Andre Sorensen

 
Portait image of Professor Andre Sorensen
Professor and Chair, Department of Human Geography
Department Chair - on leave
MW
364
(416) 287-5607

Biography: 

I was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario. I did graduate studies in Geography at the London School of Economics and Political Science and I completed a Post-doctoral Research Fellowship and taught as an Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo in the Department of Urban Engineering from 1998 to 2002. I have been a geography faculty member at UTSC since 2002.

Click here for an interview with Professor Andre Sorensen

Research Interests: 

My research examines long-run patterns and processes of urbanization and urban development, with a focus on the political dynamics of rule-making, the emergence of institutions that structure sets of available choices and provide incentives for different approaches. Recent work draws on historical and sociological institutionalist ideas about path dependence, processes of incremental change, and urban politics to study urban change processes and the incremental change of urban property and property rights. Major current projects are on the development of the Toronto city region over the last 60 years, land-use and transportation policies, the emergence of condominium as a form of property ownership since the 1960s, and the application of New Institutionalism in urban governance, property and planning theory.
 

Teaching Interests: 

Over the last 13 years I have taught courses in urban geography, including GGRA03 Cities and Environments, GGRB05 Urban Geography, GGRC13 Urban Political Geography, GGRC33 Greater Toronto Region, CITB01 Planning in Canada, CITD01 City Strategies. At the graduate level I have taught in the Department of Geography and Programme in Planning JPG1510 Recent Debates in Urban Form,  a course on concepts and debates about good and bad patterns of development,  JPG 1554 Transportation and Urban Form in collaboration with Professor Paul Hess, and most recently JPG1504  Institutionalism and Cities: space, governance, property & power. This course focuses on the role of institutions (defined as shared norms and understandings, standard operating practices, and enforceable rules) in structuring processes of urban change, governance and planning. The premise of the course is that cities are extraordinarily densely institutionalized spaces, and that the formal study of institutions, and processes of institutional continuity and change will be productive for both planners and urban geographers. At the School of Public Policy and Governance, I taught SPPG2017 Urban Policy Challenges, with Professor Richard Stren.

Awards and Grants: 

Prizes

  • Best Paper Prize 2016 Association of European Schools of Planning for Sorensen, A. (2015). 'Taking Path Dependence Seriously:  An historical institutionalist research agenda in planning history.' Planning Perspectives 30(1): 17-38.
  • 2004 International Planning History Society Book Prize, “Best English-language book in Planning History 2001-2003” for “The Making of Urban Japan”

Grants

  • 2016-2021 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Grant “Urbanization, Planning and Developmental States in Comparative Historical Perspective”  Value (Principle Investigator, Andre Sorensen)
  • 2012 Japan Foundation Research Fellowship, for fieldwork investigating reconstruction after 3.11 Tohoku Tsunami (Principle Investigator, Andre Sorensen)
  • 2011-2015 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Standard Research Grant, “Policy, path-dependence and urban form: Measuring the prospects for smart growth in the GTA” (Principle Investigator, Andre Sorensen)
  • 2007-2011 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Standard Research Grant, Title: “Scaling the Urban Conversation” (Principle Investigator, Andre Sorensen)
  • 2004-2007 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Standard Research Grant,     Title: “Who Will Build the Liveable City?: Planning Culture, Civil Society, and Local Environmental Governance in Tokyo and Toronto” (Principle Investigator, Andre Sorensen)

Publications: 

Books
Sorensen, A. & J. Okata (eds.). (2011). Megacities, Urban Form, Governance, and Sustainability. Tokyo, Springer Verlag. 418 pages.

Sorensen, A. & Funck, C. (eds.). (2009). Living Cities in Japan: Citizens' Movements, Machizukuri and Local Environments. London: Routledge, 283 pages, paperback edition.

Sorensen, A. & Funck, C. (eds.). (2007). Living Cities in Japan: Citizens’ Movements, Machizukuri and Local Environments. London: Routledge Nissan/Routledge Japan Studies, Series Editor J.A.A Stockwin,  283 pages.

Sorensen, A., P. Marcotullio & J. Grant (eds.). (2004). Towards Sustainable Cities: East Asian, North American and European Perspectives. London: Ashgate, 308 pages.

