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 (CUP-LG) was created in 2017 to respond to the many new challenges facing local governments and urban policymakers at all levels. Bringing together academic researchers and students from across Western and beyond, our goal is to facilitate new interdisciplinary collaborations on pressing questions, to foster dialogue between academics and policy practitioners, and to communicate the results of research to policy professionals and the broader public.
 
As Western’s hub for urban research, the Centre builds on the university’s established strengths: the graduate Local Government Program and undergraduate Urban Development Program, the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory, and the work of dozens of faculty members and graduate students across multiple Social Science departments. 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.


Events

LAUNCH EVENT

Roundtable participants

The Centre held its official launch event on November 23, 2018, a roundtable on: 

The Intentional City: Shaping London’s Urban Future

Moderated by the Centre’s associate director, Prof. Martin Horak, the roundtable brought together civic leaders and academics for an open public discussion of these questions. Five panellists participated: Pierre Filion, Professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo and an expert in mid-sized cities; Arielle Kayabaga, Councillor-Elect for City of London’s downtown Ward 13; Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director of London’s Pillar Nonprofit Network and Co-Founder of Innovation Works; John Fleming, Managing Director of Planning and City Planner for the City of London; and Neil Bradford, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Huron University College.

If you missed the event, we invite you to watch the video, read the summary of the remarks, or peruse the edited transcript

PUBLIC LECTURE – Oct. 17, 2019

Governing Secondary City-Regions: Lessons from Manchester, UK

Alan HardingDr. Alan Harding
Chief Economic Advisor, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Visiting Professor, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research
 
Thursday, Oct. 17, 2:30–4:00pm
Social Science Centre, Room 1004
 
Light refreshments will be provided
 
How can secondary cities thrive in a competitive global economy in which large metropolitan centres seem to run away with growth? Dr. Harding will discuss the experience of Manchester, UK, which has become an internationally recognized site of economic development policy innovation, institutional reform, and the devolution of national authority to local government. The Manchester experience offers important lessons for Canadian secondary cities, including London, Ontario.
 
Dr. Harding’s talk will be followed by remarks from Kapil Lakhotia, President and CEO of the London Economic Development Corporation.
 
Co-presented with the Program in Governance, Leadership and Ethics at Huron University College and the Project on Multilevel Urban Governance.

Research areas in 2019–20

The Centre will focus on three research areas each year. Each will culminate in a research report or other publication targeted at policy professionals working in local or provincial government, non-governmental organizations, or private practice. In the future, we will solicit ideas for research areas from the policy community. 

Local Elections

Our home in London, Ontario, is the first Canadian municipality to adopt a ranked-ballots electoral system. We are monitoring this closely with a specific focus on administration. How is London preparing for the deployment of a new electoral system? And what can other municipalities learn from London's experience? Separately, faculty researchers are studying recent changes to Ontario's campaign finance rules for local elections to see what impact they have on electoral competition.

Medium-Size City Futures

What future is there for medium-size cities in a world defined by metropolitan agglomeration and global circuits of knowledge, labour, and capital? Centre researchers are studying local economic development strategies and multi-level governance arrangements that support local economies. 

Canadian Local Government Inventory

It has been over a decade since provincial legal and regulatory frameworks for local government have been comprehensively reviewed and compared. We are building an inventory of information regarding the provincial-municipal relationship in each province and territory.


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Are you interested in joining the Centre as a Faculty Associate, Graduate Fellow, or Visiting Scholar? Contact us for more information!