Dr. Maxwell Hartt

Dr. Maxwell Hartt

Associate Professor, MCIP, RPP

School of Urban and Regional Planning

Department of Geography and Planning


613-533-6000 ext. 75038

Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room E324

People Directory Affiliation Category

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning and the Director of the Population and Place Research Lab. And I am utterly fascinated with cities and how they change. I am especially interested in the places and processes that are not often celebrated. Places that are shrinking, declining, or aging. In my research and teaching, I explore how population and economic changes shape urban areas and attitudes and how we can improve the places that are important to us.  

My research follows two distinct, but related, themes that explore the relationship between significant demographic shifts, quality of life, and planning policy. The first theme focuses on shrinking cities and challenges the assumption that population loss and economic decline are intrinsically linked. I am interested in and working on a number of topics related to shrinking cities, including the suburbanization of population loss, the relationship between studentification and urban shrinkage, shrinking global cities, and the demographic trajectories of Canadian cities. The second theme explores the demographic aging of neighbourhoods and cities and the potential economic, social, cultural, and physical challenges and opportunities associated with aging. I am in the midst of several projects, including an exploration of how play can be integrated into the urban landscape to support aging (Aging Playfully), and an examination of how stories can help us better understand how to improve conditions for aging in place (Aging People, Aging Places). In addition to my main areas of research, I am also interested in how technology shapes planning processes - specifically how social media bots and artificial intelligence may undermine or augment participatory, democratic planning discourses.

PhD Planning, University of Waterloo
MSc Systems Science, University of Ottawa
Hon. BSc Mathematics, Saint Francis Xavier University

Population and Place Research Lab
Aging Playfully
Aging People, Aging Places

Publications (for full list see Curriculum Vitae):

Select Journal Articles

I am available to supervise students at both the Master’s (Geography or Planning) and Doctoral (Geography) levels. Please review the “Interested in Joining the Lab?” page on the Population and Place Research Lab website if you are interested in pursuing graduate research in any of the following topics:

  • Shrinking cities
  • Economic decline and/or transformation
  • Age-friendly communities
  • Play, ludic, and fun geographies/planning

Curriculum Vitae (pdf, 304kB)