Timetables & Courses

Course enrollment for Planning courses is available online via ACORN starting August 1, 2017.


  • Adding Courses: September 25, 2017 (fall-F and year-Y courses) / January 22, 2018 (winter-S courses)
  • Dropping Courses: October 30, 2017 (fall-F courses) / February 26, 2018 (winter-S and year-Y courses)

Sessional Dates:

  • Fall courses start the week of September 11, 2017
  • Winter courses start the week of January 8, 2018


Course enrollment is available using the student web service, ACORN.

Fall 2017

This timetable is tentative

Courses marked with an *asterisk are offered through other departments. Enrolment is subject to available space and approval of the host department.

Please consult the St. George campus map for building/room locations (SS = Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George St.)

Course Instructor Day/Time Room  Specialization
PLA1101H: Issues in Planning History, Thought and Practice A. Kramer Wednesdays, 1-4pm SS2125  Core
This course introduces students to important issues in planning thought and practice. Initial sessions consider the history of the planning profession as well as the philosophical and normative issues surrounding contemporary planning practice. Next, students discuss the political and economic contexts in which planners work, focusing on: the dilemmas of democratic planning; the analysis of bureaucracies; and the analysis of collective action. Finally, the course discusses some basic ecological principles and the relationships between planning and sustainable development.
PLA1102H: Planning Decision Methods I M. Siemiatycki Mondays, 1-4pm SS2125  Core
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?
PLA1106Y: Workshop in Planning Practice S. Ruddick/TBA Tuesdays, 5-8pm SS5017a  Core
Students are expected to apply the insights, skills and techniques acquired during the first year of study to a number of case studies and assignments drawn from different planning contexts. As in a professional office, students will work in teams to obtain experience in cooperative action and in the management of time and effort. Projects will be selected in order to expose students to the complexity of real problems, and to suggest the range of policy and planning issues which students might encounter after graduation. Senior practitioners in the Toronto region also work with students in the Workshop.
PLA1107Y: Current Issues Paper TBA Wednesdays, 6-8pm (fall and winter sessions) SS5017A  Core
Each student will prepare a planning report addressing a current planning issue in the student’s specialization. The topic will be formulated jointly by the student and a faculty advisor and written in consultation with professionals in the field. The final report will be presented to an evaluation panel of faculty and visiting professional planners. In preparation for the writing of the report, students will meet regularly during the fall term in order to develop further their ability to fashion practical and effective arguments. Practicing professionals will be invited to the class to participate in these sessions and to discuss strategies formulated in response to the professional challenges encountered.
PLA2000H: Advanced Planning Theory (PhD) K. Goonewardena Tuesdays, 5-8pm SS5064  Core (PhD)
This course we collaboratively map the territory of planning theory, exploring and describing those areas of the theoretical landscape that resonate with your research and practice. We draw on interdisciplinary literatures and philosophies, grounded in case studies. The role of the planning academic and our responsibility to urban issues are discussed. Themes of transformation, policy and power, representation and culture, displacement and inequity, public space and urban form, mobility and movement are woven throughout.
PLA2001H: Planning Colloquium (PhD) K. Goonewardena TBA TBA
This is a CR/NCR seminar series in which faculty members, students and invited speakers will present and discuss the findings of their current research.
JPG1111H: Research Practice in Geography TBA Mondays, 2-4pm SS5017A
 This course will introduce students to philosophical and methodological approaches to research in geography. Through seminar and lecture modules, students will acquire an understanding of different research paradigms, quantitative and qualitative methods, and the knowledge necessary for developing sound and reflective geographic research strategies. The goals of the course will be to provide students with the knowledge needed to effectively evaluate research, understand the process of research design, formulate research questions and develop a geographic research proposal.
JPG1400H: Advanced Quantitative Methods M. Widener Thursdays 12-3pm RW109  All
JPG1400H Fall 2017 Course Outline
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.
JPG1426H: Natural Resources, Differences & Conflict S. Mollett Thursdays 10-12pm SS2124A All
JPG1426H: Natural Resources Difference and Conflict S. Mollett Thursdays, 10- 12pm SS2124A  ENV, EPP, SPP
This course is concerned with the ways in which international development policies governing natural resource use, access and control reproduce difference and inequality, and how together these processes fashion conflict. Through attention to the entanglements of environment, difference and inequality, a core aim of this seminar is to interrogate what is taken as given in the governing instruments and institutions shaping natural resource policies that inform development activities from oil and mineral extraction to land and territorial demarcation, and tourism to name a few.
