Skip to main content
Faculty of Community Services

Christopher De Sousa




416-979-5000, ext. 6764

Email Address:


  • Brownfields redevelopment
  • Sustainability, environmental management and planning
  • Parks and open space


Christopher De Sousa is a professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University and served as school director from 2011 to 2018. Prior to joining Ryerson, he was a faculty member and chair of the Urban Planning program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a faculty member in the Department of Geography and the Urban Studies Program. He received his BA in Environment and Resource Management, his MSc in Planning, and his PhD in Geography all from the University of Toronto. He is a Registered Professional Planner and a member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners.

De Sousa’s research activities focus on various aspects of brownfield redevelopment, urban environmental management, parks planning, and sustainability in Canada and the United States. He is wrapping up a multi-year research project examining brownfields redevelopment in Ontario funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. His earlier research has been funded by Mitacs, the US Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Forest Service, National Academies (HUD Urban Scholars Postdoctoral Fellowship), US Trade and Development Agency, Consul General of Canada, SSHRC, as well as by UW-Milwaukee, Ryerson University, and private foundations. De Sousa’s work has appeared in prominent journals in planning, geography, environmental and urban studies such as Landscape and Urban Planning, Environment and Planning B, the Professional Geographer, Local Environment, Economic Development Quarterly, the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, and Urban Studies.

De Sousa has been actively involved with government agencies and nonprofits in Canada and the United States that address urban-environmental issues. He was awarded Canadian Brownfielder of the Year in 2018 for his work as a champion for the sector. He currently serves as President of the Canadian Brownfields Network, is a Steering Committee member on the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Brownfields/Land Reuse Health Initiative, and serves on the Advisory/Executive Committee for Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development.

Research Interests:

Research interests:

  • Brownfields Redevelopment
  • Sustainability Reporting
  • Parks Planning and Development
  • Green Building and Development

Research projects:

  • Brownfields Remediation and Redevelopment in Ontario, PI, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Grant
  • NRTEE 15 year update study: National Brownfield Redevelopment, PI, MITACS Accelerate Grant

Current Courses:

Teaching responsibilities:

  • PLG 100: Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning
  • PLG 200: Planning Principles
  • PLG 530/730: Field Research Project
  • PLG 620/8109: Planning Client-Based Studio
  • PLE 865/8312 Brownfields and Sustainable Redevelopment
  • PLE 785: Field Placement
Teaching interests:
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental management and planning
  • Research design
  • Brownfields and infill development

Selected Publications:

  • Google Scholar
  • De Sousa, Christopher; Spiess, Thierry. (2019) Brownfields. In Oxford Bibliographies in Geography. Ed. Barney Warf. New York: Oxford University Press (, update published September 25, 2019.
  • De Sousa, C. (2018) Menomonee Valley. In Anderson, M. and Seligman, A. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Milwaukee. (pp. 1-2) Milwaukee: Board of Regents – University of Wisconsin System. (
  • De Sousa, C. & Speiss, T. (2018). The Management of Brownfields in Ontario: A Comprehensive Review of Remediation and Reuse Characteristics, Trends, and Outcomes, 2004-2015. Environmental Practice, 20(1), 4-15.
  • De Sousa, C., Ridsdale, R., Lima, I., Easton, M. (2018) The State of Brownfields in Canada: Renewing Canada’s National Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy. Toronto: Report prepared for the Canadian Brownfields Network, Brownfields Research Lab at Ryerson University. Pg. 1-43.
  • De Sousa, C. (2018) Cleanup and Smart-In-Up: A look at Ontario’s efforts to connect brownfields remediation, infill development and regional growth planning. Toronto: Center for Urban Research and Land Development blog post.
  • De Sousa, C. (2018) Menomonee Valley. In Anderson, M. and Seligman, A. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Milwaukee. (pp. 1-2) Milwaukee: Board of Regents – University of Wisconsin System. (
  • De Sousa, C. (2017). Trying to Smart-In-Up and Cleanup Our Act by Linking Regional Growth Planning, Brownfields Remediation, and Urban Infill in Southern Ontario Cities. Urban Planning, 2(3), 5-17.
  • Spiess, T. and De Sousa, C. (2016) Barriers to Renewable Energy Development on Brownfields. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 18(4): 507-534.
  • De Sousa, C. (2015) Evaluating progress toward sustainable development: A critical examination of a decade-long university-nonprofit collaboration. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Special issue on community-higher education partnerships 17:10-21.
  • De Sousa, C. (2015) Overcoming barriers and facilitating brownfields redevelopment in the GTHA: A review of results from interviews with private sector stakeholders. Report prepared for the Center for Urban Research and Land Development, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University. Pg. 1-25

Professional Affiliations:

  • MCIP member, Canadian Institute of Planners
  • OPPI member, Ontario Professional Planners Institute
  • RPP, Registered Professional Planner

Selected Publications & Presentations:

  • Brownfielder of the Year award, Canadian Brownfields Network and Actual Media, 2018
  • National Center for Environmental Health – ATSDR Honor Award for excellence in frontline public health service presented to members of the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) Steering Committee, Brownfields/Land Reuse Health Initiative, 2014
  • City of Milwaukee and Mayor Tom Barrett Official Recognition, Member of the City of Milwaukee Green Team, 2011

Position Currently Held:


Awards and honours
Recent Publications

Contact details

Office details

  • SBB-408, South Bond Building