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. 

Topics of study include:

  • 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.

With increased urbanization around the world, the need to address issues within cities including those of equity, sustainability, policy, and environment are at the forefront of many governments, businesses, and organizations.  Along with the development of practical, hands-on experiences, you will hone in-demand skills in critical thinking, communication, project management and coordination.  Our graduates are working in both the public and private sector in a variety of fields including government, business, land use planning, policy, non-profit, and transportation.

Some sample careers include:

  • Urban, Land Use or Transportation Planner
  • Policy Advisor and Consultant
  • LEED Technical Coordinator
  • Transit Supervisor or Manager
  • Permits and Approvals Coordinator
  • Environmental Manager
  • Planning and Space Assessor

To help you succeed, our Experiential Education Coordinator provides a variety of career support services to our students including resume help, interview prep, and career planning workshops, and maintains an exclusive job board just for our students.

Program Details

Offered by

Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change

Degrees offered


Ways to study

Full-Time, Part-Time

Fall entry


Winter entry


Summer entry



Apply for scholarships and awards by February 15 and submit your application in PDF format. View the Financial Aid tab on this page for awards specific to your student status.

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