Research Interests:


Urban Political Geography and The Politics of Planning

             Urban Space, Planning, Automobility, and Political Values

             Globalization, Development, and Planning for Urban Change

             Neighbourhood Form, Ideology, and Electoral Geography  


Urban Social and Economic Polarization and Inequality

             Urban Policy, Economic Restructuring, and Neighbourhood Inequality

             Social Exclusion, Immigration and Segregation, Gated Communities

             Financialization, Mortgage Markets, Household Debt, Income Flows

             Debt and Geographies of Social Justice


Urban and Suburban Development

             Metropolitan Planning, Governance, Growth and Decline, Urbanism and Suburbanism

             Urban and Suburban Planning, Transportation Accessibility, Urban Form

             Geography of Housing and Homelessness, Social Housing Redevelopment

             Gentrification, Social Mix, Condoism, and Urban Revitalization Processes and Policy









Walks, Alan (Editor) (2015) The Urban Political Economy and Ecology of Automobility: Driving Cities, Driving Inequality, Driving Politics. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Chapters



Sellers, Jefferey.M., Kübler, Daniel., Walter-Rogg, Melanie, and Walks, Alan (Editors) (2013) The Political Ecology of the Metropolis. Essex: EPCR Press (published by Columbia U Press in the US). Chapters


Journal Articles, Reports, and Book Chapters:


Walks, Alan (2019) “Affordability and Housing Policy in the World’s Cities: Excavating the Global Housing Bubble”, Markus Moos (Ed.) A Research Agenda for Housing. Cheltenham, UK: Edgar Elgar. 47-65


Simone, Dylan, and Walks, Alan (2019) “Immigration, Race, Mortgage Lending, and the Geography of Debt in Canada's Global Cities”. Geoforum. 98: 286-299


Dinca-Panaitescu, M., McDonough, L., Simone, D., Johnston, B., Procyk, S., Lafleche, M., and Walks, Alan (2019) Rebalancing the Opportunity Equation. Toronto: United Way


Walks, Alan (2018) “Driving the Poor Into Debt? Automobile loans, Transport Disadvantage, and Automobile-Dependence”. Transport Policy. 65: 137-149


Walks, Alan, Simone, Dylan, and Hawes, Emily (2018) “Underwater Generation? Debt and Wealth Among Millennials”. Book chapter in Millennial City: Trends, Implications, and Prospects, edited by Drs. Markus Moos, Deirdre Pfeiffer, and Tara Vinodrai. London: Routledge. Pages 51-64


Soederberg, Susanne, and Walks, Alan (2018) “Producing and Governing Inequalities under Planetary Urbanization: From Urban Age to Urban Revolution?”. Geoforum.  89: 107 - 113 


August, Martine, and Walks, Alan (2018) “Gentrification, Suburban Decline, and the Financialization of Multi-Family Rental Housing”. Geoforum.  89: 124 - 136


Walks, Alan (2017) “Suburbs and Suburbanisms: Socio-Spatial Technologies and Radically-Open Fields of Possibilities”. Lo Squaderno: Explorations in Space and Society.  46: 13-19 


Walks, Alan (2017) “Metropolitanization, Urban Governance, and Place (In)Equality in Canadian Metropolitan Areas, in Sellers, J.M., Arretche, M., Kubler, D., and Razin, E. (Eds.) Inequality and Governance in the Metropolis: Place Equality Regimes and Fiscal Choices in Eleven Countries. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Pages 79-106


Walks, Alan and Simone, Dylan (2017) “Unequal and Volatile Urban Housing Markets”. Chapter in Linda Peake and Alison Bain (Eds.) Urbanization in a Global Context: A Canadian Guide. Toronto: Oxford University Press. Chapter 12. 190-208


Walks, Alan (2016) “Homeownership, Asset-Based Welfare and the Neighbourhood Segregation of Wealth”. Housing Studies. 31(7): 755-784


Walks, Alan and Simone, Dylan (2016) “Neoliberalization through Housing Finance, the Displacement of Risk, and Canadian Housing Policy: Challenging Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis”. Research in Political Economy. 31: 49-77  


Walks, Alan (2016) “Dealing with our Mortgaged Future: The State of Housing Finance in Canada ”. Alternatives. 42(2): 22-29 


Siemiatycki, M., Smith, M., and Walks, Alan (2016) “The Politics of Bicycle Lane Implementation: The Case of Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge”. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation. 10(3): 225-235


Walks, Alan and Clifford, B. (2015) “The Political Economy of Mortgage Securitization and the Neoliberalization of Housing Policy in Canada ”. Environment and Planning A. 47(8): 1624-1642


