Planning Course Timetable Fall 2020 – Winter 2021

Fall 2020

Course Code Course Title Instructor MSc Pl Specialization Delivery Method Time Online Cap (Section (9101) In Person Cap (Section 0101)
PLA1101H Planning History, Thought and Practice Lindsay Stephens Core Dual Wednesdays, 1-4pm 20 10 (3 sections, 0101, 0102, 0103), in class activities to rotate
PLA1102H Planning Decision Methods I Carolyn DeLoyde Core Online Tuesdays, 12-3pm 35  
PLA1106H Workshop in Planning Practice Katharine Rankin, Michelle Berquist Core Dual Tuesdays, 5-8pm 25 10
PLA1107Y Current Issues Paper Lindsay Stephens Core Dual Mondays, 10am-12pm 20 10 (2 sections, 9101, 9102), in class activities to rotate
PLA2000H Advanced Planning Theory Sue Ruddick Core Online Wednesdays, 3-5pm 1st year PhD Planning only  
PLA2001H Planning Colloquium Sue Ruddick Core Online Tuesdays, 5-8pm 1st year PhD Planning only  
JPG1503H Space, Time, Revolution Kanishka Goonewardena UPD Online Wednesdays, 5-8pm 20  
JPG1512H Place, Politics and the Urban Alan Walks UPD, SPP Online Fridays, 12-3pm 20  
JPG1516H Declining Cities Jason Hackworth UPD, SPP, EDP Online Tuesdays, 3-5pm 20  
JPG1525H* Urban, Regional and Community Economic Development Jason Spicer UPD, SPP, EDP Online Mondays, 4-6pm 20  
JPG1558H History & Geography of Cycles and Cycling Lea Ravensbergen TRANS Online Wednesdays, 10am-12pm 20  
JPG1616H The Cultural Economy Debby Leslie EDP, SPP Online Mondays, 2-4pm 20  
JPG1621H Innovation and Governance Harald Bathelt EDP, UPD Dual Tuesdays, 10am-12pm 10 10
PLA1654H Urban Design Research Methods Paul Hess UD, UPD Dual Thursdays, 1-4pm 10 10
PLA1656H Land Use Planning Jeffrey Cantos, Renee Gomes UPD, ENV Online Mondays, 6-8pm 20  
PLA1703H Transportation Planning and Infrastructure Matti Siemiatycki TRANS, UPD, EDP, ENV Online Thursdays, 10am-1pm 20  
JPG1812Y* (Fall-Winter) Planning for Change Julie Mah, Tim Ross ENV, SPP, UPD, EDP - Consult Director Dual Fridays, 9am-12pm 10 10
JPG1814H Cities and Immigrants Vincent Kuuire SPP Online Thursdays, 1-4pm 20  
JPG1818H The Geography and Planning of Climate Action and Activism Sue Ruddick UPD, ENV, SPP Online Thursdays, 4-6pm 20  
JPG1835H Anti-Colonial Planning Heather Dorries UPD, SPP, ENV 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 UPD, SPP Online Wednesdays, 10am-1pm 20  

