2019-20 Graduate Planning Course Timetable

*(UPD=Urban Planning & Development; SPP=Social Planning & Policy; EPP=Economic Planning & Policy; ENV=Environmental Planning; URD=Urban Design)

**Some courses may be applicable to specializations other than those currently listed (depending on who is teaching them, etc.). If you think a given course should apply to a particular specialization which is not listed, please consult the program director.

Fall 2019

Course Title Instructor Day/Time Room Restriction and Planning Concentration 
PLA1101H Planning History, Thought & Practice Lindsay Stephens Wednesdays, 1-4pm SS2125 MSc Planning Only, CORE
PLA1102H Planning Decision Methods I Naomi Adiv Mondays, 1-4pm SS2111 MSc Planning Only, CORE
PLA1106H Workshop in Planning Practice Katharine Rankin/Michelle Berquist Tuesdays, 5-8pm SS5017A MSc Planning Only, CORE
PLA1107Y Current Issues Paper Lindsay Stephens Wednesdays, 6-8pm SS5017A MSc Planning Only, CORE
PLA2000H Advanced Planning Theory Kanishka Goonewardena Tuesdays, 5-8pm SS5064 PhD Planning Only, CORE (PhD)
PLA2001H Planning Colloquium Kanishka Goonewardena TBD in consultation with instructor in September STG TBD PhD Planning Only, CORE (PhD)
PLA1518H City Building Practice & Experience Joe Berridge Mondays, 4-6pm SS5017A Planning Only, UPD
PLA1652H Introduction to Urban Design & Planning Kanishka Goonewardena Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-1pm SS617 Planning Only, UD
PLA1656H Land Use Planning Jeffrey Cantos/Renee Gomes Mondays, 6-8pm SS5017A UPD
PLA1703H Transportation Planning & Infrastructure Matti Siemiatycki Tuesdays, 12-3pm
Course starts Sept 10, see note below regarding schedule for remaining weeks of term.
JGE1425H Livelihood, Poverty & Development Christian Abizaid Tuesdays, 12-2pm SS5016G SPP, ENV
JPG1400H Advanced Quantitative Methods Michael Widener Thursdays, 9am-12pm SS561 Geog/Plan programs priority
JPG1426H Natural Resources, Differences & Conflict Sharlene Mollett Thursdays, 10am-12pm REVISED SEPT 12: SS5017A ENV, EPP, SPP
JPG1511H The Commons: Geography, Planning, Politics Sue Ruddick Wednesdays, 4-6pm SS5017A ENV, UPD, SPP
JPG1516H Declining Cities Jason Hackworth Fridays, 12-2pm SS5017A UPD, SPP, EPP
JPG1518H Sustainability & Communities Susannah Bunce Tuesdays, 10am-12pm SS5017A UPD, SPP, EPP
JPG1525H Urban, Regional and Community Economic Development Jason Spicer Mondays, 10am-12pm SS5016G EPP, SPP, UPD
JPG1617H Organization of Economies & Cities John Miron Tuesdays, 10am-12pm SS5016G EPP
JPG1809H Spaces of Work Michelle Buckley Mondays, 10am-1pm SS5017A EPP, SPP
JPG1906H Geographic Information Systems Don Boyes Mondays, 1-3pm (lecture), and 3-5pm (labs) SS5017A (lecture), SS561 (labs) ALL
GGR/PL Programs Priority
JPG2150H Special Topics: The Geography & Planning of Climate Action and Activism Sue Ruddick Mondays, 4-6pm SS5016G ENV, UPD, SPP
JPG1812Y Planning for Change Julie Mah/Tim Ross Fridays, 9am-12pm SS5017A UPD, EPP, SPP
GGR/PL Programs Priority and Instructor Approval Required, CONSULT DIRECTOR
URD1041H* Introduction to Urban Design Theory and Practice Mark Sterling Wednesdays, 9am-12pm STG TBD UD
URD1031H A History of Toronto Urban Form G. Baird Fridays, 9am-12pm STG TBD UD, UPD


