Shauna Brail

Associate Professor & Director, Institute for Management & Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga
Senior Associate, Innovation Policy Lab
Co-Lead, Political Economy of Innovation area of focus
Shauna Brail


Innovation Policy Lab

Shauna Brail is an Associate Professor and Director at the Institute for Management & Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga and holds a cross-appointment at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. As an economic geographer and urban planner, her research focuses on the transformation of cities as a result of economic, social, and cultural change.

Professor Brail’s research encompasses studies of broad urban economic challenges associated with 21st century cities – including the impacts of COVID-19 on cities; the relationship between cities and the digital platform economy, with a particular emphasis on mobility; and shifts in urban governance, policy and planning in connection to innovation and technological change. She advises governments and civic society organizations, both in Canada and internationally, on matters relating to urban economic change, housing and transportation policy innovation, and the regulation of digital platform technologies. Brail is a frequent media contributor.

Brail is an Affiliated Faculty at the Innovation Policy Lab in the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. She is an Editorial Board member at Applied Geography, Progress in Economic Geography and Urban Geography.

Select publications

  • Brail, S. and Lorinc, J. 2023. Rebuilding Public Housing in Regent Park: The Shifting Dynamics of Financialized Redevelopment Models. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 1-13. DOI:
  • Brail, S. 2022. COVID-19 and the Future of Urban Policy and Planning. Current History, 121 (838): 298–303. DOI:
  • Brail, S. and Kleinman, M. 2022. Impacts and Implications for the Post-Covid City: The Case of Toronto. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 1-19. DOI:
  • Tabascio, A. and Brail, S. 2022. Governance matters: Regulating ride hailing platforms in Canada’s largest city-regions. The Canadian Geographer, 66(2), 278-292. DOI:
  • Brail, S. 2022. World cities of ride-hailing. Urban Geography, DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2020.1775030
  • Dodman, D., Hayward, B., Pelling, M. (Coordinating Lead Authors), Castan Broto, V., Chow, W., Chu, E., Dawson, R., Khirfan, L.,
  • McPhearson, T., Prakash, A., Zheng, Y., Ziervogel, (Lead Authors), Archer, D., Bertolin, C., Brail, S. …Westman, L. (Contributing Authors). 2022. International Panel on Climate Change Working Group II, Sixth Assessment Report, Chapter 6: Cities, Settlements and Key Infrastructure, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Li, Y., Sungur, E., Jimenez, A, and Brail, S. 2022. Covid-19, urban economic resilience and the pandemic pivot: Toronto’s restaurant scene. Regional Studies, Regional Science, 9:1, DOI:
  • Brail, S. 2021. Patterns Amidst the Turmoil: COVID-19 & Cities. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, DOI:
  • Brail, S. and Vinodrai, T. 2020. The Elusive, Inclusive City: Toronto at a Crossroads in Critical Dialogues of Urban Governance, Development and Activism: London & Toronto, edited by Bunce, S., Livingstone, N. March, L. Moore, S, and Walks, A. UCL Press, 38-53.
  • 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. 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.
  • Leslie, D. and Brail. S. 2011. The productive role of ‘quality of place’: a case study of fashion designers in Toronto. Environment and Planning A, Vol 43, pp. 2900-2917. 
  • Brail, S. and Gertler, M. 1999.  The Digital Regional Economy: Emergence and Evolution of Toronto’s Multimedia Cluster in Multimedia and Regional Economic Restructuring, edited by Braczyk, Fuchs and Wolf.  London: Routledge Press, 97-130.