or ‘straight’ subjects over others) and homonormativity (the privileging of some homosexual or ‘queer’ subjects over others). We will explore queer thought as spatial thought, especially via its connections to postcolonial, critical race, and feminist theories. We will consider how dynamics of race, gender, class, colonialism, and geopolitics are central to expressions of sexual politics, and how queer theory and social movements build frameworks for social and spatial justice. 

GGR1911H: Remote Sensing

Advanced image processing, theory and applications of spatial resolution effects on classification, monitoring and interpretation of landscapes. From field spectrometric data to simulated images. Exclusion: GGR337H1 (STG), GGR437H5 (UTM), GGR1912H. 

JPG1503H: Space, Time, Revolution

This graduate seminar explores historical, geographical and ideological aspects of revolution, with reference to the making and unmaking of capitalism. It does so by investigating the relationship between radical theoretical concepts of space, time, dialectics, ideology and hegemony and the historical experiences of revolutionary politics—with readings on such events as the Haitian Revolution, the Paris Commune, the Russian Revolution, anti-colonial movements and struggles against imperialism. While the specific cases and critics—for example, C. L. R. James, Susan Buck-Morss, Kristin Ross, Priyamvada Gopal, Walter Benjamin, Henri Lefebvre, Antonio Gramsci, Fredric Jameson—surveyed here have varied over the years, the general purpose of this course has been consistent and straightforward: to study subjective and objective conditions of revolutionary praxis—past, present and future. 

JPG1512H: Place, Politics and the Urban

The course examines the relationship between geography, politics, and governance. In particular, it seeks to interrogate the theoretical importance of place, space and urban form in the production of political and social values, practices, strategies, and discourses, and in turn, analyze the implications of the place-politics nexus for understanding shifts in the direction and form of urban policy, governance and citizenship. The course begins with a broad examination of the theoretical bases for linking place and politics, particularly as this relates to the construction of urban and non-urban places, with literature drawn from a number of sources, including geography, urban studies, political science, and planning theory. The course then examines a number of specific cases, from gentrification as a political practice, to the politics of homelessness and anti-panhandling legislation, and the political geography of regional planning and municipal amalgamation, that inform and challenge our understanding of the relationship between place and political praxis. 

JPG1516H: Declining Cities

Much of planning and urban thought more generally is implicitly or explicitly oriented around the idea of growth—growth allows cities to be managerial, gives them room for error, salves intra-constituency squabbles, etc.  In the face of decline, the most common planning or urban theoretical response is to engage in economic development (that is, to reignite growth).  But what about those cities (or sections of otherwise growing cities) that have declined in population or resources and remained healthy, pleasant, places to live?  Can we learn something from their experience that allows us to rethink the way that cities decline, or what the professional response to it should be?  What about those cities, conversely which retain an infrastructure footprint that was intended for a much larger city?  Can they be downsized in a planned way?  If so, what would such an effort (mobilizing the state to sponsor planned decline) mean for the bulk of urban theory that suggests that it is the state’s role to reignite growth? 

JPG1525H: Urban, Regional and Community Economic Development

This course surveys urban, regional, and community economic development theories and planning practices, with a focus on North America in comparative perspective. Coverage includes orthodox and neoclassical theories from economic geography, urban economics, and political science/sociology, which provide the rationale for people-centric, place-based, and institutionally-oriented economic development plans and policies. Heterodox and community-oriented alternatives are also examined. Using real-life cases, we review cluster strategies, enterprise zones/districts, labour and capital relocation incentives, regional and anchor institution strategies, workforce development systems, community benefit agreements, living wage policies, local hiring/procurement preferences, and community/cooperative ownership models. This course is restricted to students in Geography & Planning Programs. Students from outside the department must contact the instructor for permission to enrol. 

JPG1558H: History and Geography of Cycles and Cycling

The presence of cycling in cities has, for some, become the hallmark for the progressive city; progressive from a transport perspective. But how did we get to this point in the history of urban transportation and city life? Has it always been like this? Is more cycling a desirable outcome for everyone? Who cycles and who doesn’t, and for what reasons? In one sense, this course addresses these very questions, while exploring several points of complex intersection between cycles and cycling and a range of social, economic, and political constructs/forces/processes that often operate at a range of scales. Adopting an historical and geographical lens, we will also consider the uneven way in which cycling seems to have fallen into and out of favour, locally, nationally, and globally over time. 