Walks, Alan (2015)  “Growing Divisions: Inequality, Neighbourhood Poverty, and Homelessness in the Canadian City”. Chapter in Filion, P. and Moos, M. (Eds.) Canadian Cities in Transition, 5th Edition. Oxford University Press. pp. 151-175


Rosen, G. and Walks, Alan (2015)  “Beyond Gating: Condo-ism as New Way of Urban Life”. Chapter in Bagaeen, S. and Uduku, O. (Eds.) Beyond Gated Communities: Urban Gating and Soft Boundaries. London: Routledge. pp. 154-169


Rosen, G. and Walks, Alan (2015) “Castles in Toronto’s Sky: Condoism as Urban Transformation”. Journal of Urban Affairs. 85(1): 39-66


Walks, Alan (2015) “Stopping the 'War on the Car': Neoliberalism, Fordism, and the Politics of Automobility in Toronto ”. Mobilities. 10(3): 402-422


Walks, Alan (2015) Assessing and Measuring the Factors Affecting Mobility, Transportation Accessibility, and Social Need: Barriers to Travel among those with Low Income and Other Vulnerable Groups. Toronto: Metrolinx.


Walks, Alan (2014) “From Financialization to Socio-Spatial Polarization of the City? Evidence from Canada”. Economic Geography. 90(1): 33-66


Walks, Alan (2014) “Gentrification, Social Mix, and the Immigrant-Reception Function of Inner-City Neighbourhoods: Evidence from Canadian Globalizing Cities”, in K.R. Good, L. Turgeon, and T. Triadafilopoulos  (Eds.) Segmented Cities? How Urban Contexts Shape Ethnic and Nationalist Politics. Vancouver: UBC Press, 81-114


Walks, Alan (2014) “Gated communities, neighbourhood selection and segregation: The residential preferences and demographics of gated community residents in Canada”. Town Planning Review. 85(1): 39-66


Rosen, Gillad and Walks, Alan (2013) “Rising Cities: Condominium Development and the Private Transformation of the Metropolis”. Geoforum. 49: 160-172


Walks, Alan (2013) Income Inequality and Polarization in Canada’s Cities: An Examination and New Form of Measurement. Toronto: University of Toronto Cities Centre Research Paper No. 227


Walks, Alan (2013) “Mapping the Urban Debtscape: The Geography of Household Debt in Canadian Cities”. Urban Geography. 34 (2): 153-187


Walks, Alan (2013) “Suburbanism as a Way of Life, Slight Return”. Urban Studies. 50 (8): 1471-1388


Smith, Matt and Walks, Alan (2013) Visible Minority Electability in Urban Local Government in Ontario. CERIS: CERIS Working Paper No. 97.


Walks, Alan (2012) Canada’s New Federal Mortgage Regulations: Warranted and Fair? Toronto: University of Toronto Cities Centre.  Cities Centre Research Bulletin #46.  


Walks, Alan (online 2012, print 2014) “Canada’s Housing Bubble Story: Mortgage Securitization, The State, and the Global Financial Crisis”. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 38(1): 256-284


Walks, Alan (2012) Anything But Scattered: The Proposed Sale of Toronto Community Housing’s “Scattered-Site” Housing, and Implications for Building an Inclusive Toronto. Toronto: University of Toronto Cities Centre/ Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership, Policy Brief #2.


Walks, Alan (2011) “Economic Restructuring and Trajectories of Socio-Spatial Polarization in the Twenty-First Century Canadian City”, in Bourne, L.S., Hutton, T., Shearmur, R. and  Simmons, J. (Eds.) Canadian Urban Regions: Trajectories  of Growth and Change. 125-159


August, Martine and Walks, Alan (2011) “From Social Mix to Political Marginalisation? The Redevelopment of Toronto's Public Housing and the Dilution of Tenant Organizational Power”, in Bridge, G., Butler, T., and Lees, L. (Eds.) Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth:?. London: Policy Press. 273 - 297


Walks, Alan (2010) “Bailing out the Wealthy: Responses to the Financial Crisis, Ponzi Neoliberalism, and the City”. Human Geography. 3 (3): 54-84


Walks, Alan (2010) Inequality in Toronto. Toronto: University of Toronto Cities Centre. Cities Centre

Discussion Paper #11.


