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Faculty of Community Services

Christopher De Sousa




416-979-5000, ext. 6764

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Christopher De Sousa (MCIP, RPP) is a professor at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University. Prior to joining Ryerson in 2011, he was chair of Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as a member of the Geography and Urban Studies faculty. He received his bachelor of arts in Environment and Resource Management in 1994, his master of science in Planning in 1996, and his PhD in Geography in 2000—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 reporting in Canada and the United States. He is currently working on a three-year research project examining brownfields redevelopment in Ontario that is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). He recently completed a collaborative research project, funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, examining best management practices in sustainable brownfields redevelopment.

His earlier research has been funded by Ryerson's Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, 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 and private foundations. De Sousa’s work has appeared in prominent journals in planning, geography, and urban studies such as Economic Development Quarterly, Landscape and Urban Planning, Environment and Planning B, The Professional Geographer, 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 issues such as brownfield policy, sustainability, comprehensive planning and city building. He currently serves on the Board of Directors 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 Committees for Ryerson’s City Building Institute and Centre for Urban Research and Land Development.

Research Interests:

Research interests:

  • Brownfield redevelopment policy and practice

  • Sustainable development, sustainability reporting and project assessment

  • Parks and open space

Selected Publications:

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. (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, March 16, 2016, published online.​

De Sousa, C. (2015) Evaluating progress toward sustainable development: A critical examination of a decade-long university-nonprofit collaboration. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 17: 10-21.

De Sousa, Christopher; Spiess, Thierry. (2014)  Brownfields. In Oxford Bibliographies in Geography. Ed. Barney Warf. New York: Oxford University Press (

De Sousa, C. (2014). The greening of urban post-industrial landscapes: Past practices and emerging trends. Local Environment, 19(10): 1049-1067.

Perlman, E., Guetter, R., and De Sousa, C. (2014). Creating the next generation of informed and engaged urban citizens. Plan Canada, 53(3): 42-43.

De Sousa, C. (2013) Publicly subsidized brownfields redevelopment. In White, S. & Kotval, Z. (Eds.) Financing economic development in the 21st century, 2nd Edition (pp. 150-167). New York: M.E. Sharpe.

De Sousa, C. and Ghoshal, S. (2012) Redevelopment of brownfield sites. In Zeman, F. (ed.) Metropolitan sustainability: Understanding and improving the urban environment (pp. 99-117). Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing.

Berman, L., De Sousa, C., Linder, T., & Misky, D. (2012). From blighted brownfields to healthy and sustainable communities: Tracking performance and measuring outcomes. In R.C. Hula, L.A. Reese, and C. Jackson-Elmoore (Eds.) Reclaiming Brownfields (pp. 311-340). London: Ashgate.

De Sousa, C. (2011). Creating the green industrial district: Transforming Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley from a blighted brownfield into a sustainable place to work and play.” In M. Slavin (ed.), Sustainability in America's cities: Creating the green metropolis (pp. 45-68). Washington, D.C.: Island Press. (Based on research conducted for the case study above)

Adams, D., De Sousa, C. & Tiesdell, S. (2010). Brownfield development: A comparison of North American and British approaches. Urban Studies, 47 (1): 75-104.

De Sousa, C., Wu, C. & Westphal, L. (2009). Assessing the effect of publicly supported brownfield redevelopment on surrounding property values. Economic Development Quarterly, 23 (2): 95-110.

De Sousa, C. (2008). Brownfields Redevelopment and the Quest for Sustainability. London: Elsevier Science/Emerald Group Publishing, Current Issues in Urban and Regional Studies Series, Volume 3.W

Professional Affiliations:

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

Position Currently Held:


Creative Activity

Contact details

Office details

  • SBB-408, South Bond Building