David Wachsmuth

David Wachsmuth

Associate Professor

Canada Research Chair in Urban Governance

Ph.D., New York University
M.Sc.(Pl.), University of Toronto
B.A., McGill University

Office: Macdonald-Harrington Building, Room 405
Phone: 514-398-4078
david.wachsmuth [at] mcgill.ca (Email)



Professional and research interests

Urban and regional governance; urban political economy; critical urban theory; local economic development; smart cities; city-environment relations; urban entrepreneurialism and territorial competitiveness; the politics of public space; urban sustainability policy; social theory.


PhD dissertation

Post-city politics: US urban governance and competitive multi-city regionalism


Select recent publications


“Urbanizing Urban Political Ecology: A Critique of Methodological Cityism” (with Hillary Angelo). International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 39 (1): 16-27.

“Megaregions and the Urban Question: The New Strategic Terrain for US Urban Competitiveness”. In John Harrison and Michael Hoyler eds. Megaregions: Globalization’s New Urban Form? (Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar).

“Transnational Gentrification: Globalisation and Neighbourhood Change in Panama’s Casco Antiguo” (with Thomas J. Sigler). Urban Studies. Advance copy available online.

2014 and before

“City as Ideology: Reconciling the Explosion of the City Form with the Tenacity of the City Concept”. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32 (1): 75-90.

“Urban Theory Without Methodological Cityism”. (Translated into Spanish.) URBAN 6: 23-35.

“Three Ecologies: Urban Metabolism and the Society-Nature Opposition”. The Sociological Quarterly 53 (4): 506-523.

“Territorial Competitiveness: Lineages, Practices, Ideologies” (with Neil Brenner). In Bish Sanyal, Lawrence J. Vale, and Christina Rosan eds. Planning Ideas That Matter: Livability, Territoriality, Governance and Relfective Practice (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

“Reflections on Occupy Wall Street, the State and Space” (with Stuart Schrader). City 16 (1-2): 247-252.

Whose Streets? The Toronto G20 and the Challenges of Summit Protest (edited with Tom Malleson). Toronto: Between the Lines.

“Assemblage Urbanism and the Challenges of Critical Urban Theory” (with Neil Brenner and David J. Madden). City 15 (2): 225-240.

“Between Abstraction and Complexity: Meta-theoretical Observations on the Assemblage Debate” (with David J. Madden and Neil Brenner). City 15 (6): 740-750.

“What Is to Be Done, and Who the Hell Is Going to Do It?” (with David Harvey). In Neil Brenner, Margit Mayer, and Peter Marcuse eds. Cities for People Not Profit (New York and London: Routledge).


Select recent presentations


“Saving the City with Data: From Ekistics to Urbanology”, invited contribution to Science Fictions: Smartology as New Urban Utopia international workshop, Technische Universität, Berlin: June 20.

“The “In-Between Territories” of Suburban Infrastructure Politics ”, invited contribution to Infrastructure Problems and Solutions in the Global Suburb international workshop, University of Waterloo: June 15.

“Post-City Politics: Iterative Abstraction in Contemporary Urban Research”, keynote presentation at “Abduction: Embracing the Alien Aspects of Social Research” conference, Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver: May 9.

“Urban Entrepreneurialism in an Era of Growth Coalition Instability”, Association of American Geographers annual conference, Chicago: April 23


“The Storm as a State Project: Disaster Imaginaries and Fantasy Institutions in Post-Hurricane New York”, invited talk in the Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver: October 21.

“Competitive Multi-City Regionalism: The Urban Political Economy of the Great Recession”, Association of American Geographers annual conference, Tampa: April 11.

Back to top