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New York, NY: President’s Reception & Presentation

Join fellow U of T alumni and friends for a lecture on The Death and Life of Downtowns in North America

U of T Where You Are
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  • Reception & Presentation
  • Q & A Session

**Please note that online registration for this event is now closed. If you would like to attend, please email

Professor Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto, cordially invites you to a reception for University of Toronto alumni and friends, featuring a special presentation: 

The Death and Life of Downtowns in North America by

Professor Karen Chapple
Director of the School of Cities
Department of Geography and Planning
Faculty of Arts & Science
University of Toronto

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, scholars and pundits alike have proclaimed the death of downtown. Yet, downtowns have repeatedly declined and revived over the past century. What makes a downtown more resilient?

Professor Chapple's recent study (available at ranks the comeback of 62 North American downtowns and examines the factors that make cities like San Diego and New York come back while Toronto and San Francisco continue to struggle. Although many cities have embraced tactical urbanism as the magic bullet for downtowns, we argue that cities will also need to bet on economic sectors where face-to-face interaction is critical.

Prof Karen Chapple

Karen ChapplePh.D., is the Director of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto, where she also serves as Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. She is Professor Emerita of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as department chair and held the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies.

She holds a B.A. in Urban Studies (Phi Beta Kappa) from Columbia University, an M.S. in City and Regional Planning from the Pratt Institute, and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley. Prior to academia, she spent ten years as a practicing planner in New York City and San Francisco.

Prospective Students: Prior to this presentation there will be an information session for prospective students interested in learning more about the University of Toronto. 10th, 11th, and 12th grade high school students are encouraged to attend with their families. For more information on the session, please email

Please Note: The Club has a formal dress code and requires guests to wear formal jackets and ties or pant suits/skirts. Jeans, leggings, shorts, T-shirts, and sneakers are not permitted. As well, the use of cellular phones and laptops is not permitted anywhere in the Club, except in private meeting rooms.

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U of T Where You Are

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