Three overlapping themes will guide this seminar. First, we will explore historical and geographical perspectives of natural resource conflicts with attention to post-colonial, post-structural and feminist theorizations of development as a way to understand the woven relations of environment, difference and conflict. Second, we will examine the contemporary role of the state in the provocation and abatement of natural resource conflict and work to unpack the meanings of conflict itself. Third, we will investigate how multiple forms of difference and their intersections (caste, class, gender, race, sexuality, nationality etc.) are materially and symbolically imbued in natural resource policy. Together, our seminar discussions, readings, films, and news analyses will address a number of conceptual and empirical debates and policy-related discussions in geography, planning and development studies.
PLA1518H:City Building Practice & Experience TBA Mondays, 10-1pm SS1078
JPG1558H: The History and Geography of Cycles & Cycling R. Buliung Wednesdays, 10-1pm SS5017A
JFG1610H: Sustainable Forest Management TBA TBA TBA  ENV
 The field and practice of sustainable forest management and certification are rapidly evolving. This course is designed to provide an overview of sustainable forest management policies and programs from a provincial, national and international perspective. Through the implementation of such policies and programs, various outcomes should be achieved (ecological sustainability, biodiversity conservation, economic stability and community longevity). Historical perspectives, current initiatives and future opportunities are reviewed. The successes achieved by the implementation of such a program are measured through the use of criteria and indicators and certification processes. The ISO, SFI, the Canadian Standards Association, the Forest Stewardship Council and other certification processes are studied.
JPG1615H: Planning and the Social Economy K. Rankin TBA SS5017A  SPP, UPD
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.
JPG1617H: Organization of Economies and Cities J. Miron Tuesdays, 10-12pm SS2124A
JPG1617H Fall 2016 Course Outline
PLA1650H: Urban History, Theory, Criticism TBA TBA TBA  URD
PLA1652H: Introductory Studio in Urban Design and Planning K. Goonewardena Tuesdays, 10-1pm and Thursdays, 10-1pm SS617  URD
This studio course introduces the basic principles and skills of urban design to students from various backgrounds by working through exercises of sketching, research and design involving such challenges of planning as housing, public space and transportation in their relation to the politics and aesthetics of urban form.
PLA1654H: Urban Design Research Methods P. Hess Mondays, 10-1pm SS5017A  URD
This course covers methods used in urban design research and practice. The emphasis is on learning from the urban environment through observation, field surveys, and interviews. Additional areas of focus include methods of design generation and presentation; and methods for integrating public participation in the design process.
PLA1656H: Land Use Planning J. Cantos/R. Gomes Wednesdays, 6-8pm SS2123  All
This course introduces students to the statutory and non-statutory components of the planning process, including issues and implications of various planning policies and tools, and the role and responsibilities of key stakeholders. The course provides students with a foundation in the planning framework in Ontario, through a review of the intent of legislation and policy, and a critical discussion of the application of policy to current issues and case studies. With an emphasis on several issues of relevance to municipalities in the Toronto region, it also reviews planning approaches from cities around the world. The course focuses on land-use planning but also explores other key considerations and issues in the planning process.
JPG1660H: Regional Dynamics R. DiFrancesco Wednesdays, 12-2pm TBA  UPD, EPP
The space-economy has always been characterized by polarization across myriad dimensions. As a result, regional economic change has been very difficult to fully explain (and certainly predict) using conventional (orthodox) theories and methods. This course examines the theoretical linkage between related trends in terms of globalization, vertical disintegration, specialization, innovation, and the locational behaviour of firms. We will focus on the seemingly counter-intuitive finding that regional economic change in a time of increasing global interdependence is increasingly dependent on the local context. Topics will include evolutionary economic geography, path dependence, economic clusters, learning regions, the role of institutions, knowledge spill-overs, and the geography of innovation, among others. We will see why the economic activity is becoming ever more concentrated in space even as it globalizes.
PLA1801H Urban Infrastructure Planning M. Siemiatycki Tuesdays, 1-3pm SS2124A  UPD, EPP
Infrastructure is the term that describes the transportation systems, sewers, pipes, and power lines that provide urban dwellers with necessary public services. In recent years, billions of dollars of public money have been spent upgrading existing infrastructure, and planning and delivering new facilities. Infrastructure has many impacts on the way that people in cities live. The way that infrastructure systems are planned, financed, and distributed impact on environmental sustainability, job creation, social equity, economic development, and urban livability. Moreover, infrastructure has the potential to both serve existing populations, and shape the way that future communities are built.