Sorensen A.  (2004). The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and planning from Edo to the twenty-first century. London: Routledge, 386 pages paperback edition.

Sorensen A.  (2002). The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and planning from Edo to the twenty-first century. London: Routledge, Nissan/Routledge Japan Studies, Series Editor J.A.A Stockwin, 386 pages.
 
Refereed journal papers
Sorensen, A. (2016). 'Periurbanization as the institutionalization of place: The case of Japan.' Cities 51: 1-7.

Sorensen, A. and Hess, P. (2015) “Building Suburbs, Toronto Style: Institutions, planning, critical junctures, and continuity” Town Planning Review 84(4) 411-436 (50% Sorensen, 50 % Hess)

Hess, P. and Sorensen, A. (2015) “Compact, Concurrent, And Contiguous: Smart Growth And 50 Years Of Residential Planning In The Toronto Region” Urban Geography 36(1) 127-151 (50% Hess, 50% Sorensen)

Sorensen, A. (2015) “Taking Path Dependence Seriously: A historical institutional research agenda for planning history” Planning Perspectives, Published online February 2014

Sorensen, A. (2011). Evolving Property Rights in Japan: Patterns and Logics of Change. Urban Studies, 48(3), 471-491.

Sorensen, A. (2011). Uneven processes of institutional change: Path dependence, scale, and the contested regulation of urban development in Japan. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35(4), 712-734.

Sorensen, A. & Sagaris, L. (2010). From Participation to the Right to the City: Democratic place management at the neighbourhood scale in comparative perspective. Planning Practice and Research, 25(3), 297-316.
 
Sorensen, A. (2010). Land, property rights and planning in Japan: institutional design and institutional change in land management. Planning Perspectives, 25(3), 279-302.
 
Sorensen, A. (2010). Suburbs and Suburbanization. Encyclopaedia of Geography. Sage.
 
Sorensen, A. (2010). Urban Sprawl. Encyclopaedia of Geography. Sage.
 
Sorensen, A. (2010). Suburbs and Suburban Sprawl. Encyclopaedia of the Modern World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 
Sorensen, A., Fujii, S. & Okata, J. (2010). Urban Renaissance as Intensification: Deregulation and the Rescaling of Place Governance in Tokyo’s High-rise Building Boom. Urban Studies, 47(3), 556-584.
 
Sorensen, A. (2009). Neighborhood Streets as Meaningful Spaces: Claiming Rights to Shared Spaces in Tokyo. City & Society, 21(2), 207-229.

Sorensen, A. (2007). Liveable Cities in Japan: Population ageing and decline as vectors of change. International Planning Studies, 11(3/4), 225-242.
 
Sorensen, A. (2006). Challenges for regional Cities in Japan. Contribution to Interface section, Planning Theory and Practice, 7 (4), 470-475.

Sorensen, A. (2003). Building World City Tokyo: Globalization and Conflict over Urban Space. Annals of Regional Science, 37(3), 519-531.

Sorensen, A. (2003). Megalopolitan Development and the Transformation of Rural Japan: Sustainability Implications of Extended Metropolitan Regions in Asia, in Human Settlement Development section, Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Sassen, S. (ed.). Paris: UNESCO, 17 pages.
 
Sorensen, A. (2001). Building Suburbs in Japan: Continuous unplanned change on the urban fringe. Town Planning Review, 72(3), 247-273.
 
Sorensen, A. (2001). Urban Planning and Civil Society in Japan: The Role of the Taisho Period Home Ministry in Japanese Urbanisation and Planning.  Planning Perspectives, 16(4), 383-406 .
 
Sorensen, A. (2001). Subcentres and Satellite Cities: Tokyo’s 20th Century Experience of Planned Polycentrism. International Journal of Planning Studies, 6(1), 9-32.
 
Sorensen, A. (2000). Land Readjustment and Metropolitan Growth: an Examination of Suburban Land Development and Urban Sprawl in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. Progress in Planning, 53(4), 1-113.  
 
Sorensen, A. (2000). Conflict, Consensus, or Consent: Implications of Japanese Land Readjustment Practice for Developing Countries. Habitat International, 24(1), 51-73.
 
