Queen's University

School of

Urban and Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning

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John Meligrana

B.A. (Toronto), M.PL. (Queen's) Ph.D. (Simon Fraser), MCIP, RPP
Associate Professor and Acting Director

Contact Information

Office: Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 527
Telephone: (613) 533-6000 x 77145
Email: john.meligrana[@]queensu.ca

Curriculum Vitae (155KB)

Photo of John Meligrana


John Meligrana teaches topics in legal and governmental processes, environmental planning and computer aided design at Queen's University. He has also taught at California State University, Bishop's University, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. John has several years of experience working as a planning consultant on a number of projects for both public and private clients.

John has published on a wide variety of topics concerning local government reform, most recently Redrawing Local Government Boundaries: An International Study of Politics, Procedures and Decisions (UBC Press).

John manages SURP's student exchange and internship program with Fudan University in Shanghai and China's Ministry of Land and Resources in Beijing. Each year up to four SURP students have the opportunity to participate in the exchange program with Fudan University or the Internship with the Ministry of Land and Resources. He also coordinates a two-week intensive training program in land use planning for approximately forty government officials from China's Ministry of Land and Resources every year for the past four years.

John was born and grew-up in Toronto. He has lived and worked in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and California. He is very pleased to have returned to Kingston and contribute to the SURP community as a faculty member.

Research Interests

John Meligrana's research projects can be grouped into two main research directions.

One, he has published extensively on local government institutions and how they respond to urban growth and development, especially within the rural-urban fringe. In particular, John is interested in how local governments attempt to change their municipal territorial limits in response to fringe growth and development. Some of his publications can be found in Environmental and Planning A, Urban Studies and Urban History Review.

Two, John has recently begun to investigate topics in environmental management and urban planning in the People's Republic of China. He has partnered with the Institute of Biodiversity Science at Fudan University in Shanghai to investigate such topics as the relationship between water quality and urbanization, urban planning and development, and trends in public participation in urban planning. His China publications can be found in the journals Nature, Environment International, and Urban Studies. He has also co-authored numerous policy reports for the Chinese government particularly from projects funded by the Canadian International Development Agency's Public Policy Options Project

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

Book cover - Redrawing local government boundaries

Meligrana, John (Editor) (2004) Re-Drawing Local Government Boundaries: An International Study of Politics, Procedures and Decisions (Vancouver: UBC Press).

Local government boundaries today are under extreme pressure to undertake boundary reform. The global trend toward urbanization has brought with it economic, environmental, social, and regional demands that have severe implications for local governments and their territories. As a result, changing the areal jurisdiction of this most basic level of government has become a persistent and pressing challenge around the globe. This collection examines the legal and regulatory procedures involved in such municipal restructuring. Case studies from eight nations - the United States, Canada, Spain, Germany, Israel, Korea, China, and South Africa - investigate how and why local governments have been enlarged in scope and reduced in number within each country, Four key aspects are examined: the geography of the local government boundary problem; the procedures associated with boundary reform; the roles of the various institutions and actors of boundary reform; and the implications of boundary reform for urban and regional governance.

The first international comparative study of local boundary reform, Redrawing Local Government Boundaries will be a valuable reference for scholars and students of political science, public administration, geography, urban studies, and urban planning.

Book cover - Economic transitions with chinese characteristics

Chapter in book

Meligrana, John; Ren, Wenwei; Zhang, Zhiyao; Anderson, Bruce (2009) “Balancing economic development and environmental protection: A discussion of China's hydroelectric dam projects: Economic Transitions with Chinese Characteristics: Thirty Years of Reform and Opening Up edited by Arthur Sweetman and Zhang Jun (Kingston/Montreal: Queen's-McGill University Press)

Deng Xiaoping formalized a Chinese national policy of 'Reform and Opening' in a December 1978 speech before a plenary of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee. The long-term economic results of this new direction continue to be astonishing and the subsequent 30 years have had a singular impact on China and the world. "Economic Transitions with Chinese Characteristics: Thirty Years of Reform and Opening Up" puts the current economic situation into a broad context and looks at a number of issues related to economic growth, finance, and technological change.

Book cover - Revitalizing the City

Chapter in book

Artibise, Alan & John Meligrana (2005) “Regional governance and sustainability: the case of Vancouver”Revitalizing the City: Strategies to Contain Sprawl and Revive the Core Edited by F.W. Wagner et al. (Boston: ME Sharpe).​

This practical work demonstrates that controlling urban growth and reviving central city economies are not mutually exclusive endeavors. Rather than re-hash theories of urban development, the contributors describe and evaluate successful community-tested approaches to sustaining our cities. Revitalizing the City provides actual case examples of urban success stories - ranging from San Diego's "smart growth" initiative to brownfield redevelopment in Pittsburgh. The book is divided into four major sections - Urban Growth; Metropolitan Development and Administration; Central City Redevelopment Strategies; and Central City-Suburban Cooperation. Each chapter includes an analysis of key issues, descriptions of specific local initiatives, highlights of effective policies or programs, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Revitalizing the City has broad appeal for the urban policy community as well as for undergraduate and graduate courses in urban sociology, geography, political science, and urban studies and planning.

Book cover - The Infrastructure of Play

Chapter in book

​Artibise, Alan & John Meligrana (2003) “Tourism infrastructure of a post-industrial city: A case study of Vancouver, British Columbia” Chapter 11 in Dennis Judd and Alan Artibise (editors), The Infrastructure of Play: Building the Tourist City in North America (Boston: ME Sharpe).​

Using in-depth case studies, this volume shows how the infrastructure of tourism has transformed cities throughout North America. It makes clear that the modern urban environment is being thoroughly altered to emphasize the growing tourism sector in such areas as renovated waterfronts.