Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance

Most Canadians now live in cities and large metropolitan areas. Social, economic, and environmental policymaking by all levels of government is increasingly urban in its focus.
Western’s Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance was created in 2017 to respond to the many new challenges facing local governments and urban policymakers. Bringing together academic researchers and students from across Western and beyond, our goals are to facilitate new interdisciplinary collaborations on pressing questions, contribute to graduate training and professional development, and foster dialogue between academics, policy practitioners and the broader public.
As Western’s hub for urban research, the Centre builds on the university’s established strengths including the graduate Local Government Program, the undergraduate Urban Development Program, and the work of dozens of faculty members and graduate students in academic units in Social Science and across campus. The Centre is a proud member of Western’s Network for Economic and Social Trends (NEST) which brings together the research centres in the Faculty of Social Science.


The Centre is Canada’s participant in developing a multi-national project on Local Government and the Changing Urban-Rural Interplay. Each country’s research team will study the responsibilities of different levels of government, financial arrangements, and public participation in relation to the growing gap between urban and rural settlements, and to identify innovative practices to respond to these challenges. Prof. Martin Horak is leading this project. Housed at the  Institute for Comparative Federalism at Eurac Research, Bolzano, Italy, the LoGov project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (MSCA-RISE) programme.

2023-2024 LoGov-RISE Visiting Scholars

Moneyba Gonzalez Medina

Moneyba González-Medina (Visiting Researcher, June 2024 - August 2024)

Lecturer and researcher of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She holds a PhD in Political Science and Administration (2009, University of Santiago de Compostela). She has a Master Degree in Law (2000) and in Political Science and Administration (2002). She has carried out research stays at the Universität Konstanz in Germany (2004-2006), the Politecnico di Milano in Italy (2012-2014), the University of the West of England in United Kingdom (2020) and the Universidad Nacional de San Martín in Argentina (2023). Her areas of expertise encompasses public policy analysis and local governance, and her research interest is focused on urban development policies, urban strategic planning, urban Europeanisation and public administration reform. She has published several studies on these subjects, the most recent: González-Medina, M., De Gregorio Hurtado, S. (2024). “Metropolitan Governance in Madrid: Institutionalization and Models from a Policy Perspective

During her stay at UWO as part of the LoGov-RISE project, her primary focus will be to investigate the metropolitan dynamics and institutional arrangements in Canada. Among other aspects, she will analyze the metropolitan governance framework, the incentives for promoting collaboration between municipalities and the coordination of policies at metropolitan scale.

Caroline Schulte OestrichCaroline Schulte Oestrich (Visiting Researcher, February 2024 – April 2024)

PhD Candidate and research assistant at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München at the Chair of Public Law, Business Administrative Law, Environmental and Social Security Law (Prof. Dr. Martin Burgi). Her research is focused on public economic law, particularly in relation to public infrastructure.

During her stay at UWO as part of the LoGov-RISE project, her focus will be on the local governments' power and impact on mobility. She will examine, inter alia, the differences and challenges that exist in the provision of mobility services in urban and rural areas.

Ester Marco Peñas

Ester Marco Peñas (Visiting Researcher, October 2023 - January 2024)

Professor of Financial and Tax Law at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid since 2017. PhD in Financial and Tax Law from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2014). Her main lines of research are budget stability, public debt, application of the European System of Accounts (ESA) and financing of essential public services. She has published several works on these subjects, including her doctoral thesis (The European concept of public debt), which received a special mention from the Spanish Congress. She has carried out research stays at: IBFD (2004), Max Planck Institute Munich (2005), Université de Strasbourg (2007), London School of Economics and Political Science (2009/2010), and has been a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University Baltimore (2016 and 2017).

During her stay at UWO as part of the LoGov-RISE project, her primary focus will be to investigate the financing of local public services through various fee structures and payment methods. Among other aspects, she will analyze the extent to which the service management approach (whether it is directly administered by the local government or through a public-private partnership) influences the nature and characteristics of user fees.

Félix Alberto Vega Borrego

Félix Alberto Vega Borrego (Visiting Researcher, October 2023 - January 2024)

Professor of Financial and Tax Law at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, where he earned his PhD in 2002. His primary research areas encompass international taxation, tax procedures, and the taxation and financing of local governments. His research has been published in renowned Spanish and international publishers and journals, including Kluwer Law International, IBFD, Intertax, Aranzadi, Civitas, Revista española de Derecho Financiero, and Crónica Tributaria, among others. He has also conducted research stays at various institutions, including IBFD (2000, 2001, and 2015), Institut für Steuerrecht-University of Cologne (2002), and Georgetown Law (2016).

Throughout his stay at UWO as part of the LoGov-RISE project, his focus will be on the financing of local public services through fees or other types of payments. Among other aspects, he will explore whether principles such as the ability to pay or the personal and family circumstances of the user are taken into consideration when determining the amount of user fees.

Marcin TobiaszMarcin Tobiasz (Visiting Researcher, September - October 2023) 

Marcin Tobiasz, PhD in political sciences (2008), a research and teaching fellow at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Warsaw. From 2016 to 2019 Deputy Director of the Institute of Political Science. Since 2021, Head of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies in Political Science. The Secretary of the Editorial Board of the journal Polish Political Science Yearbook. Long-time member, secretary and then chairman of the Recruitment Committee at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies. Former member of the Audit Committee at the Mazovian Branch of Polish Political Science Association. Contractor in National Science Centre’s program Political representation in modern democracies: limitations and challenges under the direction of Prof. Tomasz Żyro. Research interests: democratic theory, political pluralism, political participation and deliberative democracy.


Local/In Theory: Symposium on the Political Theory of Place Governance

local_in_theory_symposium_logo.svgOn May 24, 2024, the Centre and the Department of Political Science will host an interdisciplinary symposium on the political theory of place governance. For more information, visit the event website or contact Prof. Zack Taylor.

TALK IN-PERSON – APR. 12, 2024 – 10:30AM

Oestrich Poster

TALK IN-PERSON – MAR. 1, 2024 – 2:00PM

NEST Speaker Series Poster

TALK IN-PERSON – DEC. 15, 2023 – 10:30AM


TALK IN-PERSON – NOV. 16, 2023 – 3:30PM
 Brighenti Talk Poster

TALK IN-PERSON – OCT. 13, 2023 – 1:00PM

Marcin Tobiasz Talk Poster







Canadian Municipal Attributes Portal (CMAP)

CMAP Poster

CALL FOR PAPERS: New Scholars Conference on Canada’s Housing Crisis

Housing Crisis Poster

Panel Discussion Poster



Climate Discussion Poster





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