Winter 2020

Course Title Instructor Day/Time Room Restriction and Planning Concentration
PLA1103H Legal Basis of Planning Ian Andres and Max Laskin Tuesdays, 6 - 9pm (NEW TIME) SS5017A MSc Planning Only, CORE
PLA1105H Planning Decision Methods II Jason Spicer Mondays, 10am-1pm SS561 MSc Planning Only, CORE
PLA1516H Special Topics -Human Rights and the City Sandeep Agrawal Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-4pm. Compressed format course - see description below for meeting dates. See description below for meeting dates and locations  
PLA1520H Project Management and Conflict Resolution Rob Dowler Thursdays, 5-8pm SS5017A Planning Only, CORE
PLA1552H City Planning & Management John Farrow Thursdays, 10am-12pm SS5017A Planning Only, UPD, SPP
PLA1651H Real Estate Development Peter Zimmerman Wednesdays, 4-6pm DA215 Planning Only, UPD, UD, EPP
PLA1653H Urban Design & Planning Advanced Studio Paul Hess Tuesdays and Fridays, 2-5pm SS617 UD
PLA1655H Urban Design & Development Robert Freedman Mondays, 6-9pm DA 340 Planning Only, UD, UPD
JPG1111H Social Research Methods Kathi Wilson Tuesdays, 9-11am Room TBD (UTM), video link available in room SS5016G GGR/PL Programs Only
JPG1120H Advanced Qualitative Research Katharine Rankin Tuesdays, 1-3pm SS5016G GGR/PL Programs Only, ALL
JPG1428H Managing Urban Ecosystems Tenley Conway Fridays, 10am-12pm DV2094 (UTM), video link available in room SS5016G ENV
JPG1429H Political Ecology of Food and Agriculture Michael Ekers Tuesdays, 11am-1pm SS5017A ENV, UPD
JPG1502H Cities of the Global South Raj Narayanareddy Wednesdays, 10am-12pm SS5016G EPP, SPP, UPD
JPG1503H Space, Time, Revolution Kanishka Goonewardena Wednesdays, 5-8pm SS5016G UPD
JPG1504H Institutionalism & Cities Andre Sorensen Mondays, 3-5pm SS5016G UPD
JPG1506H State/Space/Difference Sue Ruddick Wednesdays, 3-5pm **Class held on Wednesday, Feb 12 will be rescheduled to another date** SS5017A  
JPG1507H Housing Markets & Housing Policy Analysis Larry Bourne Wednesdays, 12-3pm SS5017A GGR/PL Programs Priority
JPG1520H Contested Geographies of Class-Race Formation Mark Hunter Mondays, 3-5pm SS5017A EPP, SPP, UPD
JPG1554H Transportation & Urban Form Steve Farber Wednesdays, 9am-12pm SS5017A UPD, TRANS
JPG1615H Planning the Social Economy Katharine Rankin Mondays, 1-3pm SS5016G EPP, SPP
JPG1558H The History and Geography of Cycles and Cycling Lea Ravensbergen-Hodgins Wednesdays, 3-5pm SS5016G  
JPG1706H Violence & Security Deborah Cowen Thursdays, 2-5pm SS5107A SPP
JPG1814H Cities & Immigrants Vincent Kuuire Thursdays, 9am-12pm SS5016G SPP
JPG2150H Special Topics: Geographies of Decolonization and Liberation Michelle Daigle Wednesdays, 12-3pm SS5016G SPP
JSE1708H* The Development of Sustainability Thought John Robinson Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-12pm GLA TBD ENV
ENV1444H* Capitalist Nature Scott Prudham Thursdays, 11am-2pm HS 705 ENV


Course Descriptions:


PLA1101H – Planning History, Thought & Practice

This course introduces master’s students to key ideas in planning history, thought and practice. We explore concepts and practices across social, economic, environmental, urban design and transportation planning. We consider longstanding debates in planning such as those around expertise, knowledge and process, and the varied paths planners take to build a better city. Theory is grounded in case studies and historical examples and guest speakers working in planning help us think about these ideas in relation to practice.

