Winter 2022 Graduate Planning Timetable

The below timetable is subject to change.

MSc Pl students should review Concentrations in Planning when selecting courses.

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

Winter session courses begin on January 10, 2022.

Students can access course materials on Quercus.

Building locations can be found on the STG campus map.

Courses marked as room “TBD” are expected to be delivered in person/on campus.

Course Code Course Title Instructor Day/Time Room
PLA1103H Legal Basis of Planning TBD Tuesdays, 6-9pm SS2125
PLA1105H Planning Decision Methods II J. Spicer Mondays, 10am-1pm SS561
PLA1108H Communication in the Face of Power TBD Fridays, 9am-12pm LA248
JPG1120H Advanced Qualitative Research: Methodology and Epistemological Foundations for Planning and Geography L. Ravensbergen-Hodgins Tuesdays, 3-5pm SS5017A
JPG1428H Greening the City: Urban Environmental Planning and Management T. Conway Mondays, 1-3pm SS5017A
JPG1429H Political Ecology of Food and Agriculture M. Ekers Tuesdays, 10am-12pm SS5016G
JPG1503H Space, Time, Revolution K. Goonewardena Wednesdays, 5-8pm SS5017A
JPG1507H Housing Markets and Housing Policy Analysis G. Suttor Wednesdays, 12-3pm SS5017A
PLA1552H City Planning and Management J. Farrow Thursdays, 10am-12pm SS5017A
JPG1554H Transportation and Urban Form TBD Tuesdays, 10am-1pm SS5017A
PLA1601H Climate Change and Resilience: Planning and Policy N. Subramanyam Mondays, 3-6pm SS5017A
JPG1615H Planning and the Social Economy TBD Tuesdays, 1-3pm SS5017A
PLA1651H Real Estate Development P. Zimmerman Wednesdays, 4-6pm (tentative) DA315
PLA1653H Advanced Studio in Urban Design and Planning P. Hess Tuesdays and Fridays, 2-5pm SS617
PLA1655H Urban Design & Development R. Freedman Mondays, 6-9pm DA340
PLA1702H Pedestrians, Streets, and Public Space P. Hess Thursdays, 12-3pm SS5017A
JPG1706H Violence and Security D. Cowen Thursdays, 2-5pm SS5016G
JPG1813H Planning and Social Policy S. Ruddick Wednesdays, 9am-12pm SS5017A
JPG1820H Disability and the City R. Buliung NEW TIME Wednesdays, 10am-12pm SS5016G
JPG1825H Black Geographies of the Atlantic R. Goffe Thursdays, 12-2pm SS5016G
JPG1828H Place and Indigenous Research N. Latulippe Fridays, 10am-12pm SS5017A
JPG1909H Advanced GIS Data Processing J. Wang Wednesdays, 2-4pm DV1143 (UTM)
JPG2150H Special Topics: Implementing the Missing Middle K. Chapple Fridays, 12-3pm SS5017A
JSE1708H* Sustainability and the Western Mind J. Robinson Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-12pm 315 Bloor St. W. (Munk School)

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Course Descriptions

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.

PLA1108H – Communication in the Face of Power

As has been widely documented in Planning Theory (e.g., John Forester, Planning in the Face of Power, year), planning action entails complex navigation of fields of power. Even within notoriously rigid bureaucratic systems, planners routinely engage strategies to subvert power, communicate counter-hegemonic information, and build coalitions for progressive change across unlikely constituencies. These strategies require communication skills for organizing and developing political strategy in the face of structural inequality and oppression, including race, class, gender, sexuality and disability. At the same time, planners also routinely interface with communities, whether from inside (organizing processes for citizen participation) or outside (as community-based planners) the bureaucracy. In so doing, they require skills in community engagement, community-based research, participatory action research, political strategy, participatory planning, indigenous planning, working with Indigenous rights holders, anti-oppression thinking and decolonial thinking. To do all of this communication labor effectively, planners require skills oriented to communicating strategy and results, including the use of digital tools, writing for non-professional audiences (e.g. op-edits), story-telling, and making podcasts, creative writing or theatre, and so on. This course spans the gamut of communication skills required for planners committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, working to promote social justice in communities, cities and regions.  

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.

JPG1428H – Greening the City: Urban Environmental Planning and Management

This course focuses on the recent efforts to ‘green the city’ by integrating vegetation and other green infrastructure into the built environment, including emerging research supporting such initiatives. We will examine greening goals associated with ecosystem service provisioning, individual and community well-being, environmental justice, and urban resiliency in light of climate change. The role of urban planners, municipal policy, private property owners, 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 specific decision-makers will be considered. 

JPG1429H – Political Ecology of Food and 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.

