Since the mid-1990s, the question of governance has been at the center of research on territories, urban and otherwise.

The managerial and apolitical image of Canadian municipalities is outdated today. Urban spaces are strategic places to observe the economic, political, social and cultural transformations of our societies. Less often explored, the rural or forest territories are nonetheless just as important witnesses.

Several theoretical inputs are possible to explore the forms and dynamics of urban and territorial governance. However, two main angles can be identified. The first, of a rather vertical nature, focuses on identifying intergovernmental relations between the federal, provincial and municipal governments in the context of multilevel governance. Structures, reforms and urban and territorial policies largely influenced by intergovernmental arrangements and by the division of powers between different levels of government. The second angle, of a rather horizontal nature, is more interested in bringing to light the networks of actors, the formal and informal institutional dynamics, the common representations of the territory, which guide the territorial public action. Urban and territorial public policies (economic, social, cultural policies, mobility, infrastructures, megaprojects, smart cities, etc.) are then seen as collective constructions resulting from specific territorial configurations.

This axis of research is intended to be a place for meetings and exchanges, multidisciplinary on the urban and territorial dynamics, in Canada as elsewhere.