PLA1102H – Planning Decision Methods I

Concepts and techniques of planning problem solving in both the public and private sectors are the concern of this course. What is the structure of decision problems? What type of information is needed to make decisions? How do planners make decisions in situations where there are multiple objectives and multiple stakeholders? How do we know whether a program, plan or policy is fulfilling its objectives? 

PLA1106H – Workshop in Planning Practice

Students are expected to apply the insights, skills and techniques acquired during the first year of study to a number of case studies and assignments drawn from different planning contexts. As in a professional office, students will work in teams to obtain experience in cooperative action and in the management of time and effort. Projects will be selected in order to expose students to the complexity of real problems, and to suggest the range of policy and planning issues which students might encounter after graduation. Senior practitioners in the Toronto region also work with students in the Workshop.

PLA1107Y – Current Issues Paper

Each student will prepare a planning report addressing a current planning issue in the student’s specialization. The topic will be formulated jointly by the student and a faculty advisor and written in consultation with professionals in the field. The final report will be presented to an evaluation panel of faculty and visiting professional planners. In preparation for the writing of the report, students will meet regularly during the fall term in order to develop further their ability to fashion practical and effective arguments. Practicing professionals will be invited to the class to participate in these sessions and to discuss strategies formulated in response to the professional challenges encountered. 

PLA2000H – Advanced Planning Theory

In this course we collaboratively map the territory of planning theory, exploring and describing those areas of the theoretical landscape that resonate with your research and practice. We draw on interdisciplinary literature and philosophies, grounded in case studies. The role of the planning academic and our responsibility to urban issues are discussed. Themes of transformation, policy and power, representation and culture, displacement and inequity, public space and urban form, mobility and movement are woven throughout.

PLA2001H – Planning Colloquium

This is a CR/NCR seminar series in which faculty members, students and invited speakers will present and discuss the findings of their current research.

PLA1518H – City Building Practice & Experience

URD1031H – A History of Toronto Urban Form

This course will present a history of the development of the urban form of the city and the urban region of Toronto from the late eighteenth century to the present. The course will explore the characteristic relationships that have grown up over the years between the distinctive topography of the city; the early patterns of its settlement, and the evolution over time of its successive infrastructures, including railways, port facilities, expressways, transit lines and pedestrian walkway systems. These characteristic infrastructures will be described in terms of their gradual, systematic impact on the evolving form of the city.

PLA1652H – Introduction to Urban Design & Planning

This studio course introduces the basic principles and skills of urban design to students from various backgrounds by working through exercises of sketching, research and design involving such challenges of planning as housing, public space and transportation in their relation to the politics and aesthetics of urban form.

PLA1656H – Land Use Planning

This course introduces students to the statutory and non-statutory components of the planning process, including issues and implications of various planning policies and tools, and the role and responsibilities of key stakeholders. The course provides students with a foundation in the planning framework in Ontario, through a review of the intent of legislation and policy, and a critical discussion of the application of policy to current issues and case studies. With an emphasis on several issues of relevance to municipalities in the Toronto region, it also reviews planning approaches from cities around the world. The course focuses on land-use planning but also explores other key considerations and issues in the planning process.

PLA1703H – Transportation Planning & Infrastructure

This course does not meet every week during the term but lectures will start on September 10. The schedule for remaining weeks will be available in the syllabus and provided to students in class during the first meeting.

JGE1425H – Livelihood, Poverty & Development

The livelihoods of the rural (and in some cases the urban) poor in the developing world are closely connected to the environment. Hundreds of millions of people, including many indigenous and other traditional peoples, rely directly upon natural resources, at least in part, for their subsistence and often, also, for market income. For many of them, access to such resources is a matter of survival-of life or death, a way of life, or the hope for a better future for them or for their children. Although the livelihoods of these peoples are sometimes regarded as having a negative impact on the environment, more recently, many of them are being heralded as models for biodiversity conservation and sustainable resource. A better understanding of how the rural (and urban) poor make a living -their livelihoods- is considered key to addressing issues of poverty and sustainable resource use, and also for environmental change mitigation and adaptation. This course seeks to develop an understanding of livelihoods among the poor in developing countries, with a focus on how assets, social relations and institutions shape livelihood opportunities in the present and into the future. More broadly, attention will be paid to the ways in which livelihoods are connected to the environment, but also to economic and political processes, with an eye to gain insight on their potential for poverty alleviation, sustainable resource use, and environmental change mitigation/adaptation. The course will also explore emerging areas of inquiry in livelihoods research. 

