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 research encompasses studies of broad urban economic challenges and transformations 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 ride-hailing; and shifts in urban governance, policy and planning in connection to innovation and technological change. 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).