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 infrastructure. Topics to be covered will include: project planning, causes and cures for cost overruns, financing mechanisms such as public-private partnerships, and the politics of facility planning and management.
JPG1809H: Spaces of Work – Value, Identity, Agency, Justice M. Buckley Mondays, 10-1pm SS2124A  SPP
This course will introduce students to Marxist, feminist, anticolonial and intersectional perspectives on ‘work’ in the twenty-first century. A key intention of this course is to prompt students to examine what forms of work – and also whose work – has been taken into account in geographical scholarship and to explore a number of prominent debates concerning labour, work and employment within geography over the last three decades. In doing so we will engage with foundational political economy texts on the relations of labour under capitalism, and texts within geography and sociology on work, labour, place and space. We will also examine a number of broad economic and cultural shifts in the nature of contemporary work and employment such as de-industrialization, the feminization of labour markets and service sector work, neoliberalization and the rise of the ‘precariat’. At the same time, students will be prompted to consider critiques of some of these ‘transformational’ narratives to probe the colonial, patriarchal, and capitalist continuities shaping the contours of contemporary work. In this sense this is not an exhaustive course on labour and work in geography, but rather a series of discrete introductions to key scholarly arguments about work, often followed by a range of responses to those arguments in the following week. The course will touch on a broad range of topics, including unfree labour, labour organizing, precarious employment and social reproductive work which are tied together by four overarching themes that run through the course – value, identity, agency and justice. Overall this course aims to give students the chance to explore not only how work has been conceptualized and studied in geography, but how it could be.
JPG1812Y: Planning for Change A. Kramer/S. Bunce Mondays, 10-1pm (fall) Fridays, 9-12pm (winter) SS5017A  Consult Director
Final approval by the instructors is required for enrollment in this course. Please attend the first lecture for further information.
Planning for Change is a full-year graduate course (September-April) that provides a unique opportunity to gain practical experience in community-engaged planning. It is comprised of a service-learning placement within an organization in the public, private or nonprofit sector. You will work independently to complete a professional project in community planning, designed for and by your community partner. In the past, students have conducted research studies, written analytical reports, designed spaces for communities to work, live or play, worked on planning documents and provided advice on policy implications. We have a wide range of placement opportunities in all the areas of planning specialization – general, design, social, environmental, and economic. We support the placement with in class seminars, presentations, readings, discussion, writing and critical reflection, as well as with training in project management. The objectives of the service-learning placement are to allow graduate students to gain practical experience, assist community groups to design and implement a real-world community planning project, reflect critically on their education and their role as a student and citizen, and begin to build longer-term commitments to communities and neighbourhoods throughout Toronto.
JPG1813H: Planning and Social Policy S. Ruddick Thursdays, 2-4pm SS2124A SPP, UPD
JPG1906H: Geographic Information Systems D. Boyes Fridays, 10-12pm (lecture) and 12-2pm (labs) SS5017A (lectures), SS620 (labs)  Consult Director
This course provides an intensive introduction to fundamental geographic information system (GIS) theory, as well as practical, hands-on experience with state-of-the-art software. The course is designed to accommodate students from a variety of research backgrounds, and with no previous GIS experience. The goal is to provide students with a theoretical understanding of spatial data and analysis concepts, and to introduce the practical tools needed to create and manage spatial data, perform spatial analysis, and communicate results including (but not limited to) the form of a well-designed map. Assignments require the use of the ArcInfo version of ESRI’s ArcGIS software and extensions, and are designed to encourage proper research design, independent analysis, and problem solving. By the end of the course, successful students should be able to apply what they have learned to their own research, to learn new functions on their own, and have the necessary preparation to continue in more advanced GIS courses should they wish to do so. Classes consist of a two hour lecture each week, which integrate live software demonstrations to illustrate the linkages between theory and practice.
ENV1103H: The U of T Campus as a Living Lab J. Robinson TBA TBA Contact School for the Environment