Walks, Alan (2010) “Electoral Behaviour Behind the Gates: Partisanship and Political Participation among Canadian Gated Community Residents”. Area. 42 (1): 7-24


Walks, Alan (2010) “New Divisions: Social Polarization and Neighbourhood Inequality in the Canadian City”, in  Bunting, T.E., Filion, P. and Walker, R. (Eds.), Canadian Cities in Transition: New Directions in the Twenty-First Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 170-190


Walks, Alan (2009) “The Urban in Fragile, Uncertain, Neoliberal Times: Towards New Geographies of Social Justice?”. Canadian Geographer. 53 (3): 345-356


Walks, Alan and August, Martine (2008) “The Factors Inhibiting Gentrification in Areas with Little Non-market Housing: Policy Lessons from the Toronto Experience”. Urban Studies. 45 (12): 2594-2625


Walks, Alan and Maaranen, Richard (2008) “Gentrification, Social Mix, and Social Polarization: Testing the Linkages in Large Canadian Cities”. Urban Geography. 29 (4): 293-326


Walks, Alan and Maaranen, Richard (2008) The Timing, Patterning and Forms of Gentrification and Neighbourhood Upgrading in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver 1961 to 2001. Toronto: University of Toronto Cities Centre Research Paper 211


Walks, Alan (2008) “Urban Form, Everyday Life, and Ideology: Support for Privatization in Three Toronto Neighbourhoods”. Environment and Planning A. 40 (2):  258—282


Walks, Alan (2007) “The Boundaries of Suburban Discontent? Urban Definitions and Neighbourhood Political Effects”. Canadian Geographer. 51 (2): 160—185


Walks, Alan (2007) “From Suburbanization to Super-Regions: The Political Challenge Facing Canadian Metropolitan Areas and Their Central Cities”. Plan Canada 47 (3): 19—24


Walks, Alan (2006) “Aestheticization and the Cultural Contradictions of Neoliberal (sub)Urbanism”. Cultural Geographies. 13 (3):  466—475


Walks, Alan (2006) “The Causes of City-Suburban Political Polarization? A Canadian Case Study”. Annals    of the Association of American Geographers. 96 (2):  390—414


Walks, Alan and Bourne, Larry S. (2006) “Ghetto’s in Canada’s Cities? Racial Segregation, Ethnic Enclaves and Poverty Concentration in Canadian Urban Areas. Canadian Geographer. 50 (3):  273—297.


Walks, Alan (2006) “Homelessness, Housing Affordability and the New Poverty”, in Bunting, T.E. and Filion, P. (Eds.) Canadian Cities in Transition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 419—437.


Walks, Alan (2005)  “City-Suburban Electoral Polarization in Great Britain, 1950 to 2001”. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 30 (4):  500—517


Walks, Alan (2005)  “The City-Suburban Cleavage in Canadian Federal Politics”. Canadian Journal of Political Science. 38 (2):  383—413.


Walks, Alan. (2004)  “Place of Residence, Party Preferences, and Political Attitudes in Canadian Cities and Suburbs”. Journal of Urban Affairs. 26 (3):  269 295.


Walks, Alan. (2004)  “Suburbanization, the Vote, and Changes in Federal and Provincial Political Representation and Influence between Inner Cities and Suburbs in Large Canadian Urban Regions, 1945 to 1999”. Urban Affairs Review.  39 (4):  411 – 440.


Bunting, Trudi.,  Walks, Alan, and Filion, Pierre (2004). “The Uneven Geography of Housing Affordability Stress in Canadian Metropolitan Areas”. Housing Studies. 19 (3):  361-393.


Bunting, Trudi. E., Filion, Pierre and Walks, Alan (2002) Households at Risk of Homelessness: Distributional Patterns within Eleven Canadian Metropolitan Regions. Report prepared for the National Secretariat on Homelessness, Government of Canada.  (249 pages)


Walks, Alan. (2001) “The Social Ecology of the Post-Fordist/ Global City? Economic Restructuring and Socio-Spatial Polarisation in the Toronto Urban Region”. Urban Studies. 38 (3):  407 - 447.


Photos: Alan Walks

Photos: Alan Walks

Alan Walks, Ph.D.,  Professor of Urban Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Photos: Alan Walks



Ph.D. 2004   University of Toronto   (Geography/Planning)

M.A.  1998   University of Waterloo  (Planning)

B.A.   1993   Dalhousie University    (International Development)


Alan  Walks,  Ph.D.



Department of Geography, Program in Planning

University of Toronto

3359 Mississauga Rd.

Mississauga, ON. L5L 1C6

Tel.:   (905) 828-3932  (U.T.M)

Fax.:  (905) 828-5273  (U.T.M)


Research Associate

School of Cities, Global Cities Institute


Email: alan dot walks at  utoronto  dot ca