Winter 2023 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, 2022.  

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 (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 Decision Methods I 

M. Siemiatycki                    

Mon 10am-1pm 


  CORE MSc Pl yr 1


Legal Basis of Planning 

I. Andres and M. Laskin

Tues 6pm-9pm 


   CORE MSc Pl yr 1


Communication in the Face of Power 

L. Stephens                       

Wed 12pm-3pm 


   CORE MSc Pl yr 1


Special Topics: Anti-Imperialism and Planning 

Yogendra Shakya

Thurs 3-5pm 




Management for Planners 

John Farrow 

Thurs 10am-12pm 




Environmental Planning 

N. Subramanyam                    

Mon 3pm-6pm 




Real Estate Development 

P. Zimmerman

Wed 4pm-6pm 




Advanced Studio in Urban Design and Planning 

S. Ghanbarzadeh

Tues and Fri 2pm-5pm 

Old room location: SS617 




Urban Design & Development 

R. Freedman 

Mon 6pm-8pm




Transportation Planning 

M. Siemiatycki                    

Tues 12pm-2pm 




Advanced Quantitative Methods 

C. Higgins 

Tues 10am-12pm 




Greening the City: Urban Environmental Planning and Management 

T. Conway 

Fri 10am-12pm 




Political Ecology of Food and Agriculture 

M. Ekers 

Tues 10am-12pm 




Global Urbanism and Cities of the Global South 

R. Narayanareddy 

Wed 10am-12pm 




Institutionalism and Cities: Space, Governance, Property & Power 

A. Sorensen 

Thurs 1pm-3pm 




Production of Space 

C. Santos

Mon 12-3pm 




Planning the Social Economy 

K. Rankin 

Tues 1pm-4pm 




Social Planning and Policy 

K. Kamizaki

Wed 3-6pm 




Cities and Immigrants 

V. Kuuire 

Thurs 9am-11am 




Black Geographies of the Atlantic 

R. Goffe 

Thurs 11am-1pm 




Advanced GIS Data Processing 

J. Wang 

Wed 3pm-5pm 




Special Topics: Qualitative Data Analysis - Coding, Interpreting, and Writing Qualitative Research 

Z. Hyde 

Mon 1pm-3pm 



URD1502H Implementing the Missing Middle 2 M. Piper TBD TBD  


Selected Topics in Urban Design: Engagement 

L. Cappe 





Sustainability and the Western Mind 

J. Robinson 

Thurs 10am-1pm 



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 


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?  

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. 

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 the bureaucracy (organizing processes for citizen participation) or outside of it (as community-based planners). 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 explores a range of communication skills required for planners committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, and working to promote social justice in communities, cities and regions It responds to the Planning Program’s mission, which includes a “commitment to humane city-regions, healthy environments and social well-being for everyone (especially, for those who have been historically marginalized through traditional development practices),” by advocating for equitable and community driven transformations in both the planning profession and the spaces for which we plan.  " 

PLA1516H Special Topics: Anti-Imperialism and Planning 

This course will examine how current structures of oppression, inequality and conflict are deeply rooted in the supremacist legacies of imperialism. The course will also look at how imperialist legacies are genealogically linked with colonialism, capitalism and neoliberalism. Importantly, the course will investigate how our dominant frameworks for planning societies, spaces and programs/services continue to be situated within imperialist modes of knowledge and progress. A key goal of the course is to bring focus on the rich but underexplored history of anti-imperialist schools of thought, social movements and solutions. In particular, the course will shed light on the anti-imperialist demands and ‘worldmaking’ that radical social movements led by Black, Indigenous, Dalit, Queer/Trans Justice, Disability/Crip Justice and other historically marginalized constituents are championing. As part of course work, students will examine how planning frameworks can center historically marginalized constituents and their radical demands (e.g., reparations, defunding of police, abolition of carceral systems, status for all, climate justice) in ways that overcome legacies of imperialism. 

PLA1552H Management for Planners 

In order to respond to the multi-faceted challenges of rapid urban growth, climate change, and urban inequity professional planners are required to lead and manage multidisciplinary teams and large departments. This course is designed to introduce theoretical concepts and build the planner’s practical problem-solving, communication, and implementation skills so that they are effective leaders and team players. Participants will explore the differences between leadership and management in the public and private sectors and the interplay between critical organizational processes.

