Susannah Bunce

Susannah Bunce
Associate Professor
Telephone number
(416) 287-7296
Building HL 534

My research centres on the role of sustainability in the context of spatial planning, development, and redevelopment practices in urban communities and neighbourhoods. My research examines the actors, interests and motives in the adoption of sustainability principles and practices within urban communities and neighbourhoods and explores socio-environmental discourses, sustainability planning, and strategies for socio-environmental justice and change. I am interested in the local politics of land use, socio-environmental contestations over local spaces - particularly those caused by gentrification - and more hopeful community-based methods for affordable, accessible, and sustainable land stewardship. I examine these processes in cities in Canada, Britain, and the United States.


B.A.(Hon.) University of Guelph – 1994
M.E.S.(PL.) York University – 1999
Ph.D. York University – 2008

Teaching Interests

I emphasize class participation and discussion as a teaching approach and specialize in experiential learning and service learning. I teach a C level course in service learning (CITC02) where students learn about community-based planning and development in a local Scarborough neighbourhood through service placements with non-profit organizations and service agencies.


Undergraduate Teaching 2019/2020: GGRD08: Special Topics in Environmental Geography (Fall 2019) CITB03: Social Planning and Community Development (Winter 2020) CITC02: Learning in Community Service (Winter 2020) Graduate Teaching 2019/2020: JPG 1518: Sustainability and Urban Communities (Fall 2019 St. George Campus)



Research Interests

  • Sustainable urban communities
  • Urban spatial planning and development
  • Environmental gentrification
  • Socio-environmental spaces and land uses in cities
  • Community-based development and engagement
  • Urban community and neighbourhood land uses

Awards and Grants

  • 2013-, Co-Applicant – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant, “Crossing Boundaries: Encounters with Urban Wildlife in the Greater Toronto Area” (Principal Investigator - Dr. Susan Ruddick, University of Toronto), $179,590
  • 2013-, Co-Applicant – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant, “Public-Private Partnerships in Urban Governance” (Principal Investigator – Dr. Mariana Valverde, University of Toronto), $98,000
  • 2009-2014, Principal Investigator - Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant "Planning for Urban
    Community Land Trusts"  - $49, 717


Bunce, S. (2018). Sustainability Policy, Planning, and Gentrification in Cities Routledge, Abingdon

Bunce, S. (2018). Alternatives to Gentrification: Exploring Urban Community Land Trusts and Urban Ecovillage Practices in: Lees, L. (ed.) Handbook of Gentrification Studies Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham. pp. 413-427.

Bunce, S. and Aslam, F.C. (2016). Land Trusts and the Protection and Stewardship of Land in Canada: Exploring Non-Governmental Land Trust Practices and the Role of Urban Community Land Trusts Canadian Journal of Urban Research 25(2), 23-34

Bunce, S. (2016). Pursuing Urban Commons: Politics and Alliances in Community Land Trust Activism in East London Antipode 48(1), 134-150

Bunce, S. and Allahwala, A. (2013). Community-University Partnerships: Building Collaboration and Reciprocity Between Campus and Community Journal of Geography 112(2) 52-53

Bunce, S. (2011). Public-Private Sector Alliances in Sustainable Waterfront Revitalization: Policy, Planning, and Design in the West Don Lands in: Desfor, G. and Laidley, J. (eds.) Re-shaping Toronto’s Waterfront University of Toronto Press, Toronto. pp. 287-304

Bunce, S. (2009). Developing Sustainability: Sustainability Policy and Gentrification on Toronto’s Waterfront Local Environment: International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 14(7), 651-667

Moore, S. and Bunce, S. (2009). Delivering Sustainable Buildings and Communities: Eclipsing Social Concerns Through Private Sector-led Urban Regeneration and Development Local Environment: International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 14(7), 601-606

Bunce, S. and Desfor, G. (2007). Guest Editorial: Introduction to Political Ecologies of Urban Waterfront Transformations. Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning 24(4), 251-258

Cowen, D. and Bunce, S. (2006). Competitive Cities and Secure Nations: Conflict and Convergence in Urban Waterfront Agendas after 9/11 International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 30(2), 427-439

Bunce, S. (2004). The Emergence of ‘Smart Growth’ Intensification in Toronto: Environment and Economy in the New Official Plan Local Environment: An International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 9(2), 177-191