Cities, Regions, Planning

Cities, Regions, Planning

Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change

We live in an urban world. Cities and city-regions around the globe face pressing social and environmental challenges linked to the climate crisis, emerging infectious disease, global displacement and migration, and deepening inequalities and racial divides. But cities are also the places where solutions to these problems can be found. In Cities, Regions, Planning, you learn to apply inclusive and sustainable planning interventions, consulting skills, governance and political procedures and activist tools to manage urban growth (and decline), provide infrastructure, integrate newcomers, and mitigate environmental impacts. 

The Cities, Regions, Planning program examines how cities and regions may be planned in more just and sustainable ways through three thematic concentrations:

  • Urban Worlds - engages with different ways of being in cities around the planet to consider how urban residents live, work and play in a rapidly changing global geography of interconnected urban places.
  • Urban Planning and Politics - deals with the institutions, actors, struggles and processes that help create and govern communities, cities, regions, and urban networks.
  • Urban Political Ecology - focuses on the role of nature and environment in the process of urbanization, urban form and urban life. 

Taught by internationally recognized urban scholars and planning practitioners, students acquire the foundational knowledge, critical thinking and technical skills to create tangible change in urban, suburban and regional environments. Students engage with communities in Toronto, across Canada and abroad gaining hands-on experiences of processes of urban transformations, community-based initiatives and design and policy challenges. 

Students will explore these critical urban issues:

  • Processes of urbanization and city life
  • The regional composition of the global economy
  • Planning theory and practice
  • Urban and regional planning
  • Urban infrastructures and mobility
  • Urban health and pandemic preparedness
  • Suburbanization, growth control and conservation
  • Urban analytics and geomatics
  • Urban wildlife and habitats
  • Urban risk and resilience
  • Public participation in planning and governance
  • Urban inequalities, gentrification and segregation
  • Urban ecologies
  • Communities and urban life

This program is supported by the CITY Institute at York University, a leading interdisciplinary centre that facilitates critical and collaborative research and provides new knowledge and innovative approaches to understanding and addressing the complexity of the urban arena.

Program Details

Offered by

Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change

Offered at

  • Keele Campus

Degrees offered


Ways to study

Full-Time, Part-Time

Experiential Education

  • Co-op or internship
  • Class-focused
  • Community-focused
  • Faculty research

Fall entry

Yes (first and upper year)

Winter entry

Yes (first and upper year)

Summer entry

Yes (first and upper year)