This course will explore cycling’s past and present using a range of resources and experiences (including some actual cycling in the city!) using a mixture of lectures, student lead seminars and presentations, and fieldwork. The course begins in the City of Toronto, with a focus on infrastructure planning and injury. The course will make use of cycle planning documents and reports available through the City of Toronto. Students will use fieldwork to identify and trouble infrastructure implementation and use. The history of cycling technologies, planning and infrastructure then comes into view, followed by an examination of points of intersection between cycles, cycling and identity(s) scaled from the body to the nation. Study of cycling and active transport more broadly then shifts toward the Global South.

JPG1616H: The Cultural Economy

This course examines the so-called “cultural turn” in economic geography, often referred to as “the new economic geography”. We will begin by considering various ways of theorizing the relationship between culture and economy. After reflecting upon the historical antecedents of contemporary understandings of this relationship, we will explore selected themes in the cultural economy literature such as cultural industries, consumption, economic discourse, work cultures, governmentality and commodity chains/actor networks.

JPG1621H: Innovation and Governance

The course discusses a broad range of topics related to innovation and governance including (i) technological change and its social and economic consequences, (ii) the spatial effects, which result from this, and (iii) necessities for innovation policies at different territorial levels. As the international competitiveness of industrial economies cannot be based on cost advantages alone, future growth in the knowledge-based economy will increasingly rely on capabilities related to knowledge generation and innovation. As a consequence, questions of performance in innovation and support policy will become decisive at the firm, regional-state and national-state levels. The seminar is divided into three main parts. The first part deals with conceptual foundations of innovation, and explores the connection between economic learning, knowledge creation and innovation processes. In the second part, innovation and governance are investigated in territorial context, ranging from national and subnational innovation systems to permanent and temporary clusters and varieties of capitalism. The third part of the course discusses aspects of transnational innovation processes and multilevel governance challenges. 

JPG1812Y: Planning for Change

Planning for Change is a full-year service learning course that facilitates practical experience in community-engaged planning. You will be placed with an organization in the public or nonprofit sector for one day per week, on average, from September to April to work on a project in community development and planning that addresses the needs of your community partner. We meet as a class in a seminar format to support your work and learn from your experience. This is a challenging course that applies theory to practice (praxis). Our community partners value your work, and we maintain ongoing relationships with them. This placement can fulfill the internship requirement for MscPl students. The objectives of the service-learning placement are to allow graduate students to assist community groups or municipal planning departments in real-world community planning projects, to practice diverse planning skills, and begin to build longer-term commitments to communities and neighbourhoods throughout Toronto. This course is restricted to students in Geography & Planning Programs. Students from outside the department must contact the instructor for permission to enrol.

JPG1814H: Cities and Immigrants

Globalization processes and changes in immigration laws in recent decades have led to an upsurge in cross-border movement of people and ushered in sequential waves of immigration from various regions of the world to Canada and the U.S. Cities and their adjoining metropolitan areas are the biggest beneficiaries of these changing dynamics where immigrants are important contributors to economic growth and social reinvigoration. This course will examine the dynamics and changing patterns of immigrant integration in cities and urban locations. Topics of focus will include theories of immigrant integration, socio-spatial patterns of immigrant settlements in cities, labour market participation, socio-cultural identity formation and transnational engagements. The course will rely on contemporary examples and case studies to provide a deeper understanding of how immigrants are shaping dynamics within cities.

JPG1818H: The Geography and Planning of Climate Action and Activism

In the face of growing concerns around the climate crisis and its immediate and long-term impacts on our planet, organizations focused on activism and action have mushroomed locally and globally – from the very local scale to the international scale. This course introduces students to range of tools critical to successful peaceful social mobilization (both within and outside of the state), drawing on scholarly literature from geography, planning, sociology and cognate disciplines — as well as a range resources from social movement organizations. We also explore the ways that climate activism might intersect with concerns over and responses to the global pandemic and anti-racist and anti-oppression movements.  Though the emphasis is on Canadian context, we often incorporate lessons learned from other kinds of social movements in other locales. Each year, students will work in groups developing materials for organizations involved in climate activism, with a particular emphasis on climate justice. This year, depending on class size we will be assisting Climate Justice Montreal, Generation Chosen and Climate Pledge Collective.

