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Ted Rutland, PhD

Associate Professor, Geography, Planning and Environment

Ted Rutland, PhD
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2053

I am a human geographer and interdisciplinary scholar focused on urban politics, planning, and policing in Canada. I approach this work with an interest in social and racial justice, and often draw on relevant work in Black studies and Black geographies to document how ideas about "race" shape urban policies and practices, and how social and racial justice movements imagine and seek to create different urban worlds.

Most of my work can be grouped into two broad categories:

– Urban planning and anti-blackness. Inspired by the long history of Black struggle against urban planning in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I have traced how anti-blackness (or simply anti-Black racism) has shaped urban planning ideas and practices in Halifax from the late 19th century to the present. This work is best represented in my book Displacing Blackness: Planning, Power, and Race in Twentieth-Century Halifax (University of Toronto Press, 2018). Recently, I have extended this work to Montreal, examining how new urban planning ideas and new tenants' rights in the 1980s were ultimately used to evict Black tenants in an emerging war on drugs and gangs.

– Urban security and policing. In a variety of studies, I have sought to document the prevalence of racial profiling and violence in policing and security practices, as well as the repression of movements to transform the police. This work, largely focused on Montreal, is best represented in my co-authored book, Out to Defend Ourselves: A History of Montreal's First Haitian Street Gang (Fernwood Press, 2023). This work also includes a participatory-action research project with racialized youth in the neighbourhood of Saint-Michel, various reports and media articles on policing and crime, a history of efforts to combat racial profiling and violence, and an ongoing project examining how Montreal's war on street gangs since the late 1980s has transformed policing and urban security.

I am interested in supervising masters and PhD research on municipal politics, policing, and planning, particularly in the city of Montreal.

Teaching activities

GEOG 315 - Social and cultural geographies

URBS 398 - Housing policy

URBS 498 - Urban security and policing

HENV 690 - Seminar in social and cultural geographies

Selected publications


Aurélien, M, and Rutland, T. 2023. Out to Defend Ourselves: A History of Montreal's First Haitian Street Gang. Halifax, Fernwood Press.

Aurélien, M, and Rutland, T. 2023. Il fallait se défendre: l'histoire du premier gang de rue haïtien à Montréal. Montreal, Mémoire d'encrier. 

Rutland, T. 2018. Displacing Blackness: Planning, Power, and Race in Twentieth-Century Halifax. Toronto, University of Toronto Press.


Rutland, T. 2021. Nowhere land: the evicted space of Black tenants' rights in Montreal. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, forthcoming.

Rutland, T. 2020. Profiling the future: the long struggle against police racial profiling in Montreal. American Review of Canadian Studies, 50(3): 270-292..

Rutland, T. 2017. Canadian urban planning at 150Historical Geography, 45: 107-110.

Rutland, T. 2015. Enjoyable life: planning, amenity, and the contested terrain of urban biopolitics. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 33(5): 850-868.

Rutland, T. 2013. Activists in the making: urban movements, political processes, and the creation of political subjects. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(3): 989-1011.

Rutland, T. 2010. The financialization of urban redevelopment. Geography Compass, 4(8): 1167-1178.

Book chapters

Khalil, S, and Rutland, T. 2019. La ville anti-Noir: La sécurité urbaine et les "après-vies" de l'esclavage à Montréal. In H. Bélanger and D. Lapointe (Eds.) Perspectives critiques et analyse territoriale. Montreal: Presses de l'Université du Québec.

Rutland, T. 2016. Deux formes de discrimination territoriale à Halifax. In C. Lelévrier et al. (Eds) Discrimination territoriales: usages et enjeux de la notion. Paris, L'Oeil d'or.

Rutland, T. 2013. Energizing environmental concern in Portland, Oregon. In B. Miller, W. Nicholls, and J. Beaumont (Eds.) Spaces of Contention. Brookfield, MA: Ashgate.


Comité logement de la Petite Patrie et Laboratoire Urbain de l'Université Concordia. 2014. La conversion en condos et la copropriété indivise dans le quartier de la Petite Patrie.

Print media

For a full and up-to-date list of my op-eds, magazine articles, and recorded lectures and interviews, see

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