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Faculty of Community Services

David Amborski




416-979-5000, ext. 6768

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David Amborski holds master's degrees in Economics and Urban and Regional Planning. His research and consulting interests lie in the areas where urban planning interfaces with economics, especially in the field of municipal finance and land/housing markets. He has consulted and undertaken studies for federal, provincial and local governments. His publications and reports focus on topics related to infrastructure finance. This includes land value capture, municipal budgeting (including performance budgeting), the application of development charges, regulation of municipal debt, land markets, housing issues and tax increment financing.

He is the founding director of the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, and is the academic director of Ryerson’s City Building Institute.

He has taught seminars for in-career government officials both in Ontario and internationally. Internationally, he has delivered seminars in the Baltic States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Spain, Ethiopia, Singapore, Poland and the Ukraine. He has also undertaken work for the Canadian International Development Agency, the World Bank, and the Interamerican Development Bank. In Canada, Amborski has delivered seminars for new municipal councillors and staff (offered by the Ontario Municipal Management Institute and the Local Government Program and delivered by the University of Alberta and Dalhousie University).

He has served on numerous government and professional committees, including the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners, as president of the Association of the Canadian Urban Planning Programs. He is past president of the Association of Canadian Urban Planning Programs. Currently, he serves as academic advisor to the National Executive Forum on Public Policy and is chair of the Congress Committee for the Global Planning Educators Association Network. He has been selected as a member of Lambda Alpha (Honorary Land Economics Society) and serves on a number of international editorial boards and committees, including the editorial board of European Spatial Research and Policy and Town Planning Review.

Current research activities include studies and publications on land value capture tools (including an article in Plan Canada, Summer 2016), a more comprehensive study on land value capture applications in Canada, and a policy commentary on the application of density bonuses.      

Research Interests:

Research interests:

  • Land and housing development
  • Municipal fiscal tools (including land value capture)
  • Infrastructure finance
  • Urban policy
  • Development charges
  • Property tax reform in Ontario
  • Strategic planning practice in Ontario and Eastern Europe

Current Courses:

Teaching interests:

  • Local government finance
  • Municipal policy analysis
  • Land and housing development
  • Planning implementation

Philosophy of teaching:

  • Interactive team building based on current literature and practice

Selected Publications:

  • Using Land Value Capture Tools in Canadian Municipalities, Plan Canada (Summer 2016)
  • Land Value Capture: Background, History and Current Applications in Canadian Jurisdictions, forthcoming
  • Ontario, Section 37 Commentary, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, forthcoming

Professional Affiliations:

  • MCIP Member, Canadian Institute of Planners
  • RPP, Registered Professional Planner
  • Institute for Public Administration of Canada
  • Urban Land Institute

Selected Publications & Presentations:

  • Lambda Alpha, Honourary Land Economics Society

Position Currently Held:


Awards and honours

Contact details

Office details

  • SBB-412, South Bond Building