JPG1835H: Anti-Colonial Planning

This course examines the relationship between planning and colonialism and considers the theories and practices that might be applied in the development of an anti-colonial approach to planning. This course looks to make visible how settler colonialism, as a mode of racial capitalism, works through planning to produce dispossession and inequality, with a focus on the experience of Indigenous peoples in Canada. A key intention of this course will be to examine planning policies or methods to uncover how planning’s core conceptual tools and methods—including property, growth, participation, sustainability—often hinge on the production of racial statuses and hierarchies. This course will also provide an overview of how planning scholars are grappling with the question of how to decolonize planning theory through a variety of discursive, ethical, and rights-based approaches. Through an engagement with Indigenous and anti-racist scholarship as well as community-led examples of counter-planning, this course will also consider how core planning assumptions, concepts, and practices might be challenged and reformulated. 

JPG1906H: Geographic Information Systems

This course provides an intensive introduction to fundamental geographic information system (GIS) theory, as well as practical, hands-on experience with state-of-the-art software. The course is designed to accommodate students from a variety of research backgrounds, and with no previous GIS experience. Students who have previous GIS coursework/training are not eligible for enrolment in this course. The goal is to provide students with a theoretical understanding of spatial data and analysis concepts, and to introduce the practical tools needed to create and manage spatial data, perform spatial analysis, and communicate results including (but not limited to) the form of a well-designed map. Assignments require the use of the ArcInfo version of ESRI’s ArcGIS software and extensions, and are designed to encourage proper research design, independent analysis, and problem solving. By the end of the course, successful students should be able to apply what they have learned to their own research, to learn new functions on their own, and have the necessary preparation to continue in more advanced GIS courses should they wish to do so. Classes consist of a two hour lecture each week, which integrate live software demonstrations to illustrate the linkages between theory and practice. 

JPG2150H: Special Topics – Production of Space – Aesthetics, Technology, Politics

This seminar investigates articulations of aesthetic, technological and political forces in the production of space—the triad of conceived space, perceived space and lived space, as Henri Lefebvre famously suggested. With reference to intellectual resources drawn from several strands of critical theory, space figures here as something radically contested, and dialectically related to social relations. The work of artists, architects, planners, geographers, scientists, technocrats and politicians, along with influential conceptions such as modernism, avant-garde, ‘culture industry’, ‘society of the spectacle’, ‘bureaucratic society of controlled consumption’ and postmodernism, will feature prominently in this course, in order to theorize how space and society are co-produced, and why various social utopias—capitalist, nationalist, fascist, colonial socialist, feminist—are also spatial projects. 

ENV1103H The U of T Campus as a Living Lab of Sustainability

Sustainability is a growing priority for universities all over the world. Many are developing strong operational sustainability goals and targets, and are giving increasing emphasis to teaching and research on sustainability issues. Yet few have committed at the executive level to integrating academic and operational sustainability in the context of treating their campus as a living laboratory of sustainable practice, research and teaching. Such living lab approaches offer a large potential for universities to play a significant role in the sustainability transition. This course will explore and apply the living lab concept, in the context of operational sustainability at the University of Toronto. We will begin by looking briefly at the literature on university sustainability and the living lab concept. The bulk of the course will involve undertaking an applied research project on some aspect of campus sustainability, working in close partnership with operational staff at the University of Toronto. Students will develop the skills needed to work across disciplines and fields of study, and with non-academic partners. Enrollment in this course is managed by the School for the Environment. 

GGR1411H: Nature and Justice in the Anthropocene

The current ecological crisis is calling into question our ways of being human and of relating to the rest of the world. The course addresses the challenge of rethinking nature-society relations and issues of justice in the Anthropocene. It asks whether the concept of the Anthropocene and its variants, helps power (or not) emancipatory politics and visions for future that socially just and ecologically abundant. We will draw from Indigenous ontologies, Environmental Justice movements, transition discourses, and aspirations for “living well” as well as contemporary theories of affect, more-than-human geographies and new materialism to query and reimagine nature-society entanglements. Topics covered include: environmental thought and activism, Environmental and Climate Justice movements, post-capitalist economic imaginaries and transition discourses.

