This concentration is concerned with policies and programs that improve livelihoods, create wealth, and increase economic opportunity. Economic development planners work at multiple spatial scales – from the local to the transnational – and in the public, private, and non-profit/social sectors. They are expected to be able to assess how socio-economic, political, and technological forces produce disparities in employment and investment between sectors and locations, and to recommend contextually appropriate strategies in response. These include traditional approaches, such as workforce development programs, incentives, business improvement areas, cluster strategies, and innovation ecosystem development, as well as heterodox community economic development models, from anchor institution strategies to the incubation of community and worker-owned enterprises.

Students choosing this concentration should select at least five half-courses, one of which should be the gateway graduate survey overview of the field, JPG1525 Urban, Regional, and Community Economic Development. As courses on offer vary from year to year, please check with the Concentration Adviser and review the course timetable for relevant available courses.
Students should also take at least one course outside the department, and are encouraged explore course offerings in OISE’s Adult Education and Community Development program, Political Science, Economics, the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources (CIRHR), Industrial Engineering, and Management.