B4: Boundaries

Part A: Boundaries

Team Lead:

Roger Keil

Team Members & Area of Study:

Mark Whitehead (Birmingham)
Ludger Basten (the Ruhr)
Roger Keil (Frankfurt & Toronto)
Laam Hae (Seoul)
Shubhra Gururani (Delhi/Gurgaon)
Sara Macdonald (Toronto)

Research Context, Methods & Goals:

Suburbanization redefines urban boundaries conceptually and physically. Chief among those is the constantly changing relationship of nature and urban society.

This relationship was studied from two perspectives.  The first involved study of the traditional means of metropolitan governance through buffer zones (greenbelts, wedges, national parks) that contain and govern suburban expansion and/or conserve natural or agricultural landscapes around metropolitan centres. This required a review of the existing literature on these boundaries using an urban political ecology lens. By conducting interviews with politicians, local residents, planners, environmentalists and developers, the team looked at historic and contemporary examples of greenbelt policy (and related growth policy measures) in relation to suburban expansion and suburban ways of life (e.g. uses of space that shift from production to consumption) in Toronto (Keil & Macdonald), Birmingham (Whitehead), the Ruhr (Basten), Frankfurt (Keil), Seoul (Hae), and Delhi/Gurgaon (Gururani). The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation (MCRI partner) was involved with the Toronto case study.

Part B: Northern Suburbanisms

Team Lead:

Rob Shields (University of Alberta)

Research Context, Methods & Goals:

Using comparative cases, the team studied ways in which suburbanization, due to its more-than-local effects coupled with changing lifestyles, alters global ecological relationships and scales. It also looked at the ways in which this is particularly apparent in suburbanization in northern climates.

Methods included interviews with key informants and group interviews, facilitated community forums to elicit research concerns and opportunities.

This research built upon methods developed in earlier research on Fort McMurray and an ongoing partnership with the community in public research. 

Presentations & Publications:

Conference and Workshop Presentations

Publications and Other Dissemination