JPG1503H – Space, Time, Revolution

This graduate seminar explores historical, geographical and political aspects of revolution, with special reference to the making and unmaking of capitalism. In doing so, we will approach some key issues of space, time and revolution by revisiting the concepts and practices of the dialectic, ideology and history, in order to explicate their relationship to radical politics located within—and against—the historical geography of capitalism. This theoretical exploration will be complemented by comparative studies of several revolutionary experiences, such as the Haitian revolution, the Paris Commune, the Bolshevik revolution, and anti-colonial as well as feminist struggles in both colonies and metropoles. This course is intended as a study of subjective and objective conditions of revolutionary politics—past, present and future.

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.

PLA1552H – City Planning and 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.

JPG1554H – Transportation and 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.

PLA1601H – Climate Change and Resilience: 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.

JPG1615H – Planning and 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.

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 – Advanced Studio in Urban Design and Planning

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, 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.

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.

JPG1706H – Geographies of Violence and 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?

JPG1813H – Planning and Social Policy

(CORRECTED DESCRIPTION) The world is seeing a clear resurgence of the urgency of directly and explicitly addressing the needs of equity deserving groups in a way that builds on but goes beyond the remit of identity politics. We now have a much richer understanding of the socially structurally and institutionally embedded nature of identity politics — rather than simply the false assignation of identity as constituted through biology, movements like Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, CRIP and MAD movements, etc., have brought a deeper understanding of how policy planning and practice perpetuate structures of inequality. Key to a justice approach to social policy and planning is understanding how policy shapes a landscape of inclusion and exclusion and how ordinary people come to be “read”, rightly or wrongly, as particular subjects based on the prescriptive aspects of policy.

We are now at a moment when diverse social movements are beginning to take upon themselves the reimagining or promotion of much more ambitious alternative modes of governance, which would replace rather than simply amend existing structures. This can be found in widespread calls the redesign of institutional landscapes, from defunding of the police to expansive programs of truth and reconciliation. This course in social policy and planning calls upon us to rethink participation, consultation, experiential knowledge and our engagement as planners with existing power structures – this is not the moment to abandon social planning, but the time to reinvent it.

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.  

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.

JPG1828H – Place and Indigenous Research

This course considers the politics, agency and ethics of place within a research context. It seeks to normalize the meaningful consideration and application of anti-colonial and Indigenous perspectives and approaches in geographical and environmental research, what Tuck and McKenzie (2015) call critical place inquiry. Intended not only for students working with Indigenous communities and engaging Indigenous research paradigms and critiques of settler-colonialism, this course asks what research design looks like when Indigenous sovereignty, land stewardship, and guest and Treaty responsibilities are taken seriously. Attentive to methodology, what Margaret Kovach (2009) describes as knowledge belief system and methods, students will reflect on their worldview, relations of accountability, and the politics of knowledge production on Indigenous lands. The first half of this seminar course will focus on Indigenous conceptualizations and practices of place, agency, and coexistence. This will be followed by Indigenous, Indigenous-led, and anti-colonial research methodology, ethics, and methods/practice. Topics for discussion will include researcher preparation and relational accountability, place, space, and land, Indigenous knowledge and legal systems, research paradigms and ethics, land-based research methods, interpretive analysis and narrative.  

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.

JPG2150H – Special Topics: Implementing the Missing Middle

Students who want to take this course must first apply for instructor approval via the online form. The deadline to apply is November 15.

About half of Toronto and much of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) consists of a “yellowbelt” of single-family detached homes protected by restrictive zoning rules. With three million new residents projected for 2046, and a housing affordability crisis already in full swing, the region faces a pivotal decision point: can the GTA’s municipalities open up their neighbourhoods in a way that is equitable and sustainable but also politically and economically viable? Urban designers have advocated infill development in the form of a “missing middle” of multiplexes and mid-size apartments, but the municipalities have been slow to adopt and implement these ideas.

In this pilot research workshop, we will examine this issue of implementation through the lens of multiple disciplines, in recognition that adding new density is a complex and “wicked” problem. Together, we will think through issues of physical and financial feasibility, infrastructure gaps, regulatory barriers, socioeconomic and displacement impacts, political and messaging strategies, and cultural considerations, linking theory to practice. Guest speakers across disciplines at U of T will help us build a framework for analysis, while practitioner experts from urban designers to developers to politicians will weigh in on the challenges. In our analysis, we will pay particular attention to how the region can grow in a just way that disrupts patterns of segregation, exclusion, racism, and inequality. Our laboratory will be the GTA; we will work with the City of Toronto and four or five surrounding municipalities such as Mississauga and Brampton in order to develop an understanding of implementation challenges in a variety of contexts.

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. Contact the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy for enrolment.