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Understanding change in cities: a personal research path

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At the invitation of the editor, this article offers an overview of my personal research trajectory in one thematic area—the study of urban form, structure and growth. The purpose of the article is not to assign prominence to any particular research style or approach but to illustrate how ideas and priorities in research evolve over a given time period and under specific conditions, as viewed through the lens of my own experience. The article traces the sequential evolution of my research activity and publications from an initial emphasis on understanding change in inner-city land use and built form, through studies of decision making and the behavioural bases of urban form, to analyses of social change, income inequalities and spatial polarization, and then to issues of planning, policy and governance in emerging city regions. The review highlights lessons learned and concludes with an argument for more inclusive and comparative research.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3G3 ( ), Email:

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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