Winter 2018

Course Instructor Day/Time Room Specialization
PLA1103H: Legal Basis of Planning A. Flynn Tuesdays, 10-12pm SS2125  Core
PLA1103H1S Course Outline Winter 2018
This course introduces students to important issues in planning thought and practice. Initial sessions consider the history of the planning profession as well as the philosophical and normative issues surrounding contemporary planning practice. Next, students discuss the political and economic contexts in which planners work, focusing on: the dilemmas of democratic planning; the analysis of bureaucracies; and the analysis of collective action. Finally, the course discusses some basic ecological principles and the relationships between planning and sustainable development.
PLA1105H: Planning Decision Methods II A. Kramer Mondays, 9-1pm SS2125  Core
The basic patterns of national, regional, urban and intra-urban growth in Canada are outlined, and this knowledge is then applied to forecasting procedures at various spatial scales. Questions addressed in the course are: What do recent studies tell us about growth patterns and trends? What are their implications for various planning tasks? What kind of data and techniques are available to us? Each student will be required to develop a series of forecasts for a particular metropolitan area, and to discuss their implications for policy.
PLA1517H: Special Topics in Planning TBA Thursdays, 5-7pm SS5017A
JPG1429H: Political Ecology of Food and the Agrarian Question M. Ekers/R. Isakson Tuesdays, 10- 12pm SS2124A  ENV, UPD
This 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. Arguably, access to food and the viability of alternative and conventional agriculture is shaped by the particular, and at times limited, ways that capital takes hold of agrarian production processes and transforms small-scale and peasant farmers. This course examines these questions through a series of historical and geographical accounts of the agrarian question and discusses how they might inform or limit understandings of the political ecology of food. We start with competing historical accounts of agrarian production in the works of Lenin, Kautsky and Chayanov. Next, we explore their respective influences in accounts of peasant studies and agrarian political economy in the 1970s and 1980s and the chasm existing between marxist and populist accounts of the peasantry and agrarian change. Finally, we trace the endurance and possible relevance of the agrarian question in contemporary readings of alternative agriculture, land-based social movements, renewed forms of enclosure and the financialization of land. Through this course we explore to what degree more recent studies of political ecology and food might be reinvigorated through a historically and geographically expansive reading of the agrarian question.
JPG1502H: Global Urbanism and Cities of the Global South R. Reddy Wednesdays, 10-12pm SS2124A  EPP, SPP, UPD
JPG1503H Space, Time, Revolution K. Goonewardena Wednesdays, 5-8pm SS2124A  UPD
This graduate seminar examines the relations between critical spatio-temporal and socio-spatial thought and new conceptions of radical politics. Its references are twofold: on the one hand, it surveys the recent attempts of such thinkers as Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Daniel Bensaïd, Jacques Rancière, Giorgio Agamben, Bruno Bosteels and Peter Hallward to re-theorize revolution in the face of global liberaldemocratic hegemony; on the other hand, it interrogates their conceptions of ‘event’, ‘situation’, ‘dissensus’, ‘exception’ and ‘communism’ in the historical court of actual revolutionary experiences produced by anti-colonial and socialist politics, especially at such moments as 1789, 1791-1803, 1848, 1871, 1917, 1949, 1968. The readings for this course will therefore draw on both contemporary theoretical texts and classic accounts of revolutionary subjectivity that highlight its spatio-temporal and socio-spatial dimensions, in the vein of Kristin Ross’s The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune as much as Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth.
JPG1506H: State, Space and Difference S. Ruddick Wednesdays, 2-4pm SS5017A  SPP, UPD
What is difference? Difference has been conceived of as the expression of alterity, a modality through which class is lived and experienced, a tool deployed in the normalization (or rendering invisible) of oppression, a site of resistance, a demand for opacity. The course focuses on the intensification of struggle around longstanding tropes of difference, and the emergence of new forms (or new understandings) of difference: the ‘roots’ of difference (Sylvia Wynter’s Man1) and the ‘routes’ of difference — current struggles around unimagined communities and sacrifice zones, indebtedness, authoritarianism, racism and sexism. The emphasis is as much on how difference is organized, contested and mobilized – in specific historical geographies, spatial forms, state practices, counter-strategies – as it is on how difference is conceptualized. The objective of the course is to come to a deeper understanding of political struggles around difference in the current conjuncture.