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. 

JPG1426H – Natural Resources, Differences & Conflict

This course is concerned with the ways in which natural resource policies governing use, access, and control of resources are imbued with and reproduce conflict. Through a variety of case studies and theoretical engagements (feminist, postcolonial, anti-racist, Marxist, post-humanist), this course examines how natural resource conflicts are shaped by multiple kinds of power. In this course we discuss how such contests are more than political economic struggles. Through attention to the entanglements of environment, difference and struggle, a core aim of this seminar is to interrogate what is given and taken-for-granted within dominant narratives, instruments and institutions shaping land and territorial demarcation, water access and distribution, livelihood (in)security, oil and mineral extraction, biodiversity conservation, and struggles over urban citizenship. While this course looks to make visible how states and elites shape space through natural resource control, simultaneously, it attends to how people and their communities work to defend and remake their lives and livelihoods in the face of displacement and dispossession. 

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. The readings will first focus on a conceptual table setting across a spectrum of divergent frameworks from mainstream through critical political economy, anti-racist and indigenous scholarship. In the second section, we will explore normative assumptions including questions of property/territory; construction of subjectivity; ethical framings and regulatory practices. Finally, we will conclude with an exploration of examples of commoning in practice, from historical origins in feudal practices of commoning through conservation to emerging discourses on the urban commons.

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? 

JPG1518H – Sustainability & Communities

This course focuses on sustainability and communities and neighbourhoods in cities in North America and Europe, with some exploration of examples of community-based sustainability in cities in the global south. The intention of this course is to examine academic and policy discussion on urban sustainability and the contemporary context and future of urban communities, and will address socio-political dimensions of urban sustainability found in human geography and urban planning literature, rather than focusing on physical or technical applications of sustainability principles. 

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. 

JPG1617H – Organization of Economies & Cities

This is a course about the urban economy. The emphasis is on understanding how agency (initiative) leads political actors in a state to make possible the conditions that give rise to an urban economy. I review and re-interpret fundamental models that explain how the operation of markets in equilibrium shapes the scale and organization of the commercial city in a mixed market economy within a liberal state. The course reviews classic models of the urban economy that are based on the work of Alonso, DiPasquale & Wheaton, Getz, Herbert & Stevens, Hurd, Lowry, Mills, Muth, Ripper & Varaiya, and Schlager, among others. The antecedents to these models can be traced back to the work of Andrews, Beckmann, Christaller, Clark, Cooley, Haig, Leontief, Polanyi, Power, Reilly, Thünen, Samuelson, and Tiebout. These models assume appurtenant property, contract, and civil rights. As befits the liberal state, such models also presume that individuals and firms are purposeful and have autonomy in these markets. These models raise questions about how and when does governance enable and facilitate markets, autonomy, and the urban economy in this way. Overall, the perspective of this course is that it is helpful to see governance (and hence the urban economy) as outcomes negotiated by political actors motivated by competing notions of commonwealth and aggrandizement. 

