Cities in the Anthropocene

About the Research Centre for the Future of Cities - RCFC

The Centre offers a unique interdisciplinary research environment in Canada, to address the pressing challenges of the 21st century by tackling the relationship between the transformation of cities, the climate and social crisis, and the Anthropocene.

The Director of the Centre: Vincent Mirza

Professor Vincent Mirza

Associate Professor I School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies I uOttawa

“While 50% of the world's population is now living in cities and the growth-at-all-costs model runs out of steam, it is essential to think of new paradigms to face the major demographic, ecological and infrastructure challenges of they 21st century.

These transformations must be understood in the context of both global flows of populations, finance, goods, etc. and local contextual constraints specific to the cultural and social challenges of cities.

To explore degrowth, work transformations and urban metabolism, it is critical to understand how the differential access to resources is rooted in a capitalist context and in its unequal structuring of space, places, and social relations. Interdisciplinary research and interfaculty collaborations will shed important light and redefine the social and ethical issues of urban lifestyles and processes. This is what we are going to do with the collaboration of the faculties of Social Sciences, Arts, Health Sciences, Sciences, Engineering, as well as the faculties of Law Civil Law Section and Law Common Law Section.

Our strategies to meet these contemporary challenges

  • Our approach: To develop tools for the analysis and interpretation of social, cultural, and economic urban issues, that will enable us to go beyond the models inherited from the 20th century.
  • Synergies and collaborations: To establish a major research hub at the University of Ottawa, to enable research and educational collaborations with a focus on cities and large urban centres, in Canada and internationally.
  • Method and perspective: To examine the evolution of urban lifestyles and spaces, as well as issues pertaining to the future of cities and the Anthropocene, in a multi-sited and interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Analysis: To propose new perspectives on the city and the Anthropocene to devise potential solutions to pressing contemporary issues.



Past events

Scott Rozelle

Conference on June 3, 2021

Invisible China: How the urban-rural divide threatens China’s rise – with Scott Rozelle, Professor in International Agricultural Policy and senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

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