JPG1507H: Housing and Housing Policy L. Bourne Wednesdays, 11-2pm SS5017A  EPP, SPP, UPD
The objective of this course is to provide an opportunity for in-depth analyses of housing, as both product and process, and to apply these analyses to concrete housing situations and current policy and planning problems. Two principal themes are emphasized: 1) assessments of changes in the structural and spatial dimensions of housing demand and supply, and alternative modes of housing provision; and 2) evaluations of housing policies and programs and their relationships to social and economic policies and urban planning. The latter will be undertaken primarily through the discussion of case studies of specific problems and policy issues, the former through a review of basic concepts on housing in the first few weeks of class.
JPG1516H: Declining Cities J. Hackworth Thursdays, 2 – 4pm SS5017A  EPP, SPP, UPD
Much of planning and urban thought more generally is implicitly or explicitly oriented around the idea of growth—growth allows cities to be managerial, gives them room for error, salves intra-constituency squabbles, etc. In the face of decline, the most common planning or urban theoretical response is to engage in economic development (that is, to reignite growth). But what about those cities (or sections of otherwise growing cities) that have declined in population or resources and remained healthy, pleasant, places to live? Can we learn something from their experience that allows us to rethink the way that cities decline, or what the professional response to it should be? What about those cities, conversely which retain an infrastructure footprint that was intended for a much larger city? Can they be downsized in a planned way? If so, what would such an effort (mobilizing the state to sponsor planned decline) mean for the bulk of urban theory that suggests that it is the state’s role to reignite growth?
JPG1520H: Contested Geographies of Class Formation M. Hunter Mondays, 3-5pm SS2124A
PLA1552H: City Planning and Management TBA Thursdays, 10- 12pm SS5017A  All
PLA1601H: Environmental Planning and Policy V. Maclaren Mondays, 4-6pm SS5017A
This course covers the basic principles of environmental planning. Emphasis is placed on environmental planning and policy-making in an urban context. The sustainability of urban settlements will be the overarching question throughout the course. While it does introduce some technical tools, the principal aim will be to enable thinking and analysis related to this question. The course is broad in scope but also allows students an opportunity to explore topics of special interest. It will offer a combination of North American examples and a comparative international perspective.
PLA1651H: Real Estate Development TBA Wednesdays 4-6pm BL113  UPD, URD, EPP
This course 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 P. Hess Tuesdays, 12-3 pm, Thursdays 2-5pm SS617  URD
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. This course is a full course offered during the winter semester and, therefore, counts as two half courses.
PLA1655H: Urban Design and Development TBA TBA TBA  URD, UPD
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.
PLA1702H: Pedestrians, Streets, and Public Space P. Hess Mondays, 1-4pm SS5017A  URD, UPD
JPG1706H: Geographies of Violence and Security D. Cowen Fridays, 12-3pm SS5017A  SPP
JPG1814H: Cities and Immigrants V. Kuuire Wednesdays, 1-4pm SS2124A
JPG1914H: GIS Research Project D. Boyes Tuesdays, 1-3pm TBA  Consult Director
Students will work in a group setting to explore the application of GIS techniques to a problem that crosses the boundaries of economic geography, physical geography, and planning. Students should discuss their backgrounds with the instructors before registering for the course.
JPG2150H: Special Topics-Advances Research Methods K. Rankin TBA SS5017A
JSE1708H: The Development of Sustainability Thought J. Robinson Tuesdays, 10-12pm and Thursdays, 9-11am TBA
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.

*(UPD=Urban Planning & Development; SPP=Social Planning & Policy; EPP=Economic Planning & Policy; ENV=Environmental Planning; URD=Urban Design)

**Some courses may be applicable to specializations other than those currently listed (depending on who is teaching them, etc.). If you think a given course should apply to a particular specialization which is not listed, please consult the program director.