GGR1422H: The Geography of Urban Air Pollution

This course will examine current local to global issues of urban air pollution. Topics covered will include understanding sources of air pollution, human health effects and study designs, stages of urban development and air pollution, mitigation approaches, global challenges and current air pollution issues by region. Measurement technologies and their applications, including low-cost sensors and regulatory grade instrumentation will be explored. Students will apply tools for spatial and temporal modelling of urban air pollution including dispersion modelling, spatial interpolation, remote sensing and land use regression modelling. 

GGR2150H: Special Topics – Geographies of Markets


JPG1120H: Advanced Qualitative Research: Methodology and Epistemological Foundations for Planning and Geography

This course arises out of the interest of doctoral students in Planning and Geography who desire to acquire rigorous qualitative research skills that would complement their research interests, assist in developing their dissertation proposals, and contribute to preparation for a career as educators and scholars in academia and beyond. The primary concern is to develop a deep understanding of a range of qualitative research methods and their epistemological foundations, with an emphasis on ethnographic approaches. Readings and discussions will be oriented to developing a philosophical understanding of the epistemology and ontology of knowledge so that students can develop a critical approach to research design. Readings reflect an understanding that doctoral planning and geography students commonly conduct ethnographic research in international settings, which requires an ability to read and interpret complex meanings, as well as attend to the politics of knowledge production and representation. The course will also address basic qualitative research methods, such as interviews and discourse analysis, and approaches to analysis (including the use of qualitative analysis software) – with a focus on critical approaches to knowledge production and researchers’ positionality. The course is organized as a seminar with a heavy emphasis on collective analysis of course materials, and each student’s involvement in writing reflections and classroom discussions on a weekly basis. 

JPG1400H: Advanced Quantitative Methods

Spatial Analysis consists of set of techniques used for statistical modeling and problem solving in Geography. As such, it plays an integral role in the detection of spatial processes and the identification of their causal factors. It is therefore a key component in one’s preparation for applied or theoretical quantitative work in GIScience, Geography, and other cognate disciplines. Space, of course, is treated explicitly in spatial analytical techniques, and the goal of many methods is to quantify the substantive impact of location and proximity on human and environmental processes in space. 

JPG1428H: Managing Urban Ecosystems

This reading seminar focuses on the different ways people interact with and manage urban ecosystems. The course begins by exploring the characterization of cities as ecosystems. We will then examine the socio-ecological research and management goals that draw on and build from an urban ecosystem perspective.  Management of urban climates, hydrology, and vegetation will be explored.  The role of municipal policy, built form, residents and other key actors will be examined in-depth.  Throughout the course, issues associated with bridging knowledge gaps between the social and natural sciences, unique characteristics of urban ecosystems, and the role of individual decision-makers will be considered. 

JPG1504H: Institutionalism and Cities: Space, Governance, Property & Power

This course focuses on the role of institutions in shaping processes of urban change, governance and planning. The premise of the course is that cities are extraordinarily densely institutionalized spaces, and that the formal study of institutions, and processes of institutional continuity and change will be productive for both planners and urban geographers. The course reviews the New Institutionalist literature in Political Science, Sociology, Economic Geography, and Planning Studies, with a focus on Historical Institutionalist concepts, and develops a conceptual framework for the application of institutionalist theory to urban space. The claim is that an understanding of institutions is revealing of power dynamics in urban governance, is valuable for understanding urban governance and planning in international comparative perspective, and provides a valuable perspective on urban property systems. 

JPG1507H: Housing Markets and Housing Policy Analysis

The objective of this course is to provide an opportunity for in-depth analyses of housing, as both product and process, and to apply these analyses to concrete housing situations and current policy and planning problems. Two principal themes are emphasized: 1) assessments of changes in the structural and spatial dimensions of housing demand and supply, and alternative modes of housing provision; and 2) evaluations of housing policies and programs and their relationships to social and economic policies and urban planning. The latter will be undertaken primarily through the discussion of case studies of specific problems and policy issues, the former through a review of basic concepts on housing in the first few weeks of class. 

JPG1511H: The Commons – Geography, Planning, Politics

Over the past two decades, “the commons” has increasingly become the subject of contestation in planning practices and conceptual framings. Approaches have alternately emphasized the need to privatization; regulation and collective management of public goods; to the commons as a co-production. Once thought to pertain exclusively to the purview of environmental planning and management of resources through common property regimes, discussions about the commons now inform a wide range of planning practices.

