Fall 2022 Graduate Planning Timetable

The below timetable is subject to change.  

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are offered through affiliated departments. Please contact the host department for enrolment instructions.  

Geography & Planning students have priority enrolment for courses. Course enrolment for students from other departments is available online via Acorn on August 25, 2023.  

For JPG courses, the department does not require any forms from students outside the department – if space is available students are welcome to enroll using ACORN. If space is not available, students will be added to the enrolment waitlist. If your home department requires a signature in order to approve your enrollment please send the form by email to graduate.geography@utoronto.ca (for JPG courses). 

Core PLA courses are restricted to planning students only. Priority for all other PLA courses will be for students in the planning program. Students from other programs must contact the department for permission to enrol – we will consider requests starting mid-August. 

Students can access course materials on Quercus.  

Building locations for STG can be found on the STG campus map.  

Course Code 

Course Title 






Planning History, Thought and Practice 

N. Subramanyam                    

Wed 3pm-6pm 


  CORE MSc Pl yr 1


Planning Decision Methods II 

J. Spicer 

Mon 3pm-6pm 


  CORE MSc Pl yr 1


Workshop in Planning Practice 

T. Ross, M. Berquist 

Tues 5pm-8pm 


  CORE MSc Pl yr 2


Current Issues Paper 

K. Kamizaki 

Mon 9am-11am (Fall-Winter) 


  CORE MSc Pl yr 2


Advanced Planning Theory 

K. Kamizaki 





Planning Colloquium 

K. Kamizaki 





Urban, Regional and Community Economic Development 

J. Spicer 

Tues 12pm-3pm 




Introductory Studio in Urban Design and Planning 

S. Ghanbarzadeh 

Tues 9am-12pm, Thurs 2pm-5pm 




Land Use Planning  

J. Cantos, R. Gomes

Mon 6pm-8pm 




Pedestrians, Streets and Public Space 


Thurs 1pm-4pm 




Statistical Testing and Analysis  H. Bathelt Tues 9am-12pm RW107 All


Housing Markets and Housing Policy Analysis

G. Suttor 

Thurs 10am-12pm 




Place, Politics and the Urban 

A. Walks 

Fri 2pm-5pm 




Urban Problems 

J. Hackworth 

Tues 3pm-5pm 




The Cultural Economy 

D. Leslie 

Mon 11am-1pm 




Disability and the City 

R. Buliung 

Wed 10am-1pm 




Queer Geographies 

N. Oswin 

Tues 10am-12pm 



URD1501H (Architecture)* 

Implementing the Missing Middle 1

M. Piper 

Thurs 9am-12pm



Concentration column indicates the MScPl Concentration to which the elective may be applied; students are welcome to consult the concentration advisors about the relationship between a particular course and a concentration, if they wish to take courses outside the department toward completion of their concentrations, and/or if a particular course is not being offered and they wish to find a substitute appropriate for a concentration. 

Course Descriptions 

PLA1101H Planning History, Thought and 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. 

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. 

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. 

PLA1525H 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.  

PLA1652H Introductory Studio in Urban Design and 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. 

PLA1702H Pedestrians, Streets and Public Space 

Streets compose, by far, the largest component of the publicly owned territory of cities. They are used daily by most people in a wide variety of capacities and contexts, as transportation facilities, as spaces of consumption and leisure, as places of politics and protest, as places to make a living, and as places to live for the unhoused. Streets are both one of the most every day, non-remarkable functional spaces, and places of intense politics, exclusion, and surveillance. This course will consider streets as public space, especially from the perspective of their use by pedestrians. This is an enormous topic that incorporates: the nature of public space; how streets are designed and for whom, and how this is institutionalized and changing; the political and social construction of how streets “should” be used and how this use is controlled in terms of both activities and people; streets as a place for illicit activities and for the expression of dissent; and much more. 

JPG1170H Statistical Testing and Analysis 

This course advances important quantitative methods and techniques used in the analysis of empirical data in Geography, Planning and other Social Sciences. It aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of statistical methods for graduate students required to (i) quantify relations and dependencies between variables and (ii) conduct statistical tests in a variety of applications related to the Canadian urban system. The topics of the course include probability distributions, statistical testing and inference, as well as linear and some non-linear, simple and multiple regression and correlation techniques. The application of these methods through the use of statistical software (primarily SPSS) – both menu- and code-based – will also be part of the course. Canadian Census data comprising a large set of socio-economic variables for metropolitan/urban areas for the years 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 will be the basis for analyses conducted in class and for the assignments. Students are required to have some background knowledge of research design, basic descriptive statistics, testing and regression analysis at the undergraduate level. The course will help students develop an intuitive, as well as a more formal understanding of these methods. Although formal language will be used, the course does not require in-depth mathematical knowledge.   

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. 

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 Urban Problems 

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?   

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. 

JPG1820H Disability and the City 

What is disability? And, what do we think we know about it? What is everyday life like for persons with disabilities in the city? What does it mean to think about disability intersectionally? And, what, if any, gap is there between the rights of persons with disabilities and how systems, services, and insitutions function (or don’t)? These are just some of the questions that we will address in this course. For many of you, this is likely your first course about disability. To help navigate this space, we begin by working through different ways of conceptualizing disability – i.e., the “models” of disability. Here, we will consider everything from theological perspectives on disability, to the social model and beyond. Within this early part of the course, we will take on and work through fairly recent ontological and epistemological debates regarding the “definition” and “description” of disability. From there, we will move closer to the everyday lives of persons with disabilties in the contemporary city. We will not necessarily limit our analysis to the Western context, and will consider disability within a global cities context. In the second half of the course, we will work through and learn how to navigate the terrain of disablity rights, moving ever closer to disability and the city. Here, we will use case studies (from education, to school transport to bike lanes and active transport infrastructre more broadly), and – COVID willing, experiential learning, to explore the realization (or lack thereof) of disability rights within the context of the institutional, material, and social dimensions of cities.     

GGR1822 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.   

URD1501H Implementing the Missing Middle