York hosts a conference on global cities

Urbanization in Toronto, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, and the many connections between those metropolitan centres, is the focus of an international and interdisciplinary conference at York University. The conference, which opens today, continues until Saturday. 

Titled “Challenges of Global Metropolitanization – Interdisciplinary Perspectives on: Toronto, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore”, the conference will bring together leading scholars in many disciplines to discuss topics ranging from art and cultural production in these metropolitan centres, to urban planning, health and the environment. It is being organized by The City Institute at York University and the York Centre for Asian Research. The event marks the return visit of Chinese scholars who hosted a delegation of urban studies scholars from York University at Fudan University in Shanghai last December.

Right: Shanghai at night

As a centre of East Asian immigration and diaspora culture, Toronto has many economic, social and environmental relationships with Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as other Asian cities, which the conference will explore.

The conference begins today with a series of student workshops, followed by the keynote address. Professor Emeritus Bernard Frolic, director of York’s Asia Business & Management Program, will deliver the keynote, speaking on “Canadian and Chinese Urbanization in a Changing World”.

The main program, on Friday and Saturday, will have experts from several universities speaking on:

  • urban and regional development in global cities,
  • lived experience and everyday life in the globalizing city,
  • image and architecture of the global city,
  • diversity and citizenship challenges of metropolitanization,
  • health and environment in the global city,
  • urban culture in global cities.

The Challenges of Global Metropolitanization conference runs from Sept. 27 to 29, at York’s Keele campus. For more information on the experts speaking at the conference and the various locations for the workshops and lectures, visit The City Institute at York Web site.