Sorensen, A. (1999). Land Readjustment, Urban Planning and Urban Sprawl in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. Urban Studies, 36(13), 2333-2360
 
Book chapters
Sorensen, A. (forthcoming). Institutions in Urban Space. Institutions in Action. W. Salet. (ed.) London, Routledge.

Sorensen, A. (forthcoming 2017). Differentiated landscapes of suburban property: path dependence and the political logics of land ownership institutions. Suburban Land and Property. U. Lehrer and R. Harris. (eds.). Toronto, University of Toronto Press.

Sorensen, A. (2017 forthcoming). New Institutionalism and Planning Theory. Routledge Handbook of Planning Theory.
M. Gunder, A. Madanipour and V. Watson. (eds.). London, New York, Routlege.

Sorensen, A. (2017 forthcoming). Planning History and Theory: Institutions, comparison, and temporal processes. Routledge Handbook of Planning History. C. Hein. (ed.). London, New York, Routlege.

Sorensen, A. (2017 forthcoming). Global Suburbanization in Planning History Routledge Handbook of Planning History. C. Hein. (ed.) London, New York, Routlege.

Sorensen, A. (2017). National Urban Systems in an Era of Transnationalism. Urbanization in a Global Context: A Canadian Readers Guide. A. Bain and L. Peake. (eds.). Oxford, London, New York, Oxford University Press.

Sorensen, A. (2017 forthcoming). Future Visions of Tokyo that Mattered: Utopian concepts and unanticipated outcomes. Urban Asias: Essays on Futurity Past and Present. T. Bunnell and D. P. S. Goh. (eds.). Berlin, Jovis.

Sorensen, A. (2016). Visions of the Good City in the Rapid Growth Period. Cartographic Japan. K. Wigen, F. Sugimoto and C. Karacas. (eds.). Chicago, University of Chicago Press: 207-209.

Sorensen, A. (2016). Rebuilding Tokyo after the Great Kanto Earthquake. Cartographic Japan. K. Wigen, F. Sugimoto and C. Karacas. (eds.). Chicago, University of Chicago Press: 155-157.

Sorensen, A. (2015) “Transforming land into property: institutions and institutional borrowing” in Connections: a Festschrift for Patsy Healey J. Hillier and J. Metzger, (eds.) London: Ashgate, pp.423-436

Sorensen, A. and Watanabe Shun-Ichi (forthcoming) Den-En Chôfu, the first Japanese ‘Garden City’: Preservation of an iconic planned community in Tokyo? The Heritage of Iconic Planned Communities: The Challenges of Change I. Gournay, M. Sies, and R. Freestone, (eds.). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
 
Sorensen, A. (2012). Shrinking cities and liveability in Japan: emerging relationships and challenges, in Urban Spaces in Japan: Cultural and Social Perspectives, Brumman, C. & Schulz, E. (eds.). London: Routledge, 203-220.
 
Sorensen, A. (2012). The State and Social Capital in Japan: (re)scripting the standard operating practices of neighborhood civic engagement, in The Dynamics of Social Capital and Civic Engagement in Asia, Daniere, A. & Luong, H.V. (eds.). Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK, Routledge, 163-181.
 
Sorensen, A. (2011). Post-Suburban Tokyo? Urbanization, Suburbanization, Reurbanization, in International Perspectives on Suburbanization: A Post-suburban World?, Phelps, N.A. & Wu, F. Houndsmills, Hampshire, UK. New York, New York, USA, Palgrave MacMillan, 210-224.
 
Sorensen, A. (2011). Uneven Geographies of Vulnerability: Tokyo in the 21st Century, in Asian Cities: Risks and Resilience, Hamnett, S. & Forbes, D. (eds.). Planning London: Routledge, 40-66.
 
Sorensen, A. (2011). Toronto Megacity: Growth, Planning Institutions, Sustainability, in Megacities: Urban Form and Sustainability, Sorensen, A. & Okata, J. (eds.). Tokyo: Springer Verlag, 245-271.
 
Sorensen, A. (2011). Conclusions: Megacities, Urban form, Development, and Governance, in Megacities, Urban form and Sustainability. Sorensen, A. & Okata, J. (eds.). Tokyo: Springer Verlag, 397-418.
 
