Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning
Synopsis: Dr. Leela Viswanathan is studying the intersection of planning, equity and diversity, and her team is trying to educate municipalities about how cities are located on Indigenous traditional and treaty territories. She has an ongoing SSHRC-funded project that aims to improve Indigenous-Municipal relations in the context of land use planning in Southern Ontario. In this episode, Dr. Viswanathan discusses the importance of enhancing relationships between municipalities and Indigenous peoples when involved in land use planning. She emphasizes that planning must occur within terms that both sides agree on together, and that both history and context are important for all communities. Indigenous peoples have been historically displaced from lands and excluded from land use planning, and Leela’s project is seeking to understand and change provincial policies surrounding planning consultation. For more about her research, please visit Leela’s website.