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The Centre for Urban and Community Studies promotes and disseminates multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on urban issues.

The Centre's activities are intended to contribute to scholarship on questions relating to the social and economic well-being of people who live and work in urban areas large and small, in Canada and around the world.

The Centre was established in 1964 as a research unit of the School of Graduate Studies. Its research associates include professors and graduate students from a dozen different disciplines and professionals from a variety of organizations.

Our mandate

The Centre exists to:

Bring together faculty, professionals, and graduate students interested in urban development, policy issues and the quality of life in cities;

Encourage interdisciplinary scholarly research on urban issues;

Support this research by providing academic staff and students with space, access to services and information, opportunities for collaboration, seminars and conferences, and graduate research internships;

Disseminate ideas related to urban and community studies to other researchers and to agencies and organizations interested in urban matters by publishing books, reports, bibliographies, and research bulletins;

Improve communications among researchers and between researchers and the broader urban community.

Working groups

Several formal working groups are currently active within, or are associated with, the Centre. These include:

Community / University Research Partnership Unit

International Research and Development Initiatives

Childcare Resource and Research Unit


Housing New Canadians Research Working Group

Community Development Research Network

Cities Lab

Urban Systems Research Lab

Urban Entomology Program

Opportunities for students

Although the Centre does not offer courses or grant degrees, it is currently working to establish a Collaborative Program in Community Development. This program would allow master's and doctoral students to take courses offered through various departments, including geography, political science, public health, social work, sociology, and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, in order to deepen their understanding of the many facets of community development. Students interested in this program would apply through one of the participating departments or faculties and must meet the degree requirements of that department.

Support for visiting researchers

The Centre welcomes visiting researchers, including professors and professionals on research leave, as well as students with postdoctoral fellowships. The Centre is unable to offer funding to visitors, but can provide office space, Internet connections, and access to the University of Toronto's library system.

How the Centre operates

The University supports the Centre with space and funds for administration only; all research initiatives require external sources of funding. The Centre acts as an administrative home for interdisciplinary research programs. The School of Graduate Studies appoints the Director. A small management committee oversees policy matters and provides advice to the Director. A committee appointed by the School of Graduate Studies reviews the Centre every five years.

Centre for Urban and
Community Studies
University of Toronto
455 Spadina Ave.
Suite 400
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5S 2G8

(416) 978-2072
(416) 978-7162


CUCS is a
member of the
Urban Affairs


housing conference