Sorensen, A. & Okata, J. (2011). Introduction: Megacities, Urban Form and Sustainability, in Megacities, Urban form and Sustainability. Sorensen, A. & Okata, J. (eds.). Tokyo: Springer Verlag, 1 -12.
 
Sorensen, A. (2010). Urban Sustainability and Compact Cities Ideas in Japan: The diffusion, transformation and deployment of planning concepts, in Crossing Borders: International Exchange and Planning Practices, Healey, P. & Upton, R. London and New York: Routledge, 117-140.
 
Sorensen, A. (2008). Growth Management in Toronto’ chapter, in Growth Management in Comparative Perspective (in Japanese), Hideki, K. (ed.).
 
Sorensen, A., Hideki, K. & Miyamoto, A. (2008). Machizukuri, Civil Society, and Community Space in Japan, in Community Space and the City in Asia, Daniere, A. & Douglass, M. (eds). London: Routledge.
 
Sorensen A. (2007). Changing Governance of Shared Spaces: Machizukuri in historical institutional perspective, Chapter 3 in Living Cities in Japan: Citizens’ movements, community building, and local environments, Sorensen, A. & Funck, C. (eds).  London: Routledge, 56-90.
 
Sorensen, A. & Funck, C. (2007). Living Cities in Japan: Introductio, Chapter 1 in Living Cities in Japan: Citizens’ movements, community building, and local environments, Sorensen, A. & Funck, C. (eds).  London: Routledge, 1-36
 
Fujii, S., Okata, J., & Sorensen A. (2007). Inner-city Redevelopment in Tokyo: Conflicts over urban place, planning governance, and neighborhoods, Chapter 12 in Living Cities in Japan: Citizens’ movements, community building, and local environments, Sorensen, A. & Funck, C. (eds).  London: Routledge, 247-266
 
Sorensen, A. & Funck, C. (2007). Conclusions, Chapter 13 in Living Cities in Japan: Citizens’ movements, community building, and local environments, Sorensen, A. & Funck, C. (eds).  London: Routledge, 269-279.
 
Sorensen A. (2007). Consensus, Persuasion, and Opposition: Land Readjustment Organizing in Japan, in Analyzing Land Readjustment: Economics, Law, and Collective Action, Hong, Y.H. & Needham, B. (eds.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, 89-114.
 
Sorensen, A. (2006). Centralization, urban planning governance, and citizen participation in Japan, Chapter 5 in Cities, Autonomy and Decentralization, Hein, C. & Pelletier, P. (eds). London: Curzon/Routledge, 101-127.
 
Sorensen, A. (2005). The Developmental State and the Extreme Narrowness of the Public Realm: The 20th Century Evolution of Japanese Planning Culture, in Comparative Planning Cultures, Sanyal, B. (ed.) London: Routledge, 223-258.
 
Sorensen, A. (2004). Major Issues of Land Management for More Sustainable Urban Regions in Japan, Chapter 12 in Towards Sustainable Cities: East Asian, North American and European Perspectives, Sorensen, A. Marcotullio, P. & Grant, J. (eds.). London: Ashgate, 197-216.
 
Sorensen A., P. Marcotullio, J. Grant (2004). Towards Sustainable Cities, Chapter 1 in Towards Sustainable Cities: East Asian, North American and European Perspectives, Sorensen, A., Marcotullio, P. & Grant, J. (eds.). London: Ashgate, 3-23.
 
Grant J., Marcotullio, P.  & Sorensen, A. (2004). Towards Land Management Policies for more Sustainable Cities, Conclusions of Towards Sustainable Cities: East Asian, North American and European Perspectives, Sorensen, A., Marcotullio, P. & Grant, J. (eds.) London: Ashgate, 301-308.

Affiliations: 

•    Elected Fellow, University of Tokyo Faculty of Engineering for “Outstanding contributions to research and scholarship on Japanese cities” November 2007
•    Council Member, International Planning History Society
•    Editorial Board Member, Planning Perspectives
•    Editorial Board Member, International Planning Studies
•    Editorial Board Member, Planning Theory and Practice

Education: 

Ph.D. London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Geography – 1998
MSc.  London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, Department of Geography, Urban and Regional Planning Studies Programme – 1993
B.F.A. Nova Scotia College of Art and Design – 1983