David Wachsmuth

Canada Research Chair in Urban Governance

McGill University

David Wachsmuth is the Canada Research Chair in Urban Governance at McGill University, where he is also an Associate Professor in the School of Urban Planning and an Associate Member in the Department of Geography. He directs UPGo, the Urban Politics and Governance research group at McGill, where he leads a team of researchers investigating pressing urban governance problems related to economic development, environmental sustainability, and housing markets. He is the co-lead of the Adapting Urban Environments for the Future theme of the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative , where he is part of a broad interdisciplinary team developing new ways of conceptualizing, measuring, and improving urban sustainability.

A major focus of his work has been explaining a transition in policy and planning from identifying the city as a global sustainability problem to identifying the city as a solution to global sustainability problems. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the impacts of short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb on cities around the world, and consults widely with municipalities and community organizations on designing appropriate regulations. Dr. Wachsmuth has published widely in top journals in urban studies, planning and geography, and his work has been covered extensively in the national and international media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, and the Washington Post.


  • Local sustainability planning
  • Regional economic development
  • Housing policy
  • The platform economy


  • PhD in Sociology, 2014

    New York University

  • MSc in Urban Planning, 2008

    University of Toronto

  • BA (honours) in International Development Studies and Classics, 2004

    McGill University