College of Arts and Science - where great minds meet

Ryan Walker MCIP RPP

Ryan Walker MCIP RPP

BA (Lethbridge), MA (Waterloo), PhD (Queen's)

Associate Professor

Office: Kirk Hall 112
Phone: 306-966-5664

Areas of expertise:

Urban planning; urban design; urban geography; urban Indigenous studies in Canada, New Zealand and Australia; multi-level governance and urban policy; housing studies



Canadian Institute of Planners - Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute

Council for Canadian Urbanism

Adjunct Professor, The Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies, Trent University

Jane Goodall's Peak Society

Schizophrenia Society of Saskatchewan Partnership Program



I was born in Winnipeg, grew up there as well as in St. Albert and Edmonton, then moved to Lethbridge to attend university.  Though I enjoy life on the Prairies most of all, I have also been at home in New Brunswick (Pennfield Ridge), Quebec (Quebec City, Montreal), Ontario (Waterloo, Kingston) and British Columbia (Wells).  Internationally, I have lived in Tanzania (Dar es Salaam), Swaziland (Mbabane) and New Zealand (Palmerston North).  In 2006 I moved from New Zealand to Saskatoon for my current appointment at the University of Saskatchewan.  The move brought me back to the region where my mother's side of the family was born and my great-grandpa Scharf homesteaded in the R.M. of Perdue.  I am happily married to Saache, who works as a children's librarian at Saskatoon Public Library and violist in the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.  We have a dog, Lisa, who is funnier to spend time with than any stand-up comedian I have ever seen.


**check out my Image Gallery, Documents & Links, and Professional Activities for some highlights**

Teaching & Supervision

  • PLAN 341.3 Urban Planning
  • PLAN 441.3 Challenges in Urban Development
  • PLAN 490.3 Applied Planning Project
  • PLAN 445.3 Planning with Indigenous Communities

Honours, Awards & Distinctions (Most Recent)

  • Award of Merit, awarded by Canadian Institute of Planners, July 10, 2014
  • Award for Planning Excellence, awarded by Canadian Institute of Planners, October 10, 2012
  • Downtown Merit Award, awarded by International Downtown Association (United States of America), September 24, 2012
  • Award for Distinction in Outreach and Engagement, awarded by University of Saskatchewan, June 5, 2012
  • James Pooler Award, awarded by U of S Regional and Urban Planning Program, March 8, 2012
  • Premier's Award of Excellence in Design, awarded by Design Council of Saskatchewan, November 18, 2011


My research programs delve into the fascinating areas of city planning and urban design, Indigeneity in the city, multi-level urban governance, and public space. Most of my work is driven by the rewards of linking scholarship with public debate, decision-making and implementation.

From 2013-2017 I am the principal investigator on a project called City Planning and Indigeneity on the Prairies, funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant.  The project team includes Yale Belanger (University of Lethbridge), Loleen Berdahl (University of Saskatchewan), David Newhouse (Trent University), and Brenda Macdougall (University of Ottawa).  During the same time period I am also working with a team of co-investigators across Canada as Director of the Prairie Research Centre in the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network (UAKN).  Four UAKN regional research centres (i.e., West, Prairie, Central, Atlantic) are funded by a SSHRC Partnership Grant under the academic leadership of David Newhouse and the community leadership of the National Association of Friendship Centres, in partnership with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and a number of other community, university, and government agencies.

I enjoyed very much working with Pierre Filion, Markus Moos, Tara Vinodrai and a roster of some of Canada's top urban geography and planning scholars to produce the fifth edition of Canadian Cities in Transition: Perspectives for an Urban Age published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

I had the rewarding experience of working with Ted Jojola, David Natcher and some of the most insightful and accomplished scholars and practitioners of Indigenous planning in Canada, USA, New Zealand, and Australia to create Reclaiming Indigenous Planning, a book published by McGill-Queen's University Press in 2013.  This was greatly assisted by support from the Canadian Pacific Partnership Program in Aboriginal Community Planning.  The book was awarded the 2014 Award of Merit (Planning Publications) by the Canadian Institute of Planners and the 2014 Innovation in Planning (Education and Outreach) award by the New Mexico American Planning Association.