Classes will be seminars involving guided discussions based on readings about current theory complemented by case studies simulating situations from city government and planning practice. The case studies will involve students in role-playing real situations. Guest speakers from Canada in person and via video links will join some classes. This is an interactive course that is designed to provide an opportunity for participants to apply organizational and management theory to real situations and by so doing develop their personal leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills to a level that will make them effective when working in organizations.

Participants will achieve an understanding of how their planning knowledge can shape policy and be effectively implemented through organizations and established institutions. Participants will work on real cases and through interactive role play develop skills that can be applied in workplace situations. They will learn the importance of managing culture, communications, change, and motivation.

PLA1601H Environmental Planning 

"The scope of environmental planning has expanded significantly in recent decades, beyond its initial focus on wilderness preservation or environmental impact management, to include planning for climate change adaptation, resiliency, disaster recovery, and transitions to a just green economy. However, the profession grapples with enduring problems like planning for green spaces in marginalized communities, developing and retrofitting infrastructure for clean water provision, stormwater management, and waste disposal, addressing pollution and hazardous waste disposal, and preventing sprawl. In addition, global interconnections have complicated the scope of problems that need to be addressed and created opportunities for learning and cooperation across contexts. This course introduces students to key concepts, issues, tools, practices, and controversies in environmental planning in the North American context with examples, comparisons, and interconnections drawn from international cases in selected modules. Through course materials, students will confront planning’s culpability in contributing to environmental racism and learn about radical alternatives that propose just and transformative change. The course largely focuses on urban contexts, but we will approach issues and corresponding solutions critically to question their possibilities and limits in a global, interconnected world confronting the growing impacts of climate change.  

This course actively centers the aims of the Graduate Planning Program Mission. It enables students to examine the tensions and synergies between theory and practice in the subfield of environmental planning. It also equips students to develop planning ideas that envision “sustainable, accessible, beautiful and just” places. " 

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. 

PLA1703H Transportation Planning 

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, exclusion, economic development, and urban livability. Now the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the provision and usage of transportation and infrastructure, with dramatic impacts on communities and their futures. 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 in a post-pandemic world. Topics to be covered will include: project planning, causes and cures for cost overruns, infrastructure and its impacts on equity and social exclusion, financing mechanisms such as public-private partnerships, and the politics of facility planning and management. 

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 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. 

JPG1502H Global Urbanism and Cities of the 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 

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. 

JPG1522H Production of Space 

This seminar investigates articulations of aesthetic, technological and political forces in the production of space—understood as the triad of ‘conceived space’, ‘perceived space’ and ‘lived space’, following Henri Lefebvre’s influential theorization in The Production of Space. 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’, ‘spectacle’, ‘alienation’, ‘governmentality’, ‘subjectivity’, ‘ideology’, ‘decolonization’, ‘utopia’ and ‘revolution’ will feature prominently in this course, in order to theorize how space and society are co-produced, and why various political projects—capitalist, nationalist, fascist, colonial, socialist, feminist—are also spatial projects. As such, the prime objective of this course will be to develop critical-theoretical as well as conjunctural awareness of aesthetic, technological and political mediations of the socio-spatial dialectic--with special attention to the work of architects, urban designers, planners and geographers in the context of subaltern citizens pursuing their ‘right to the city’. 

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. 

JPG1813H Social Planning and Policy 

"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." 

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. 

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.   

JPG2150H Special Topics: Qualitative Data Analysis - Coding, Interpreting, and Writing Qualitative Research 

This course will train students to analyze qualitative data and write up findings from their research. It is designed for students who have already taken a qualitative methods course that provides training on data collection, such as interviewing, ethnographic observation, conducting focus groups, or discourse analysis. Our course will focus exclusively on the data analysis and writing phase and will help students to work with and interpret their data. Students should come to the course with original data they will work with over the span of the semester. This can be Masters students working with their thesis data, or PhD students who would like to work with or publish from their Masters research. Students can also come to the course with data from a pilot project that they are conducting in advance of their dissertation fieldwork, or from a project they are working on as a research assistant. Sources of original qualitative data include: individual interviews, focus group interviews, ethnographic fieldnotes, or textual materials (such as news articles, policy documents, or online content). This course will introduce qualitative data analysis as a collaborative process that happens through intensive engagement, sharing, and revising of one’s ideas and arguments. Thus, the class will involve a series of workshop and writing activities. Students will comment on each other’s work in class and through written peer-review exercises. Conceptualizing qualitative research as a community effort, we will spend significant time learning how to provide and receive helpful feedback and build peer support networks while in grad school. 

URD1505H Selected Topics in Urban Design: Engagement 


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.