Jennifer Dean

Associate Professor
Jennifer Dean


PhD, Geography, McMaster University, 2012

MA, Geography, University of Toronto, 2007

BA (Hons), Women's Studies & Geography, University of Toronto Mississauga, 2006

Contact information
519-888-4567 ext. 49107
Location: EV3 3221

Website: GoHelp (Geographies of Health in Place, Planning and Public Health) Lab

Research expertise

  • Healthy and inclusive community planning
  • Critical theories of health and place
  • Immigration, settlement and health in suburban and rural communities
  • Active, sustainable and equitable transportion for health and well-being
  • Qualitative, participatory and community-based research

Academic honours

  •  Outstanding Performance Award (2020) 

Current research opportunities

I am currently recruiting graduate students in the following areas: 

  • Immigrant settlement in small towns, rural communities and remote cities 
  • Active transportation and micro-mobility solutions for health and inclusion 
  • Critical perspectives on healthy built environments 
  • Planning multicultural communities 

Contact Jennifer Dean for more information on research opportunities for students. 

Research grants/projects

  • Immigrant settlement in rural communities: Exploring access to the social determinants of health.
    (Principal Investigator)
    • Funded by: SSHRC Insight Development Grant
  • New Mobility Analysis: Evaluating the impact of e-scooters in Waterloo.
    (Principal Investigator)
    • Contract with the City of Waterloo
  • Towards healthy mid-sized cities: Assessing the potential for electric-bicycles to facilitate transportation reform.
    (Principal Investigator)
    • Funded by: CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grant in Healthy Cities
  • Overcoming inequitable access to healthy built environments: examining immigrant inclusion in the governance of (re)development.
    (Co-Investigator, PI: Sara Edge, Ryerson University) 
    • Funded by: SSHRC Insight Development Grant
  • Communities left behind? A timely examination of school closure controversies for justice-informed decision-making on the fate of public schools in Ontario.
    Co-Investigator, PI: Patricia Collins, Queen’s University)
    • Funded by: SSHRC Insight Grant

Student supervision

  Number of students currently supervising/co-supervising Total number of student supervisions/co-supervisions



3 12


3 15
PhD 3 2

Recent/key publications

Book Chapters (selected):

  • Dean, J. & E. Donato. (2020). New Mobility and Aging in the Suburbs in S. Biglieri & M. Hartt (Eds). Aging People, Aging Places. Refereed. Bristol, UK: Policy Press. In Press. 

  • Godfrey, S., Dean, J. & K. Regier. (2019). Sustainable Housing in M.Moos (Ed). Housing: A Research Agenda. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. 

  • Dean, J. (2016). Walking in their shoes: Utilizing go-along interviews to explore participant engagement with local space, in Baxter, J. & Fenton (Eds). Practicing Qualitative Research in Health Geography, Routledge. Pg. 131-148. 

  • Dean, J. (2016). Room for All: How accessible adequate housing builds the best communities. Alternatives Journal: Special Issue on Housing. 42. 

Peer Reviewed Articles (selected):

  • Zhuang, Zhixi Cecilia, Sara Edge, and Jennifer Dean. "What is the future of public space? Hidden stories of immigrant suburbs during a global pandemic." The Town Planning Review (2021): 229-237.