During 2010-2011 I worked with Jill Gunn, a team of our planning students, and about 50 community volunteers on research for phase one of the City of Saskatoon’s new City Centre Plan. Our research into the interactions between public spaces, built environment, pedestrian activity and urban quality contributed to the production of the City’s Public Spaces, Activity and Urban Form Strategic Framework, accepted by City Council in November 2011. The project was a three-way partnership between the City of Saskatoon, University of Saskatchewan, and Sweeny Sterling Finlayson &Co Architects Inc. It was awarded the 2012 Award for Planning Excellence (New and Emerging Planning Initiatives) by the Canadian Institute of Planners, the 2012 Downtown Merit Award (Planning) from the International Downtown Association, and the 2011 Premier's Award of Excellence in Design (Community Planning). Our public space research team at the University of Saskatchewan continued its partnership with the City of Saskatoon on the Junction Concept Plan study in 2012.

From 2009 to 2011 I served on Saskatoon's Culture Plan Advisory Committee. The Culture Plan, carried out by the City of Saskatoon and DIALOG, was accepted by City Council in September 2011 and awarded an Honourable Mention by the Canadian Institute of Planners in the 2012 Awards for Planning Excellence (Social Planning).


Filion, P, Moos, M, Vinodrai, T, Walker, R C (eds)(2015) Canadian Cities in Transition: Perspectives for an Urban Age (Toronto, Oxford University Press)

Walker, R C, Gunn, J (2015) Public space in the city centre: Design, activity, and measurement, in P Filion, M Moos, T Vinodrai, R C Walker (eds), Canadian Cities in Transition: Perspectives for an Urban Age (Toronto, Oxford University Press)

Townshend, I, Walker, R C (2015, 2010) Life course and lifestyle changes: Urban change through the lens of demography, in P Filion, M Moos, T Vinodrai, R C Walker (eds), Canadian Cities in Transition: Perspectives for an Urban Age (Toronto, Oxford University Press)

Gyepi-Garbrah, J, Walker, R C, Garcea, J (2014) Indigeneity, immigrant newcomers and interculturalism in Winnipeg, Canada, Urban Studies 51(9) 1795-1811

Walker, R C (2013) Gov't must lead regional planning, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Aug 16, A11

Walker, R C (2013) Better transit will help build city, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Aug 3, A8

Walker, R C, Jojola, T, Natcher, D (eds)(2013) Reclaiming Indigenous Planning (Montreal-Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press)

Walker, R C, Belanger, Y (2013) Aboriginality and planning in Canada's large Prairie cities, in R C Walker, T Jojola, D Natcher (eds), Reclaiming Indigenous Planning (Montreal-Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press)

Walker, R C, Matunga, H (2013) Re-situating Indigenous planning in the city, Plan Canada 53(2) 14-17

Walker, R C (2013) Increasing the depth of our civic identity: Future seeking and place making with Aboriginal communities, in E Peters, C Andersen (eds), Indigenous in the City: Contemporary Identities and Cultural Innovation (Vancouver, UBC Press)

Walker, R C (2011) Equitable urbanism in Saskatchewan's large cities: Balancing environmental design, society, and our concept of place, in D McGrane (ed), New Directions in Saskatchewan Public Policy (Regina, Canadian Plains Research Centre Press)

Walker, R C, Moore, J, Linklater, M (2011) More than stakeholders, voices and tables: Towards co-production of urban Aboriginal policy in Manitoba, in E Peters (ed), Urban Aboriginal Policy Making in Canadian Municipalities (Montreal and Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press)

Walker, R C (2011) Urban design responses: Cities in transition, in P Gordon (ed), Resiliency: Cool Ideas for Locally Elected Leaders (Vancouver, Columbia Institute Centre for Civic Governance)

Moore, J, Walker R C, Skelton, I (2011) Challenging the new Canadian myth: Colonialism, post-colonialism and urban Aboriginal policy in Thompson and Brandon, Manitoba, Canadian Journal of Native Studies 31(1) 17-42

Bunting, T, Filion, P, Walker, R C (eds)(2010) Canadian Cities in Transition: New Directions in the Twenty-first Century (Toronto, Oxford University Press)

