Department of Geography and Planning

Department of Geography and Planning
Department of Geography and Planning
Photo of Dr. David L.A. Gordon

David Gordon

Professor, FCIP, RPP, AICP, P.Eng.
School of Urban and Regional Planning
Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room D327
613-533-6000 ext. 77063

David Gordon teaches planning history, community design and urban development at Queen's. He has also taught at the University of Toronto, McGill, Ryerson, Riga, Western Australia, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. Before becoming a professor, David was a professional planner for over 15 years, as director of an urban design firm and project manager for a Toronto waterfront agency. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners and has shared their National Award of Distinction four times.

David has written widely on urban planning including the books Planning Twentieth Century Capital Cities (2009; Chinese ed. 2011), Town and Crown: An illustrated history of Canada's capital (2015), and Planning Canadian Communities (2020 with Gerald Hodge and Pamela Shaw). His latest research includes histories of Canadian community planning and comparison of Australian, American  and Canadian suburbs.

Dave was SURP Director from 2008-18; Faculty Coordinator of the National Executive Forum on Public Property for 15 years and is a founding director of the Council for Canadian Urbanism, where he chairs the Research Committee. He also enjoys celebrating the achievements of SURP alumni across Canada, and helping plan the redevelopment of the Queen's campus.

David was born in Ottawa and grew up in Montreal, New Brunswick and Europe. He lives in Upper Canada's oldest neighbourhood, and is active in community environmental and social service organizations. Dave can often be seen cycling around downtown Kingston with his daughter.


  • B.Sc., M.PL. (Queen's)
  • MBA, D.Des. (Harvard)
  • FCIP, RPP, AICP, P.Eng


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Research Interests:

My current major research field, planning history, uses longitudinal studies of planning practice to answer questions about implementation. The main site is Canada's national capital region, which is the focus of the country's longest sustained urban planning effort. The capital city research program was supported by three SSHRC grants and a Fulbright fellowship. The results are reported in a book, many refereed articles and a research website. This research stream culminated in another book, Town and Crown: An illustrated history of Canada's capital.

A second research focus is planning Canadian suburbs. This area has been addressed in several book chapters, articles in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Urban History Review, Journal of Architectural and Planning Research and Journal of Urban Design. The project is supported by two SSHRC grants  to examine the histories proportions and policy implications of Canadian suburbs.  The research was extended for comparison with Australian suburbs at UWA's Institute for Advanced Studies and American suburbs at MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism.


Curriculum Vitae (PDF 528kB)