To Suburbia & Beyond

Episode 3 the (Sub)urbanista Podcast features Roger Keil and his thoughts on global suburbanisms. Interviewed by Dr. Paul Maginn from the University of Western Australia, "To Suburbia & Beyond" was recorded at the 2018 American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in New Orleans, USA.

Click here to link to the podcast.




South Asian Urbanisms

A special issue on South Asian Urbanisms is now available in Economic and Political Weekly. The issue features papers from last year's South Asian Suburbanisms Workshop: Tracking Transformations in Agrarian-Urban Hinterlands of South Asia which took place February 23-25, 2017 in New Delhi, India.

The papers look at the dynamics of South Asian urbanization and how they differ from the dominant modes of suburbanisms and suburbanization in the Global North. The special issue includes the work of Shubhra Gururani (York University), Rajarshi Dasgupta (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Shruti Dubey (University of Delhi), Andrew Nelson (University of Texas), Malini Krishnankutty (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai), and more.

Click here to access the full issue:

Springtime in the Urban Periphery!

Due to the labour disruption at York University, the following events will be cancelled.

This spring, as part of its occasional SuburbsTALK series, the MCRI Global Suburbanisms will organize three events that feature presentations by international suburban experts. The series is loosely tied to the Spring Institute in Global Suburban Studies held in May 2018 in Florence and Milan, Italy. Two of the three talks at York University are concerned with Italian suburbanization.

Following last year’s final conference of the project, the talks also speak to the general “post-suburban” re-orientation of the Global Suburbanisms initiative as it seeks to define a renewed research agenda beyond the previous conceptual and empirical areas of scholarship among the more than 50 international researchers. Three areas in particular have been highlighted for future work: Health and suburbanization; suburban infrastructures; and suburban political ecologies. An additional research area focusing on the hemispheric suburbanization in the Americas is under development.

Lorenzo De Vidovich, Politecnico di Milano
Reframing Local Welfare Through Suburbs: Tales from Italy
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
1:00pm - 2:00pm, HNES 142

Marco Facchinetti, Politecnico di Milano
Urbanizing the Regions: Master planned transformations and the change of urban shapes
Friday, March 23, 2018
11:30am - 12:30pm, HNES 038

[Please note that this presentation will be part of a classroom presentation in the Faculty of Environmental Studies]

Igal Charney, University of Haifa
Urbanizing the Edge City: The Tysons experience
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm, 764 Kaneff Tower

Spring Institute in Global Suburban Studies

Florence and Milan (Italy)

April 30 – May 11, 2018

Advanced Master’s and PhD students, post-docs and early career researchers from the University of Waterloo and York University are invited to apply for the Spring Institute in Global Suburban Studies taking place in Italy in May 2018. A limited number of participants from other institutions can be accommodated.

Financially supported by the Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI) on Global Suburbanisms (, the Spring Institute will bring together leading international scholars in the field of sub/urban studies from York University, the University of Waterloo, University College London, Politecnico di Milano, and the University of Florence, with early career scholars and graduate students from Canada and Italy to provide an in-depth look at suburbanization processes.


The two-week long Spring Institute, structured around the themes of global suburbanization, land, and infrastructure, will combine formal and informal opportunities to study the sub/urban landscapes of Florence and Milan. It will include thematic lectures by international experts, field trips exploring the urban centres and peripheries of Florence and Milan, as well as career building workshops for professionals and early career academics.

Speakers include:

  • Sandro Balducci, Politecnico di Milano
  • Marco Facchinetti, Politecnico di Milano
  • Valeria Fedeli, Politecnico di Milano
  • Pierre Filion, University of Waterloo
  • Roger Keil, York University
  • Ute Lehrer, York University
  • Markus Moos, University of Waterloo
  • Giancarlo Paba, University of Florence
  • Camilla Perrone, University of Florence
  • Nick Phelps, UCL
  • Iacopo Zetti, University of Florence


Advanced Master’s and PhD students, post-docs and early career researchers from the University of Waterloo and York University with an interest in sub/urban studies are invited to apply and will receive priority in the selection. Applicants from other institutions will be accommodated if there is availability. This is not a course offered for credit at York University or the University of Waterloo.