JPG1809H – Spaces of Work

This course will introduce students to Marxist, feminist, anticolonial and intersectional perspectives on ‘work’ in the twenty-first century. A key intention of this course is to prompt students to examine what forms of work – and also whose work – has been taken into account in geographical scholarship and to explore a number of prominent debates concerning labour, work and employment within geography over the last three decades. In doing so we will engage with foundational political economy texts on the relations of labour under capitalism, and texts within geography and sociology on work, labour, place and space. We will also examine a number of broad economic and cultural shifts in the nature of contemporary work and employment such as de-industrialization, the feminization of labour markets and service sector work, neoliberalization and the rise of the ‘precariat’. At the same time, students will be prompted to consider critiques of some of these ‘transformational’ narratives to probe the colonial, patriarchal, and capitalist continuities shaping the contours of contemporary work. In this sense this is not an exhaustive course on labour and work in geography, but rather a series of discrete introductions to key scholarly arguments about work, often followed by a range of responses to those arguments in the following week. The course will touch on a broad range of topics, including unfree labour, labour organizing, precarious employment and social reproductive work which are tied together by four overarching themes that run through the course – value, identity, agency and justice. Overall this course aims to give students the chance to explore not only how work has been conceptualized and studied in geography, but how it could be. 

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. 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. Exclusions: GGR272H, GGR273H, GGR373H, any previous GIS coursework. 

JPG2150H – Special Topics: The Geography & 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. The course builds on an initial panel discussion featuring ten key organizations that are locally engaged in climate activism.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to range of tools critical to successful mobilization (both within and outside of the state). The course draws on a range of scholarly literature on effective strategies of social mobilization – from geography, planning and cognate disciplines — as well as a range resources from social movement organizations. Though focused on questions of climate activism in the Canadian context we often incorporate lessons learned from other kinds of social movements in other locales. Students will be encouraged to focus on context dependent appraisals of the challenges and opportunities afforded by different approaches to mobilization around the climate crisis.

The course will kick off with a 3-hour panel on Friday Sept 13th from 3pm – 6pm at Innis College Town Hall.

Ten climate organizations will present their strategies, success stories and upcoming challenges. Throughout the course students will be invited to reflect on insights from readings in relation to  these and other local organizing efforts.

JPG1812Y – Planning for Change

Planning for Change is a year-long course (Y) comprised of seminars, readings, films, discussion, writing, reflection and the completion of a major project designed by and for a community organization. Students will have the opportunity to gain an in-depth, reflective experience in the field of community development. The course is based on successful models of service-learning courses at other institutions. Service learning, as a pedagogical practice, aims to unite what often appear to be divisive realms of theory and practice by providing analytical tools to connect academic and community development work. Service-learning aims to create an educational space where work is done for community organizations with students based on the self-identified needs of the community. Students are challenged to reflect on the work they are doing and the context in which service is provided. Planning/Geography education and service-learning are in many ways an ideal partnership. A service-learning course in the graduate program at the University of Toronto opens a way for students to gain hands-on experience in the field of community development.

URD1041H – Introduction to Urban Design Theory and Practice

This course is an introduction to contemporary urbanism and urban design. In a seminar format, students will explore: theoretical writings and manifestos’; and urban projects and practices. These will come to be seen as attempts to shape the physical organization of cities in response to the forces which drive change in modern urban society. This course is not a comprehensive historical survey. it is instead, a critical review of approaches to urbansim composed of theories, positions and design projects as well as glimpses into contemporary urban design practice. The course focuses on selected modern practices across different scales, from the late nineteenth century to the present, and is intended to provide a context for contemporary urban design practice. It will be important to recognize that much of this material represents histories and attitudes is intended to raise questions for urban designers about future trajectories and territories for urban design.

 PLA1103H – Legal Basis of Planning

This course examines the legal basis of planning, including the relevant legislation, bylaws and policies that guide planning in the Province of Ontario. Part I of the course introduces you to the basics of planning law — in essence,   how to distinguish between law and policy, how to read case law, and understanding the role of the courts. Part II focuses on planning law in action, including understanding how legal issues affect the day-to-day life of planners, a field trip, and guest speakers. In Part III we will take a close look at current issues and problems in planning law, including indigenous-municipal planning relationships, the Places to Grow legislation, and the zoning of rooming houses.

PLA1105H – Planning Decision Methods II

Quantitative data can help illuminate planning issues. This class introduces quantitative methods with the opportunity to develop and practice the skills needed to use these methods appropriately. We cover data management and visualization, population forecasting, economic analysis, basic statistics, mapping and spatial analysis, as well as the epistemological positioning and ethics of these methods historically and today. The focus is on applying these methods critically to issues in planning.