Walker, R C, Carter, T (2010) At home in the city: Housing and neighbourhood transformation, in T Bunting, P Filion, R C Walker (eds), Canadian Cities in Transition: New Directions in the Twenty-first Century (Toronto, Oxford University Press)

Walker, R C, Barcham, M (2010) Indigenous-inclusive citizenship, the city & social housing in Canada, New Zealand & Australia, Environment and Planning A 42(2) 314-331

Walker, R C (2010) Traffic bridge must be saved, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Oct 15, A6

Walker, R C (2009) The political challenge of implementing social housing policy in Saskatchewan, in H Leeson (ed), Saskatchewan Politics: Crowding the Centre (Regina, Canadian Plains Research Centre Press)

Belanger, Y, Walker, R C (2009) Interest convergence & co-production of plans: An examination of Winnipeg’s 'Aboriginal pathways', Canadian Journal of Urban Research 18(1) Supplement 118-139

Walker, R C, Patrick, R (2009) Cityscape must reflect values of citizens, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Feb 20, A11 (see my 'Image Gallery' for a copy of the article)

Walker, R C (2008) Indigeneity: A cornerstone of diversity planning in Canadian cities, Progressive Planning 177 8-13

Walker, R C (2008) Improving the interface between urban municipalities and Aboriginal communities, Canadian Journal of Urban Research 17(1) Supplement 20-36

Walker, R C (2008) Aboriginal self-determination and social housing in urban Canada: A story of convergence and divergence, Urban Studies 45(1) 185-205

Walker, R C (2008) Ottawa should change its housing policies for urban aboriginals, The Gazette (Montreal), Jul 2

Walker, R C (2008) Social housing and the role of Aboriginal organisations in Canadian cities (Montreal, Institute for Research on Public Policy)

Walker, R C (2008) Condo restrictions serve public interest, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, May 2, A10 (see my 'Image Gallery' for a copy of the article)

Sully, L, Kellett, L, Garcea, J, Walker, R C (2008) First Nations urban reserves in Saskatoon: Partnerships for positive development, Plan Canada 48(2) 39-42

Walker, R C (2008) Unsettled places: Aboriginal people and urbanisation in New South Wales, Book Review, G Morgan (Wakefield 2006), Urban Studies 45(5&6) 1293-1295

Walker, R C (2006) Searching for Aboriginal/Indigenous self-determination: Urban citizenship in the Winnipeg low-cost housing sector, Canada, Environment and Planning A 38(12) 2345-2363

Walker, R C (2006) Interweaving Aboriginal/Indigenous rights with urban citizenship: A view from the Winnipeg low-cost housing sector, Canada, Citizenship Studies 10(4) 391-411

Walker, R C (2006) We call it home: A history of state housing in New Zealand, Book Review, B Schrader (Reed 2005), New Zealand Geographer 62(1) 91-92

Walker, R C (2005) Social cohesion? A critical review of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy and its application to address homelessness in Winnipeg, Canadian Journal of Native Studies 25(2) 395-416

Walker, R C (2005) Reflections on planning with the urban Aboriginal community, Plan Canada 45(4) 38-41

Klein, J, Walker, R C (2005) Statutory and non-statutory approaches to crime prevention through environmental design, Planning Quarterly 159 (December) 15-17

Peters, E, Walker, R C (2005) ‘Chapter 1: Introducing a framework’ in E Peters, Indigeneity and marginalisation: Planning for and with urban Aboriginal communities in Canada, Progress in Planning 63(4) 327-404

Walker, R C (2003) Engaging the urban Aboriginal population in low-cost housing initiatives: Lessons from Winnipeg, Canadian Journal of Urban Research 12(1) Supplement 99-118

Townshend, I J, Walker, R C (2002) The structure of income residential segregation in Canadian metropolitan areas, Canadian Journal of Regional Science 25(1) 25-52

Walker, R C, Seasons, M L (2002) Planning supported housing: A new orientation in housing for people with serious mental illness, Journal of Planning Education and Research 21(3) 313-319

Walker, R C, Seasons, M L (2002) Supported housing for people with serious mental illness: Resident perspectives on housing, Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health 21(1) 137-151

Walker, R C (2001) Fundza libraries in Swazi schools: Programme evaluation and implications for performance and policy, Innovation: Appropriate Librarianship and Information Work in Southern Africa 23 31-40