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Winter 2021

Course Code Course Title Instructor MSc Pl Concentration Time
PLA1103H Legal Basis of Planning Ian Andres, Max Laskin Core Tuesdays, 6-9pm
PLA1105H Planning Decision Methods II Jason Spicer Core Mondays, 10am-1pm
JPG1120H Advanced Qualitative Methods: Methodology and Epistemological Foundations for Planning and Geography Katharine Rankin All Tuesdays, 1pm-3pm
JPG1400H Advanced Quantitative Methods Christopher Higgins All Tuesdays, 9am-12pm
JPG1428H Managing Urban Ecosystems Tenley Conway ENV Mondays 1-3pm
JPG1504H Institutionalism and Cities: Space, Governance, Property & Power Andre Sorensen UPD Mondays, 3-5pm
JPG1507H Housing Markets and Housing Policy Analysis Greg Suttor UPD, EDP, SPP Wednesdays, 12-3pm
JPG1511H The Commons: Geography, Planning, Politics Sue Ruddick SPP, ENV, UPD Thursdays, 1-3pm
PLA1520H Project Management and Conflict Resolution Rob Dowler Core Tuesdays, 3-5pm
PLA1551H Policy Analysis John Farrow   Thursdays, 10am-12pm
PLA1601H Environmental Planning and Policy Carolyn DeLoyde ENV, SPP, UPD Mondays, 3-6pm
PLA1651H Real Estate Development Peter Zimmerman EDP, UPD Wednesdays, 4-6pm
PLA1652H Introduction to Urban Design and Planning Kanishka Goonewardena UD, UPD Tuesdays, 12-3pm and Thursdays, 3-5pm
PLA1655H Urban Design & Development Robert Freedman UD, UPD Mondays, 6-9pm
PLA1702H Pedestrians/ Streets/ Public Space Paul Hess UD, SPP, UPD Wednesdays, 9am-12pm
JPG1825H Black Geographies of the Atlantic Rachel Goffe SPP Thursdays, 3-6pm
JPG1909H Advanced GIS Data Processing Jue Wang   Wednesdays, 10am-12pm
JPG2151H Special Topics: Natural Heritage System Planning Carolyn DeLoyde ENV, UPD, SPP Wednesddays, 3-6pm
ENV1444H Capitalist Nature (Contact School for the Environment for enrolment) Scott Prudham ENV, SPP, EDP Thursdays, 11am-2pm
JSE1708H Sustainability and the Western Mind (Contact Munk Global Affairs program for enrolment) John Robinson   Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-12pm

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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.  

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.

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. 

PLA1654H: Urban Design Research Methods

This course covers methods used in urban design research and practice. The emphasis is on learning from the urban environment through observation, field surveys, and interviews. Additional areas of focus include methods of design generation and presentation; and methods for integrating public participation in the design process. 

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 and Infrastructure

Infrastructure is the term that describes the transportation systems, sewers, pipes, power lines, health, education, justice and recreation facilities that provide urban dwellers with necessary public services. In recent years, billions of dollars of public money have been spent upgrading existing transportation systems and infrastructure assets, and planning and delivering new facilities. Infrastructure has many impacts on the way that people in cities live. The way that transportation and infrastructure systems are planned, financed, and distributed impact on environmental sustainability, job creation, social equity, economic development, and urban livability. Moreover, infrastructure has the potential to both serve existing populations, and shape the way that future communities are built. Through lectures, discussions, workshops, readings of scholarly articles and case studies, the course will aim to engage students in the key topics and debates related to the provision of urban transportation systems and infrastructure. Topics to be covered will include: project planning, causes and cures for cost overruns, financing mechanisms such as public-private partnerships, and the politics of facility planning and management.

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. 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. 

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. 

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.) 

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.

PLA1551H: Policy Analysis

This course introduces and critically assesses several methods for the analysis of public policy prior to its implementation. It begins by discussing techniques based on the criterion of efficiency as applied in private sector decision-making. This is then contrasted with approaches that incorporate a broader social or community perspective. Finally, the course considers the differential impacts of public policy on particular groups within society and ways of capturing this. Cases are drawn from many areas of planning to illustrate the capabilities, limitations and assumptions underlying each approach. 

PLA1601H: Environmental Planning and Policy

This course covers the basic principles of environmental planning. Emphasis is placed on environmental planning and policy-making in an urban context. The sustainability of urban settlements will be the overarching question throughout the course. While it does introduce some technical tools, the principal aim will be to enable thinking and analysis related to this question. The course is broad in scope but also allows students an opportunity to explore topics of special interest. It will offer a combination of North American examples and a comparative international perspective. 

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.

PLA1652H: Introduction to 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.

PLA1655H: Urban Design and 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

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.

Given the enormity the subject, the course, too, will need to exclude many topics. Indeed, it will exclude more than is covered. That said, the course will begin with a brief discussion of how public space is defined and move on to the history of the construction of the modernist street. From there, it will touch on research relating urban from to walkability and health, and then move to changing ideas about street design. The course will finally return to more political themes about changing street design and gentrification, and streets as places where political dissent and social difference is both controlled and expressed. 

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). 

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.