PLA1516H – Special Topics: Human Rights and the City

Human rights are those rights we possess based on our inherent dignity and equal worth as human beings. Human rights and human rights violations intersect with planning issues such as municipal bylaws, affordable housing, public transit, safe injection sites, and methadone clinics, among others. The course content will include developing an understanding of the philosophical (Lefebvre’s right to the city and Fainstein’s the just city) as well as legal aspects of human rights (the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, human rights acts and case law), and explore how and why human rights intersect with cities in Canada, a least studied and understood area of planning. The course will be offered in a seminar format, which will allow students to choose urban issues, examine them closely, and make moral and/or legal arguments from the human rights perspective.  The course in a compressed format in the Winter 2020 semester with 3 hour sessions from 1-4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays the following dates:
January 14 (Tues) – Room 5017A
January 16 (Thurs) – Room 5016G
January 21 (Tues) – Room 5017A
January 23 (Thurs.) – Room 5016G
March 10 (Tues.) – Room 5017A
March 12 (Thurs.) – Room 5016G
March 17 (Tues.) – Room 5017A
March 19 (Thurs.) – Room 5016G

PLA1520H – Project Management and Conflict Resolution

Modern planning organizations have become increasingly project-focused and planning jobs often call for project management and conflict resolution skills.   As Clark (2002) notes:  “Project management should be an easy sell to the planning profession.  Many planners already use a disciplined approach towards managing projects; however, many of us don’t.  Project management provides the planner with the necessary tools and processes to bring complex and high-quality planning projects … on time and within budget.”

With respect to conflict resolution and negotiations, Forester (2006) notes: “Both planning practice and planning theory can use insights from the scholarly literature on dispute resolution and from astute mediation practice to help diverse and distrusting stakeholders to learn about issues and their differing interests, and to propose mutually beneficial, mutually agreeable, options for joint action.”

PLA1520H provides a foundation in project management and conflict resolution with particular emphasis on the skills and tools associated with the projects planners often lead (eg – planning studies, secondary plans, Official Plan reviews, zoning bylaw reviews, environmental/EA studies, cultural heritage studies, transportation studies, etc.). 

PLA1552H – City Planning & Management

The purpose of this course is to prepare professional planners to manage their own activities and provide leadership when operating as part of the city administration. This will be done by providing an understanding of how services and programs are established, planned and delivered by city governments and other agencies. The focus will be on providing students with practical approaches to implementing land use, environmental and other policies. Students will be introduced to the planning and management tools used to deliver the full range of programs a city must provide. The course will be delivered through readings, lectures and group discussions. Significant use will be made of case studies on city issues which students will analyze and discuss in class. This course is offered in alternate years with PLA1551H.

PLA1651H – Real Estate Development

Provides an overview of the Canadian and U.S. development industry within the real estate development process. The course then covers the financial basis of urban development projects (private and public finance); the participants; land assembly procedures; land banking; mixed-use projects; sectoral and scale differences within the development industry market and locational search procedures. Finally, it addresses the interface of the industry with the public sector.

PLA1653H – Urban Design & Planning Advanced Studio

This course is an advanced version of PLA 1652H. Emphasis will be placed on research applications to urban design, and the use of computer-generated images for design and presentation purposes.

PLA1655H – Urban Design & Development

This course looks at urban design strategies in the context of planning processes. It introduces students to a broad array of contemporary Canadian and U.S. municipal and regional design control policies and implementation tools, focusing on the most innovative and successful approaches but also examining lesser approaches and the structural constraints and value choices associated with them. Connections between design control policy and design outcomes are critically examined within the context of individual case studies.

PLA1702H – Pedestrians/Streets/Public Space


JPG1111H – Research Practice in Geography

This course provides students with an opportunity to develop or advance their understanding of social research methods through in-depth examination of research approaches, design, ethics, rigour, and a range of qualitative and some quantitative methods. Specific methods covered in the course include on-one-one interviews, focus groups, surveys, as well as emerging methods (e.g., photo voice, go-along interviews). The course also covers cross-cultural and Indigenous approaches to research. The goals of the course will be to provide students with the knowledge needed to effectively evaluate research, understand the process of research design, formulate research questions, and develop a research proposal. 