Participants are NOT required to pay a registration fee for the Spring Institute in Global Suburban Studies. The MCRI Global Suburbanisms project has a travel reimbursement fund available to Canadian students. While participants are expected to pay for their own flight and travel and subsistence costs for their stay in Italy, they can apply to have these costs partially or fully subsidized by the MCRI fund after returning to their home. The MCRI Global Suburbanisms project will also pay for accommodation to be organized by the Institute, transport between Florence and Milan, most meals, and other travel, subsistence and course-related expenses. Participants are encouraged to apply for additional travel funding from their institution.

Application process:

Please send an expression of interest (no more than 500 words) outlining your research interests, how your work relates to questions of global suburbanization, and what you hope to gain from participation in the institute.

Submissions must include your full name, email address, institutional affiliation, program, and, if you are a student, the year of your expected graduation. Please send application materials to no later than February 16, 2018.

Highlights from After Suburbia: Extended Urbanization & Life on the Planet's Periphery

After Suburbia Staff & VolunteersMarking the culmination of seven years of research, the MCRI Global Suburbanisms Project held its final conference, After Suburbia: Extended Urbanization & Life on the Planet’s Periphery October 19-21, 2017 at York University in Toronto, Canada.

The conference was made possible with generous contributions and support from the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), York University’s Office of the President, Office of the Vice-President Academic & Provost, Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, the Faculty of Environmental Studies, the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), the Department of Dance and Theatre, the City Institute, and wonderful and committed volunteers. Thank you to all!

After Suburbia brought together academics, students, and practitioners from across the globe to study the suburbs from the perspective of governance, land, infrastructure, and comparative suburbanisms and included keynotes, panel session and roundtable discussions. Keynote speakers included Solly Angel (New York University, U.S.A); Roger Keil (York University, Canada); Crystal Legacy (University of Melbourne); Roberto Luís Monte-Mór (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil); Jennifer Robinson (University College London, UK); and Fulong Wu (University College London, UK).

Highlights from the three day event include:

Graduate Student Pre-Conference
The graduate student pre-conference took place during the afternoon of Thursday October 19 and brought together PhD students from Brazil, India, UK, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands to present their work on sub/urban theory and the urban periphery.

Solly AngelOfficial Conference Opening
The official conference opening included welcome remarks from Robert Haché, Vice-President Research & Innovation, Ravi de Costa, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Linda Peake, Director of the City Institute at York University, and Roger Keil, Principal Investigator of the MCRI Global Suburbanisms Project. Shlomo (Solly) Angel (New York University) followed with the keynote, “The New Urban Periphery, 1990-2015: Findings from a Global Sample of Cities.”

Migrating the MarginsMigrating the Margins
We were happy to partner with the Art Gallery of York University to present its fall exhibition Migrating the Margins during our conference opening and reception, the evening of Thursday October 19. The exhibition looks at how a new generation of Toronto artists are imagining place, picturing the future, and reflecting on the vast changes in the city’s culture as a result of decades of immigration and life in the suburbs.

Mayors PanelGTSWG Mayors Panel

The Greater Toronto Suburban Working Group’s (GTSWG) Mayors Panel, “Governing and Changing the Urban Periphery” took place during the lunch hour of Friday October 20. The panel was moderated by GTSWG and CITY Institute affiliate, Sean Hertel and featured: Mayor Rob Burton, Oakville; Mayor Linda Jeffrey, Brampton; Mayor Jeff Lehman, Barrie; and Mayor Steve Parish, Ajax.

Concord FloralConcord Floral
Conference participants attended a special staged reading of Dora award winning play, Concord Floral during the evening of Friday October 20. Laura Levin from York’s Department of Theatre, introduced the performance, including images from Erin Brubacher’s photo series, “This is my room. Look.” Thank you to the cast and crew, Erin Brubacher, Cara Spooner, Jordan Tannahill, Erum Khan, and Laura Levin for a memorable performance.

