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David Amborski

EducationBA, MSc, MA
OfficeSBB-412, South Bond Building
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 556768

David Amborski is a Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning, and a professional urban planner.  He holds graduate degrees in both Urban and Regional Planning and Economics. He is the founding Director of the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) and was the founding Academic Director of the City Building Institute, both at Toronto Metropolitan University. His research and consulting work explore topics where urban planning interacts with economics including land and housing markets. His specific interests include the area of municipal finance, land development, housing, and land value capture tools.  

Amborski has served as president of the Association of Canadian Urban Planning Programs, is an academic advisor to the National Executive Forum on Public Property and is a member of Lambda Alpha (Honourary Land Economics Society). 

He has undertaken studies for the Federal, Provincial and a range of municipal governments. His recent consulting work includes an evaluation of the financing for the Smart Track financing for the City of Toronto, studying the building permit process across Canada for Infrastructure Canada, and he is currently working with MPAC on how to put a planning lens on the property tax assessment process.

At the international level, he has undertaken work for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) World Bank, the Interamerican Development Bank, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and several other organizations in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia. 

He has also presented numerous seminars over the course of his career, including Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic Sates, China, Singapore, Brazil, Argentina Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Mexico, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and South Africa. These included two panels at the UN Habitat III Conference in Quito, to city government officials in Medellin, Columbia on Tax Increment Financing, and a workshop at the Polish professional planners’ meeting in Gydnia, Poland. He also has undertaken work in South Africa advising the National Treasury on their new Development Charge legislation, and working with the Development Action Group, an NGO, and the City of Cape Town in developing an Inclusionary Housing Policy. He is currently working with OECD on the development of a land value capture compendium.

In addition to contributing a number of publications at CUR, Amborski has authored several publications including “The Future of the Suburbs: Policy Challenges and Opportunities in Canada” for the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. His recent book chapters include “Toronto: A Livable City/Region” in Community Livability and “Development Obligations in Canada: The Experience in Four Provinces” in Public Infrastructure, Private Finance.

In terms of committees and organizations, Amborski contributes to several university, local, national and international organizations. Locally, this includes the Toronto Region Board of Trade/City (or Toronto Smart City Working Group), the Google Sidewalk Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, the City of Toronto Inclusionary Zoning Advisory Committee, and the Metrolinx Project Evaluation Advisory Panel. At the national level, Amborski is an Academic Advisor to the National Executive Forum on Public Property and internationally, he has served and continues to serve on several committees for GPEAN (Global Planning Educators Association Network).

He serves on the editorial boards of several journals including the Town Planning Review and the Journal European Research and Spatial Policy.

Teaching interests:

  • Local government finance
  • Municipal policy analysis
  • Land and housing development
  • Planning implementation

Philosophy of teaching:

  • Interactive team building based on current literature and practice

Research interests:

  • Land and housing development
  • Municipal fiscal tools (including land value capture)
  • Infrastructure finance
  • Urban policy
  • Development charges
  • Property tax reform in Ontario
  • Strategic planning practice in Ontario and Eastern Europe
  • Lambda Alpha, Honourary Land Economics Society
  • Using Land Value Capture Tools in Canadian Municipalities, Plan Canada (Summer 2016)
  • Land Value Capture: Background, History and Current Applications in Canadian Jurisdictions, forthcoming
  • Ontario, Section 37 Commentary, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, forthcoming
  • MCIP Member, Canadian Institute of Planners
  • RPP, Registered Professional Planner
  • Institute for Public Administration of Canada
  • Urban Land Institute