Desfor, Gene 1942-

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Desfor, Gene 1942-

PERSONAL:

Born September 25, 1942. Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

ADDRESSES:

Office—York University, 109 Health, Nursing, & Environmental Studies Building, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada; fax: 416-736-5679. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Academic. York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, professor of environmental studies.

MEMBER:

International Network of Urban Research and Action.

WRITINGS:

(With others) Impact of Suburban Rapid Transit Station Location, Fare, and Parking Availability on Users' Station Choice Behavior: Analysis of the Philadelphia-Lindenwold High-Speed Line: Final Report to Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, Regional Science Department (Philadelphia, PA), 1974.

(With Lawrence Haas) Energy Requirements for Urban Goods Movement, University of Toronto/York University Joint Program in Transportation (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1979.

Urban Waterfront Industry: Planning and Developing Green Enterprise for the 21st Century: Symposium Report, Royal Commission on the Future of the Toronto Waterfront (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1990.

(Editor, with Deborah Barndt and Barbara Rahder) Just Doing It: Popular Collective Action in the Americas, Royal Black Rose Books (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 2002.

(With Roger Keil) Nature and the City: Making Environmental Policy in Toronto and Los Angeles, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 2004.

Contributor to periodicals and journals, including the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Local Environment, Journal of Transport Geography, Geoforum, and Studies in Political Economy.

SIDELIGHTS:

Gene Desfor is an academic. Born on September 25, 1942, Desfor completed his higher education at the University of Pennsylvania, including a bachelor of arts degree in economics, a master of arts degree, and a Ph.D. in regional science. Desfor is a professor of environmental studies at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has worked on two major exchange programs, including being on the team of York University faculty members who looked into graduate education in the field of sustainable community development and planning through the auspices of the North American Mobility in Higher Education Program. He has also acted as the Canadian lead on the Canada-European Union Mobility Program working in the area of urban governance and globalization. Desfor, who is a member of the International Network of Urban Research and Action, also worked on a research project dealing with the changes that have occurred along Toronto's waterfront communities over the past century.

Desfor's academic research interests include urban development processes, urban waterfront communities, creation of urban environmental policies, and urban growth and decline. He has contributed to periodicals and academic journals, including the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Local Environment, Journal of Transport Geography, Geoforum, and Studies in Political Economy.

Desfor published his first major work in 1974, a study completed with other scholars and policy experts called Impact of Suburban Rapid Transit Station Location, Fare, and Parking Availability on Users' Station Choice Behavior: Analysis of the Philadelphia-Lindenwold High-Speed Line: Final Report to Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation. In 1979, Desfor published Energy Requirements for Urban Goods Movement with Lawrence Haas, a study published by the University of Toronto/York University Joint Program in Transportation. Desfor published an account of a symposium on waterfront studies in 1990 with Urban Waterfront Industry: Planning and Developing Green Enterprise for the 21st Century: Symposium Report. In 2002, he edited Just Doing It: Popular Collective Action in the Americas with Deborah Barndt and Barbara Rahder.

Desfor published Nature and the City: Making Environmental Policy in Toronto and Los Angeles with Roger Keil in 2004. The book examines the ecological policies of two major urban centers of North America: Los Angeles and Toronto. A contributor to Environmental Law commented that the book "demonstrates that political action has resulted in effective alternatives to ecological modernization." Joel Schoening, reviewing the book in Environments, remarked that the authors' "ability to draw on so many theoretical positions while still maintaining methodological clarity is impressive and results in a text that makes a valuable contribution to a wide array of literatures." Schoening stated that his "only criticism of the book is that it is written for a narrow audience." Schoening noted that "the insights that the book could provide to urban activists and policy strategists will likely be overshadowed by its highly theoretical nature."

Nik Heynen, writing in the Geographical Review, observed that Nature and the City's most significant contribution "is the degree to which it theoretically fuels ongoing urban environmental struggles." Heynen summarized that the book "deservedly has taken its place among a stack of books on my desk that is revolutionizing the way in which we think about complex socionatural processes within cities. Although the historical interdependencies at the core of this literature are intellectually stimulating, through their attention to emancipatory grassroots political efforts around the environment in Toronto and Los Angeles, Desfor and Keil go farther than do many other books in this area toward demonstrating how these social and urban ecologies underpin the everyday lives of billions of people across the planet."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, April, 2005, B.R. Shamaefsky, review of Nature and the City: Making Environmental Policy in Toronto and Los Angeles, p. 1465.

Environmental Law, fall, 2004, review of Nature and the City, p. 1291.

Environments, August, 2005, Joel Schoening, review of Nature and the City, p. 117.

Geographical Review, October, 2006, Nik Heynen, review of Nature and the City, p. 723.

Reference & Research Book News, November, 2004, review of Nature and the City, p. 75.

Technology and Culture, July, 2005, Richard W. Judd, review of Nature and the City, p. 659.

Urban Studies, June, 2006, Harriet Bulkeley, review of Nature and the City, p. 1216.

ONLINE

Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University Web site,http://www.yorku.ca/fes/ (March 15, 2008), faculty profile.