I am an Assistant Professor in Urban Geography at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. I am originally from Toronto, but have lived in Holland since 2004. My work critically examines today’s urban renaissance and questions the celebration of the contemporary cities by asking: who profits from this remaking of the city? I have written extensively on gentrification, waterfront regeneration and urban redevelopment. My approach is to focus on  engaged research, relevant to academic, political and societal debates.

I am particularly interested in how the political-economic context of post-industrial economies and neoliberal governance produces the inequality that we see in today's cities. My research has specifically focused on the production of gentrification and how the process has become celebrated amongst urban leaders in today's major cities.

I am also interested in how gentrificaiton is experienced on a day-to-day level by those who are not gentrifiers. Using class as a unit of analysis, my work seeks to understand the perceptions and experiences of residents who are not part of the much-celebrated 'urban renaissance.' Empirically, this has involved work in Edinburgh, Dublin, Rotterdam and Detroit.

I am currently under advanced contract for two scholarly books:

Why Detroit Matters(Policy Press) will be an edited volume brining together some of the leading scholars, writers and thinkers on Detroit to examine the lessons and visions from the Motor City. (read more here)

Streetcars and the Changing Geography of Toronto(University of Toronto Press, written together with Michael Doucet) is a visual analysis of how Toronto has changed since the 1960s. (see more here)

I am passionate about teaching and believe that contributing to education is essential to being a successful scholar. My research heavily influences my teaching, while at the same time I encourage students to critically examine the world around them and question why things are where they are.

From October, I will be joining the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Erasmus University College in Rotterdam

18 May

Talk and film screening:  Detroit: New Ideas and New Visions

Talk by Rich Feldman

Film Screening: American Revolutionary: the evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

10 April

Detroit in 10 Buildings talk

University of Toronto

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Brian Doucet

Urban Geographer