  • Edge, S., Goodfield, J., & Dean, J. (2020). Shifting gears on sustainable transport transitions: Stakeholder perspectives on e-bikes in Toronto, Canada. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 36, 197-208. 
  • Dean, J., Biglieri, S.,* Drescher, M., Casello, J., Glover, T. & A. Garnett. (2020). Thinking relationally about built environments and walkability: A study of adult walking behavior in Waterloo, Ontario. Health and Place, 64, 1-17. 
  • Zhuang, Z., Edge, S., & Dean, J. (2020). What Is the Future of Public Space? Hidden Stories of Immigrant Suburbs during a Global Pandemic. Town Planning Review, Online First. 
  • Dean, J., Wray, AJ.,* Braun, L.,* Casello, J., Grower, S. & L. McCallum. (2019). Handing Over the keys: A framework for considering the future health impacts of autonomous vehicles. BMC Public Health. 19(1), 1258. 
  • Patel, A., Dean, J., Edge., S., Wilson, K. & E. Ghassemi. (2019). Double Burden of rural migration in Canada? Considering the social determinants of health related to immigrant settlement outside the Cosmopolis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(5); 678-698. 
  • Leger, S. Dean, J., Edge., S. &J. Casello. (2019). "If I had a regular bicycle, I wouldn’t be out riding anymore”: Perspectives on the potential of e-bikes to support active living and independent mobility among older adults in Waterloo, Canada. Transportation Research A: Policy and Practice. 123; 240-254. 

  • Lee, E., & Dean, J. (2018). Perceptions of walkability and determinants of walking behaviour among urban seniors in Toronto, Canada. Journal of Transport & Health. Online First. 

  • Edge, S., Dean, J., Cuomo, M., & S Keshav. (2018). Exploring e-bikes as a mode of sustainable transport: A temporal qualitative study of the perspectives of a sample of novice riders in a Canadian city. The Canadian Geographer. Online First. 

  • Dean, J. (2018). Imagining body size over time: Adolescents’ relational perspectives on body weight and place. Fat Studies, 7(2): 203-215. 

  • Rodrigues, P., Dean, J, Kirkpatrick, S, Berbary, L, & S. Scott. (2016). Exploring experiences of the food environment among immigrants living in the Region of Waterloo, Ontario. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 107; 53-59. 

  • Mukhatar, M., Dean J, Wilson, K, Ghassemi E, Wilson D. (2016). "But many of these problems are about funds...": The Challenges Immigrant Settlement Agencies encounter in Peel Region, Ontario. Journal of International Migration Integration, 17(2), 389-408. 

  • Dean, J., Fenton, N., Shannon, S., Elliott, S. & A. Clarke. (2016). Disclosing food allergy status in schools: Health-related stigma among school children in Ontario. Health & Social Care in the Community; 24(5). 

Working Papers and Community Reports 

  • Nooren, L., Tang, M., Dean, J., Glover, D. (2020). Supporting Community Well-Being: Reconsidering The Role of Public Spaces in Current and Future Pandemics. Report for the Region of Waterloo.
  • Dean, J. & C. Woudsma (2019). New Mobility Analysis: Assessing Waterloo’s E-scooter Pilot Project. Report for City of Waterloo and Region of Waterloo. 
  • Dean, J., Donato, E. & J. Casello. (2019). Active Waterloo Biannual Report. Prepared for City of Waterloo. 
  • Dean, J., Patel, A., Regier, K., Edge, S., Wilson, K & Ghassemi, E. (2018). Rural Immigrant Settlement and Health: Considerations for Peel Region. Working Paper prepared for Newcomer Centre of Peel. 
  • Dean, J., Regier, K. & A. Patel. (2018). Have you met our new neighbours?: Planning in the Age of Hyper-diversity. Working Paper for Pragma Council. 
  • Braun, L., Wray, AJ., Dean, J. & J. Casello. (2018). Considering the future health impacts of autonomous vehicles: A review of academic and grey literature. Report for Toronto Public Health. 
  • Cook, J., Dean, J., Parker, D. (2017). Investigating realtor perspectives on the impact of the ION LRT on the real estate market in the Region of Waterloo. Report for Region of Waterloo and Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors. 

Courses Taught:

  • PLAN 233: People and Plans
  • PLAN 300: Planning Theory
  • PLAN 432: Health, Environment, and Planning
  • PLAN 474/674: Special Topics - Planning for Multiculturalism and Equity
  • PLAN 474/674: Special Topics – Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Active Transportation 
  • PLAN 675: Special Readings on Selected Planning Topics
  • PLAN 710: Research Design for Graduate Students