York U, UofT hosted international urban studies conference will showcase innovative research from Berlin, New York and Toronto


TORONTO, May 28, 2013 – A four-day conference on the rise and development of modern metropolises is being jointly hosted by York University and the University of Toronto, with the attendance of international scholars and senior researchers from Berlin, New York and Toronto, May 30-June 2.

Oak Ridges Moraine Battles, a book analyzing resistance to urban development and sprawl and support for nature conservation in the Greater Toronto region will be launched at the conference on the inaugural day. The authors, York Environmental Studies professors Anders Sandberg, Gerda Wekerle and Liette Gilbert, have interviewed residents, activists, civil servants, scientists and developers to demonstrate how space on the urban periphery was reshaped in the region.

Other highlights of the International Graduate Research Program conference,  The World in the City: Metropolitanism and Globalization from the 19th Century to Present, are research presentations by 36 doctoral students, and keynote addresses by international urban scholars Leo Panitch (Rethinking Empire with Neil Smith); Stefan Krätke (Cities in Contemporary Capitalism); Damaris Rose (Whither Critical Gentrification Research?); Dorothee Brantz (Uneven Natures: An Historian’s View on the Environmental Production of Urban Spaces); and Roger Keil (The Urban Political Ecology of Ontario’s Greenbelt).

“The rise and development of modern metropolises is closely connected to global economic, ecological, political, cultural and infrastructural networks but the historical dimensions of such connections require fuller investigation,” says Professor Keil, a key organizer of the conference. “The World in the City program and its annual conferences address these issues through interdisciplinary and international research collaborations.”

The graduate program is a collaborative initiative of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, City University of New York, Columbia University, Fordham University, New York University, and University of Toronto and York University.

The second annual conference’s theme, “Empire, City, Nature” honours the life and work of geographer Neil Smith who died last September.

WHAT: Second annual Conference of The World in the City: Metropolitanism and Globalization from the 19th Century to the Present; and Oak Ridges Moraine Battles book launch (Bookstore – building no: 24 on map)

WHERE: HNES, York University, Keele Campus, (building no: 31 on map); and Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto (building MK on map)

WHEN: May 30, 2013 (York University); May 31-June 1, 2013 (University of Toronto); June 2, 2013, suburban Toronto bus tour (for complete schedule, click here)

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Media Contacts:
Gloria Suhasini, Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 22094, suhasini@yorku.ca
Prof. Roger Keil, organizer, 647 836 8297, rkeil@yorku.ca