JPG1120H – Advanced Qualitative Research

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. 

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. This course is taught at UTM campus with a video link to STG campus.

JPG1429H – Political Ecology of Food Agriculture

Agrifood systems, connecting production and consumption, markets and various types of agrarian labour, are undergoing profound social and ecological change. Among these developments are large-scale land grabs, the financialization of food and farming, challenges to settler agriculture and the resurgence of indigenous food systems, the emergence of robust ‘urban’ and ‘rural’ alternatives to industrial and colonial agriculture. In trying to make sense of these changes, and the various social movements that have emerged in their wake, this course deploys the related paradigms of agrarian political economy and political ecology to analyze the forces and social relations that define land-based and food-focused transformations, both historically and in the contemporary moment. The course examines the often forgotten roots of contemporary debates in political ecology and food, that is, the enduring agrarian question. The agrarian question examines the extent to which capital has transformed agricultural production and the degrees to which producers have been able to resist dispossession and the industrialization and capitalization of agriculture. The course starts with foundational perspectives on the agrarian question from the early 20th century before discussing the renaissance of these debates in the 1970s and 1980s and the emergence during this time of political ecology as a critical approach to the study of food and land-based practices. Updating these earlier debates the course tackles a number of defining contemporary developments, as noted above, that are reshaping the meaning and character of land and food. 

JPG1502H – Cities of Global South

In this course we will critically examine “global urbanism” while paying explicit attention to how cities of global South have been studied, understood and depicted in global urban research. In the past two decades, influential policymakers have promulgated the “global cities” paradigm, which frames 21st century urbanism in global terms. According to the “global cities” paradigm “global” cities of the North, such as New York, London and Tokyo are at the pinnacle of globalization. In contrast, cities of the global South are consistently portrayed as “mega” cities that are disorderly, polluted, chaotic, ungovernable, and marked by infrastructure collapse. In short, cities of the global South are mega cities with mega problems. In this course we will begin by examining policy-oriented as well as academic literature in order to understand how the global cities paradigm was given coherence and propagated across the world.

JPG1503H – Space, Time, Revolution

This graduate seminar examines the relations between critical spatio-temporal and socio-spatial thought and new conceptions of radical politics. Its references are twofold: on the one hand, it surveys the recent attempts of such thinkers as Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Daniel Bensaïd, Jacques Rancière, Giorgio Agamben, Bruno Bosteels and Peter Hallward to re-theorize revolution in the face of global liberaldemocratic hegemony; on the other hand, it interrogates their conceptions of ‘event’, ‘situation’, ‘dissensus’, ‘exception’ and ‘communism’ in the historical court of actual revolutionary experiences produced by anti-colonial and socialist politics, especially at such moments as 1789, 1791-1803, 1848, 1871, 1917, 1949, 1968. The readings for this course will therefore draw on both contemporary theoretical texts and classic accounts of revolutionary subjectivity that highlight its spatio-temporal and socio-spatial dimensions, in the vein of Kristin Ross’s The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune as much as Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth.

JPG1504H – Institutionalism & Cities

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.

JPG1506H – State/Space/Difference

With the global rise of right-wing populism, many nations in the west are witnessing a resurgence of the constitution of difference as alterity, manifest in heightened racism, sexism, anti-immigrant sentiment and other oppressive constructions as populist governments and movements promote a hardening of borders, and a construction of a sense of ‘a people’ mobilized against difference. In this course we investigate the re-emerge of right-wing populism with a particular focus on its normalization of difference as alterity, and the mobilization of alterity in the constitution of a body politic. But populism is a contested concept. Is populism an ideology, discourse, a political logic, or a style? Is the contemporary rise in right wing populism different from its antecedents? What is its relationship to totalitarianism? In this course we will investigate different conceptual framings of populism (and its sister concepts) as articulated through the lens of key theorists (Arendt, Laclau and Mouffe, Taggart, Gramsci, Deleuze and Guattari, Butler and others); its relationship to authoritarianism and fascism; its particular geographies, and some of its histories, expressed in varied contemporary dynamics in the United States and Europe; and modes of contestation.