Taken up equally by organizations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as a supplement to structural adjustment policies on the one hand, and the World Social Forum as a challenge to accumulation by dispossession, privatization and deregulation on the other, the idea of “commons”, “commoning” and the “commonwealth” frame discussions over the organization and control of collective resources now expanding well beyond historical origins in rural areas and their enclosure to a wide range of diverse practices in urban regions. Debates about the regulation – or destruction — of the commons extend from management of farmland, conservation of wilderness and water to planning of libraries, public urban spaces and intellectual property.

JPG1825H: Black Geographies of the Atlantic

Beyond a physical region, the Atlantic can be understood as a site through which techniques for the exploitation of land, people and the environment emerged, with enduring implications for world trajectories. This course traces a genealogy of contested spacetimes spanning the colonial state, the plantation, and urban neighborhoods and streets. We learn about representations of Blackness as they are made and remade through time such as: the “dangerous Blacks” of the Haitian revolution; the British West Indian ex-slave “unwilling”” to work; a sanitized version of the Black small farmer; the anti-colonialist land invader; and the “illegal squatter” who is no longer recognized as a descendant of Black refusal. Among the traditions we explore are rebellion, revolution, and quotidian acts of place-making through farming, fishing, street vending, beauty services, taxi operation, masquerade, and dwelling. Through these representations and practices we explore the epistemologies of this ongoing encounter and also work to uncover the gendering of complex racial formations.
The course is formed through the lens of Black Geographies, an interdisciplinary approach that acknowledges (1) the spatial and cultural productions of Black people as significant and coherent critiques of dominance and injustice; (2) the visions of alternate futures for the world within these critiques; and (3) the centrality of Black geographies to the way the world works—not at the margins, but as co-producers of space.

JPG1909H: Advanced GIS Data Processing

This course will complement the existing data analysis and quantitative methods courses currently being taught in the department. It will strengthen and broaden both the theoretical basis and skillsets available to graduate students in geography and urban planning for advanced data analysis in GIS. By introducing both the theory and application of up-to-date data analysis techniques and the state of art of GIS data processing, this course will fill a significant gap in our curriculum. 

JPG2151H: Special Topics – Natural Heritage System Planning

Natural Heritage System (NHS) planning is a critical dimension of and tool for environmental planning.  An NHS consists of core natural areas, such as woodlands and wetlands, connected by linkages and corridors, such as watercourses, functioning together as a system. The identification, delineation and protection of a NHS within municipal and provincial planning provides a high degree of confidence that the biological diversity and ecological functions of an area will be preserved and enhanced for future generations.

NHS planning is carried out by environmental planners at a variety of scales ranging from Ontario’s Greenbelt Plan, the Official Plan for Regional municipalities, watershed plans, to local municipal Official Plans. Within the context of anticipated ongoing urban development, NHS planning is necessary to protect the habitat of plants and animals and ensure long-term ecological integrity on the landscape. To this end, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) helps ensure that development will occur within an environmentally responsive context.  This course examines current approaches, practices, guidelines, policies and legislation related to NHS planning in Ontario including the use of EIA, through a detailed case study of a current NHS within a municipal Official Plan in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). 

EES1126H: Hydrology and Watershed Management

Course description pending

ENV1444H: Capitalist Nature

This course will draw on a range of theoretical and empirical research materials in order to examine the particularities of what might be referred to as “capitalist nature”. Specifically, the course is concerned with three central questions: (i) what are the unique political, ecological, and geographical dynamics of environmental change propelled by capital accumulation and the dynamics of specifically capitalist forms of “commodification”? (ii) how and why is nature commodified in a capitalist political economy, and what are the associated problems and contradictions? (iii) how can we understand the main currents of policy and regulatory responses to these dynamics? Enrollment in this course is managed by the School for the Environment. 

JSE1708H: Sustainability and the Western Mind

This course will examine how attitudes towards human nature and non-human nature have changed over the period from Mesolithic times until the present in Western society. By reading and discussing historical arguments and contemporary documents we will attempt to uncover the underlying assumptions about the world that were characteristic of different periods in the history of Western culture. The underlying question is whether contemporary concerns about sustainability require fundamental changes in the way we conceive of ourselves and our environment. Enrolment in this course is managed by the Master of Global Affairs Program.