Shauna Brail

Associate Professor, Institute for Management & Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga
Senior Associate, Innovation Policy Lab
Shauna Brail


Main Bio

Shauna Brail is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Management & Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga. As an economic geographer and urban planner, her research focuses on the transformation of cities as a result of economic, social, and cultural change.

Brail’s current research examines the disruptions taking place in urban mobility, particularly focused on the emergence and shifting strategies of ride-hailing firms and associated impacts on cities. She is the Co-Principal Investigator of a five-year insight grant funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada – Taking Canada for a Ride: Digital Ride-Hailing and Its Impact on Canadian Cities.

Brail is a Senior Associate at the Innovation Policy Lab in the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and a faculty affiliate at the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute. She has held the following administrative roles at the University of Toronto: Director, Urban Studies Program; Associate Director, Partnerships & Outreach, School of Cities; Interim Director, Master of Urban Innovation; and Presidential Advisor on Urban Engagement.

As a champion of experiential learning, she led the development of academic internships and community engaged learning in the Urban Studies Program for over a decade, working with students, university administrators and partners at urban-focused institutions across the city.

Prior to joining the University, she worked in management consulting and in the Ontario provincial government. She holds a BA in Urban Studies/Geography (UofT), an MA in Urban Planning (UBC), and a PhD in Geography (UofT).

Select publications

  • Brail, S. 2020. World cities of ride-hailing, Urban Geography,
  • DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2020.1775030
  • Brail, S. 2018. From Renegade to Regulated: The Digital Platform Economy, Ride-hailing and the Case of Toronto. Canadian Journal of Urban Research. 27(2): 51-64.
  • Brail, S. 2017. Promoting Innovation Locally: Municipal Regulation as Barrier or Boost. Geography Compass, 11:12, 1-12.
  • Brail, S. and Kumar, N. 2017. Community leadership and engagement after the mix: The transformation of Toronto’s Regent Park. Urban Studies, 54:16, 3772-3788.
  • Leslie, D., Brail, S. and Hunt, M. 2014. Crafting an antidote to Fast Fashion: The Case of Toronto’s Independent Fashion Design Sector. Growth and Change, 45:1, 222-239.