FES Zig Zag GalleryArt in FES Lounge
The FES Lounge in the Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies Building was transformed for the last day of the conference Saturday October 21 with images from Ute Lehrer, Markus Moos, and Robert Walter-Joseph’s exhibition, Urban Growth on the Periphery: Land, Urban Form, Infrastructure and Everyday Life. Drawing on Markus Moos and Robert Walter-Joseph’s recently edited volume Still Detached and Subdivided? Suburban Ways of Living in 21st Century North America (Jovis), this work demonstrates that aspects of this lifestyle occur simultaneously in urban and suburban places. Alongside Moos and Walter-Joseph’s work were visual impressions of urban infrastructure, taken by undergraduate students from York University who explored suburban areas in Canadian cities (Montreal, Toronto, Waterloo, Winnipeg, Vancouver) under the directorship of Ute Lehrer and Roger Keil,as well as photographs taken by graduate students who participated in international planning workshops on Global Suburbanisms (Leipzig, Germany; Montpellier, France; Shanghai, China; and Johannesburg, South Africa.) A visual essay with aerial photography, which is part of the forthcoming book The Suburban Land Question, co-edited by Richard Harris and Ute Lehrer (UTP), remains mounted on the floor of the ZigZag Gallery at the Faculty of Environmental Studies showing the similarities and differences of urban forms at the periphery.

After Suburbia in the Media:









New book edited by Roger Keil, Pierre Hamel, Julie-Anne Boudreau  & Stefan Kipfer


Governing Cities through Regions 9781771122771_cover_rb_modalcover
Canadian and European Perspectives
edited by Roger Keil, Pierre Hamel, Julie-Anne Boudreau  & Stefan Kipfer

'Governing Cities Through Regions broadens and deepens our understanding of metropolitan governance through an innovative comparative project that engages with Anglo-American, French, and German literatures on the subject of regional governance. It expands the comparative angle from issues of economic competitiveness and social cohesion to topical and relevant fields such as housing and transportation, and it expands comparative work on municipal governance to the regional scale.

With contributions from established and emerging international scholars of urban and regional governance, the volume covers conceptual topics and case studies
that contrast the experience of a range of Canadian metropolitan regions with a
strong selection of European regions. It starts from assumptions of limited
conversion among regions across the Atlantic but is keenly aware of the
remarkable differences in urban regions’ path dependencies in which the larger
processes of globalization and neo-liberalization are situated and


Sh!t Is Hot up in the 6 Right Now (Drake): the Toronto School of Urban Thinking

  The International Sociological Association’s (ISA) world congress is taking place at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre July 15 to 21, 2018. Don't miss the following events! PANEL: Sh!t Is Hot up in the 6 Right Now (Drake) – the Toronto School of Urban Thinking Wednesday July 18, 2018: 8:30am-10:20am Location: 715B (MTCC SOUTH BUILDING) […]

Special Issue: Planetary Urbanization

A special issue on planetary urbanization featuring MCRI affiliated researchers is now available in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Drawing on discussions between urban scholars at the City Institute at York University and the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto, the special issues features papers from the Planetary Urbanization Workshop held […]

Lorenzo De Vidovich "Transit networks are key to smart growth in suburbs"

  Lorenzo De Vidovich, PhD Candidate in Urban Planning, Design and Policy at the Politecnico di Milano and visiting scholar at the City Institute at York University recently wrote an article in The Conversation about the Italian experience of transit infrastructure and smart growth in the suburbs. "Italy’s big cities have historically faced a mismatch […]

New Book Considers the City from its Periphery

  Roger Keils' new book, Suburban Planet: Making the World Urban from the Outside In was recently featured in a yFile article: "Part of an Urban Futures Series produced by the publisher, Suburban Planet is a compelling response to 20th-century Marxist philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre’s demand not to give up urban theory as the […]

Towards/After Suburbia: FES Best of 2017

  Thank you to The Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University for including our Towards Suburbia seminar series and After Suburbia final conference on their Best of FES 2017 list. Click here to see the top ten that made the list.

This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada through funding from the Major Collaborative Research Initiative “Global suburbansims: governance, land, and infrastructure in the 21st century (2010-2017).