INI430H1S: Advanced Topics in Urban Studies II
Winter (January-April) 2014
The spectacle and excitement of mega-events such as the World Cup and Olympics capture the attention of television audiences world-wide, but the carefully choreographed images that are broadcast globally do much to obscure the processes, compromises and consequences in cities who play host to mega-events. These events are powerful tools for city branding. They are also potential opportunities for social movements and other groups and individuals to highlight their own sets of concerns. With recent headlines about security concerns and social movement protests in Brazil in the run up to the World Cup and calls for boycotts of the Sochi (Russian) Winter Olympics over issues of gay rights, we start to get a sense of these tensions. Using examples from mega-events in South Africa, Vancouver, Sochi, Brazil and Toronto, this course will explore the challenges and opportunities that cities and nations face in hosting such events.
Prerequisites waived, and spaces are available to non-Urban Studies students who have an interest in the subject matter (enrol on ROSI on a first-come, first-serve basis). This course will count towards core program requirements for Urban Studies as a core course (see Calendar), or can be used as an elective in Group F.
For more information, please contact the Urban Studies Program Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-978-5809.
Cancelled due to low enrolment:
INI438Y1Y: Advanced Urban Research Project
Starting in 2013, there are new options for the core courses in the Major and Specialist programs, where INI333H1 can be used as a core course.
INI333H1: Critical Approaches in Urban Studies
A common approach to studying the city is to quantify the outcome of processes and to rely on the scientific method and quantitative analysis to test hypotheses and ultimately create new knowledge. Critical approaches have been advanced on the belief that the notion of quantification, and that of positivism itself, could be inappropriate, if not altogether flawed. This course will introduce students to a variety of critical or alternative approaches to understanding urban dynamics.
INI334H1: Urban Field Course
Term and Time: TBA
Students will have the opportunity to travel to a destination city for a week-long examination of specific social, economic, physical, and/or environmental issues. The trip will include meetings with municipal representatives and other decision-makers (public and possibly private). The findings of the trip supplemented by bibliographic research and in-class discussion will form the basis of a major research essay. Each student is required to pay the cost of transportation and accommodation.
Prerequisite: INI235Y1, Registration in one of the Urban Studies POSts
INI438Y1: Advanced Urban Research Project
Term and Time: Year round, Mondays 1-3 p.m. (*corrected*)
This course will allow students to investigate an urban topic in depth in a guided seminar environment. Each step of the research process including proposal writing and refinement, bibliographic research, primary data acquisition, analysis and the production of a senior “thesis” will be the focus of this course. The course will emphasize the requirements and “tricks of the trade” for each step in the process, and also put an emphasis on the ability to articulate ideas successfully.
Prerequisite: INI235Y1, Registration in the USP Major POSt (Minors will be allowed once all Majors are accommodated).
For those of you who are interested in taking INI 437Y: Experiential Learning in Toronto & the GTA next year (this is Urban Studies' 4th year internship course), I want to provide you with some information on how to apply.
The course is a balloted course, and you therefore must complete a ballot and submit a 1 page resume to the Urban Studies Assistant by June 1st, 2013. You can obtain a ballot here:
The class meets on a near-weekly basis (though sometimes class meetings are held off-campus in the form of field trips to places like City Hall, Regent Park and King Spadina) and in addition, all students in the course participate in unpaid internships at non-profit, urban focused organizations throughout the city for 8 hours per week. Examples of organizations where students have been placed include: Toronto City Summit Alliance, Canadian Urban Institute, Centre for Community Learning and Development, Councillor Karen Stintz, Centre for Social Innovation, City of Toronto Planning Department and others.
If you have any questions regarding the course, please feel free to contact the Urban Studies Assistant for more information.
Shauna Brail, M.A. Pl, Ph.D.
The Urban Studies Program welcomes its newest faculty member, Dr. David Roberts.
Geography & Program in Planning
The Urban Studies Program
@ Innis College
Urban planners, engineers, economists, geographers, architects and environmental scientists (to name a few) all study the city from their specific theoretical and philosophical perspectives. The Urban Studies Program at Innis College is based on a recognition of this multidisciplinarity, and it aims to provide students with a multitude of lenses through which to observe, interpret and understand urban life.
The Program is suited for those students who wish to study cities using several disciplinary approaches. It is also of interest to those students who wish to become involved in urban issues in Toronto. The Program offers an internship in the office of either a municipal politician, non-profit research group, or other government organization as part of its experiential learning program. Class sizes are typically small and interaction with other students and professors is enriched
Because urban issues are so varied, a Specialist, Major or Minor in Urban Studies combines well with many other programs of study. Students are advised to consult the Program Director when designing programs that meet their particular interests.
The Program encourages students to take advantage of the Study Elsewhere Program at the University of Toronto to broaden their knowledge of cities.
Applying to U of T
If you are not currently a registered student at the University but would like to take Urban Studies as part of an undergraduate degree program, please visit Enrolment Services first.
For Urban Planning at the graduate level, please consult the Planning Program at the University of Toronto.
The Urban Studies Student Union (URSSU) represents specialists, majors, and minors in the Urban Studies program at UTSG. Our executive is elected to organize urban-focused academic and social events, provide peer support, and raise awareness about urban issues. This school year, our president is Margot Thomaidis and vice-president is Kara Naklicki.
Have an idea for an event or group outing, or just want to talk about what's going down at City Hall? Feel free to email us, tweet us (@URSSUuoft) or drop by in person to our office in Room 107 at Innis College, 2 Sussex Avenue. Check our website for updated office hours throughout the year.