Alan Walks

Title/Position:  Associate Professor
  Department of Geography, University of Toronto at Mississauga
   Ph.D. University of Toronto, M.A. Planning University of Waterloo

MCRI Projects: A1 Universal Benchmarking


Alan Walks’ research is concerned with understanding the causes and consequences of urban social and political inequality in the cities of the developed world, particularly those in Canada. The author of a number of scholarly articles and book chapters, he has examined the implications of predominant patterns of suburban growth for the trajectory of urban policy and national politics, as well as effects of changing urban policy on gentrification and concentration of poverty, among other things.

Research Interests: Urban Inequality and Social Polarization; Neighbourhood Effects on Political Attitudes and Ideology; Urban Development and Housing Policy

Selected Publications:

Walks, R. Alan (2010)  “Electoral Behaviour Behind the Gates: Partisanship and Political Participation among Canadian Gated Community Residents”. Area.  42 (1): 7-24

Walks, R. Alan (2010)  “New Divisions: Social Polarization and Neighbourhood Inequality in the Canadian City”, chapter in T.E. Bunting, P. Filion and R. Walker, (Eds.) Canadian Cities in Transition, 4th Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Walks, R. Alan (2009)  “The urban in fragile, uncertain, neoliberal times: towards new geographies of social justice?”. Canadian Geographer.  53 (3): 345-356

Walks, R. Alan, and August, M. (2008)  “The Factors Inhibiting Gentrification in Areas with Little Non-Market Housing: Policy Lessons from the Toronto Experience ”. Urban Studies.  45 (12): 2594-2625

Walks, R. Alan and Maaranen, R. (2008) “Gentrification, Social Mix and Social Polarization: Testing the Linkages in Large Canadian Cities”. Urban Geography. 29 (4): 293-326

Walks, R. Alan. (2008).  “Urban Form, Everyday Life, and Ideology: Support for Privatization in Three Toronto Neighbourhoods”. Environment and Planning A. 40 (2): 258 – 282

Walks, R. Alan  (2007)  “From Suburbanization to Super-Regions: The Political Challenge Facing Canadian Metropolitan Areas and Their Central Cities”. Plan Canada.  47 (3): 19—24

Walks, R. Alan (2007). “The Boundaries of Suburban Discontent? Urban Definitions and Neighbourhood Political Effects”. Canadian Geographer.  51 (2): 160 - 185

Walks, R. Alan. (2006) “Aestheticization and the Cultural Contradictions of Neoliberal (sub)Urbanism”. Cultural Geographies. 13 (3): 466 – 475

Walks, R. Alan. (2006)  “The Causes of City-Suburban Political Polarization? A Canadian Case Study”. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 96 (2): 390 – 414.

Walks, R. Alan, and Bourne, L.S. (2006) “Ghettos in Canadian Cities? Racial Segregation, Ethnic Enclaves and Poverty Concentration in Canadian Urban Areas”. Canadian Geographer. 50 (3): 273 – 297

Walks, R. Alan. (2006) “Homelessness, Housing Affordability and the New Poverty”, in T.E. Bunting and P. Filion (Eds.), Canadian Cities in Transition, 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 419 – 437.

Walks, R. Alan. (2005) “City-Suburban Political Polarization in Great Britain, 1950 – 2001”. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 30 (4):  500 – 517.

Walks, R. Alan. (2005) “The City-Suburban Cleavage in Canadian Federal Politics”. Canadian Journal of Political Science. 38 (2): 383 – 413

Walks, R. Alan. (2004)  “Place of Residence, Party Preferences, and Political Attitudes in Canadian Cities and Suburbs”. Journal of Urban Affairs.  26 (3): 269 – 295.  (Note: Winner of the Best Paper Award, for best paper presented at the 2003 annual meeting of the Urban Affairs Association).

Walks, R. Alan. (2004)  “Suburbanization, the Vote, and Changes in Federal and Provincial Political Representation and Influence between Inner Cities and Suburbs in Large Canadian Urban Regions, 1945 to 1999”. Urban Affairs Review.  39 (4): 411 – 440.

Walks, R. Alan. (2001) “The Social Ecology of the Post-Fordist/ Global City? Economic Restructuring and Socio-Spatial Polarisation in the Toronto Urban Region”. Urban Studies. 38 (3): 407 – 447.