JPG1507H – Housing Markets & 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. 

JPG1520H – Contested Geographies of Class-Race Formation

How are spatial, racial, and class inequalities produced and contested in mutually constituted ways? Why are class inequalities always spatial and racial inequalities? We begin with two theorists who have had an enormous influence on writings on class: Karl Marx and Pierre Bourdieu (a third, Antonio Gramsci, will be considered through Stuart Hall). We follow this with key writings in the geographical traditions by Ruthie Gilmore, David Harvey, and Doreen Massey. I give priority to the race-class-power nexus through the work of Stuart Hall, Frantz Fanon, C L R James, Cedric Robinson, W E B Du Bois, and a number of exciting and relevant monographs. 

JPG1554H – Transportation & Urban Form

The need to reduce automobile dependence and congestion has been argued widely in recent years, and urban form has been identified as a major aspect influencing choice of travel mode. The combined imperatives of sustainability, healthier cities, and worsening congestion has prompted an increasingly rich body of research on the relationships between urban form, transport infrastructure, and travel patterns, and an array of new methodological approaches to research them. This course critically examines this research and examines planning strategies that seek to influence travel through coordinated transport investment and land use and design control. Both regional and neighbourhood scale issues and strategies will be addressed. The geographic focus of the course will largely be metropolitan regions in Canada and the United States, but there will be opportunity to examine other national contexts. 

JPG1558H – The 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.

JPG1615H – Planning the Social Economy

What would it take to build a ‘social economy,’ an economy rooted in the principles of social justice, democratic governance and local self-reliance? What are the progressive and regressive implications of such an undertaking? JPG 1615 will explore these questions both theoretically and practically. Theoretically, with recourse to some canonical and more recent writings about the interface between ‘society’ and ‘economy’. Practically, the course will look at what role municipal governments could and do play in building the social economy. The case of social housing in the GTA serves as an example—as well as a context for learning about key tools in local economic development. The course will also consider how communities and neighbourhoods are growing increasingly active in developing alternative economic institutions, such as cooperatives, participatory budgets and community development financial institutions in order to institutionalize the social economy at the local scale.

JPG1706H – Violence & Security

This course explores the shifting spatiality of organized violence, as well as changing theories of war and in/security. From the historical nationalization of legitimate war as a project of ‘internal’ and ‘external’ colonialism, to the disciplining of labouring bodies as part of the rise of geo- and bio-political forms, to the contemporary securitization of everyday urban life and the blurring of the borders of military and civilian, war and peace, and ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ state space, this seminar tracks the geographies of the political through the logistics of collective conflict. The course will examine perpetual, urban, and privatized forms of war that trespass modern legal, political, ontological, and geographical borders. Finally, we will explore problems of war ‘at home’. How does the practice of war within the nation and the productive nature of war for domestic politics trouble our assumptions about the nation state, citizenship and ‘normal’ political space and time?

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.

JPG2150H – Special Topics: Geographies of Decolonization and Liberation

Increasingly, Indigenous, Black and other racialized peoples are coming into dialogue, relationship and solidarity to resist against colonial and racial forms of dispossession and violence, while also envisioning and practicing radical traditions of decolonization, resurgence and liberation. This course examines the interconnected geographies of settler colonialism, racial capitalism and white supremacy, as well as those of decolonization, liberation and self-determination. Specifically, the course will examine how core geographic concepts such as space, place, territory, land, and the scale of the intimate are sites of colonial and racial dispossession and violence, as well as sites for decolonial thought and practice. We will engage with scholarship within the discipline of geography as well as geographically-focused works primarily by Indigenous, Black and other racialized scholars, activists and artists.

JSE1708H – The Development of Sustainability Thought

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.

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.