Norma Rantisi


Norma Rantisi

Norma Rantisi (Ph.D. Toronto, 2002)

Tel: (514) 848-2424, ext. 2018
Fax: (514) 848-2032


Education & Research Interests

Dr. Rantisi has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an M.A. in Political Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.R.P. from the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. She received her Ph.D. (2002) from the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto. Her interests are centered on urban economic development and her dissertation examined the geography of design innovation for the New York City's women's wear industry, looking at how local support services and policy mediate the production, conception and marketing of products. Dr. Rantisi's current research focuses on the innovation system in a range of Montréal cultural industries (such as apparel and circus arts). In collaboration with Dr. Deborah Leslie of the University of Toronto, she is examining contemporary economic development policy and practice with respect to these industries, and how neo-liberal governance approaches are altering the nature and forms of work, as well as the prospects for more equitable forms of development. Dr. Rantisi is willing to supervise theses on issues relating to economic development, such as the geography and social organization of cultural industries; restructuring in traditional manufacturing industries; local economic development policy; workforce development; and social or alternative economic enterprises.


Masters Theses Supervised:

  1. 2012-Present Lorraine Donald, Temporary Agencies and the Rise of Low-Income Work in Montreal
  2. 2011-Present Jocelyn Gilbert, Community Economic Development and the Challenges of Balancing Top-down Service Provision with Bottom-up Community Objectives
  3. 2011-Present Jessie Smith, The Constructon of Quebec's Green Economy
  4. 2010-Present Ethan Ling, My Neighbour the Technopole: An analysis of public participation in the planning of the Université de Montreal's Outremont Campus in Montréal, Quebec projects (co-supervised with Professor Ted Rutland)
  5. 2009-2012 Yuseph Katiya, Creative Hegemony? Montreal's Cultural Development Policies and the Rise of Cultural Actors as Entrepreneurial Political Elites
  6. 2007-2009 Ryan Craven, Is Ethical Fashion an Alternative Economic Space?
  7. 2007-2009 Thomas Cummins-Russell, The Networks of Montréal's Independent Musicians
  8. 2004-2008 Genevieve Aboud, Sustainable Development: Actualized or Abandoned in the Efforts for Rural Economic Development in Huntingdon?
  9. 2003-2007 Antonino Scozzari, Understanding Gentrification and its Implications for a Revitalised St. Henri


  1. Edensor,T., Leslie, D. Millington, S. and Rantisi, N.M. (eds.) (2009) Spaces of Vernacular Creativity: Rethinking the Cultural Economy. London: Routledge Press.

Select Publications

  1. Rantisi, N.M. and Leslie, D. (2013) "The Significance of Higher Educational Institutions as Cultural Intermediaries: The Case of Ecole Nationale du Cirque in Montreal, Canada" Regional Studies. DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2013.822965
  2. Rantisi, N.M. (2013) "Revisiting the Social Basis of Cultural Production: Who is Privileged? Who is Sidelined? What is at Stake?" Editorial for Geoforum, early online view, DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.03.007.
  3. Nouri-Nekeoi, M. and Rantisi, N.M. (2012) "The Enduring Significance of Economic Factors for the Attraction of Creative Workers: The Case of Montreal's Video Game Industry" The Northeastern Geographer, 4, 1, pp. 1-16.
  4. Cummins-Russell, T. and Rantisi, N.M. (2012) "Networks and 'Place' in Montreal's Independent Music Industry" The Canadian Geographer. 56, 1, pp. 80-97.
  5. Leslie, D. and Rantisi, N.M. (2012) "The Rise of a New Knowledge/Creative Economy: Prospects and Challenges for Economic Development, Class Inequality and Work" in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Economic Geography, edited by Trevor Barnes, Jamie Peck and Eric Sheppard. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 158-171.
  6. Rantisi, N.M. (2011) "The Prospects and Perils of Creating a Viable Fashion Identity." Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, 15 (2), pp. 259-266.
  7. Shearmur, R. and Rantisi, N.M. (2011) "Montreal: Rising Again from the Same Ashes" in Canadian Urban Regions: Trajectories of Growth and Change, edited by Larry S. Bourne, Tom Hutton, Richard Shearmur and Jim Simmons. Oxford University Press.
  8. Leslie, D. and Rantisi, N.M. (2011) "Creativity and Place in the Evolution of a Cultural Industry: the Case of Cirque du Soleil" Urban Studies, 48 (9).
  9. Rantisi, N.M. and Leslie, D. (2010) "Materiality and Creative Production: the case of the Mile End Neighbourhood in Montréal" Environment and Planning, 42(12), pp. 2824-2841.
  10. Rantisi, N. M. (2009) "Cultural Intermediaries and the Geography of Designs in the Montréal Fashion Industry" in Industrial Design and Competitiveness: Spatial and Organization Dimensions, edited by Grete Rusten and John R. Bryson . Hampshire, U.K.: Palgrave Macmillan.
  11. Rantisi, N.M. (2007) "Conceptualizing City-regions as 'Places' and 'Spaces'" The Arab Word Geographer, 10 (3-4), pp, 227-237.
  12. Rantisi, N.M. and Leslie, D. (2006) "Branding the Design Metropole: The Case of Montréal, Canada" Area, 38, (4), pp. 364-374.
  13. Rantisi, N.M., Leslie, D. and Christopherson, S.M. (2006) "Placing the Creative Economy: Scale, Politics and the Material," introduction for a special issue of Environment & Planning A, 38 (10), pp. 1789-1797.
  14. Leslie, D. and Rantisi, N. M. (2006) "Governing the Design Sector in Montréal" Urban Affairs Review, 41, pp. 309-337.
  15. Rantisi, N.M. (2004) "The Designer in the City and The City in the Designer," in Cultural Industries and The Production of Culture, edited by Dominic Power and Allen J. Scott. London: Routledge Press, pp. 91-109.
  16. Rantisi, N.M. (2004) "The Ascendance of New York Fashion," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28 (1): 86-106.
  17. Boggs, J.S. and Rantisi, N.M. (2003) "The 'Relational Turn' in Economic Geography," The Journal of Economic Geography, 3 (2): 109-116.
  18. Rantisi, N.M. (2002) "The Local Innovation System as a Source of Variety: Openness and Adaptability in New York City's Garment District," Regional Studies, 36 (6): 587-602.

Professional Associations

  • Board member of the Institut de Politique Alternative de Montreal (IPAM)
  • Co-chair of Planners Network International
  • Economic Geography Specialty Group (AAG)
  • Member of editorial board, Geography Compass: Economic Geography
  • Member of editorial board, Progressive Planning Magazine
  • Member of editorial board, Geoforum
  • Canadian Regional Science Association (CRSA)
  • Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG)
  • American Association of Geographers (AAG)
  • Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP)
  • Regional Science Association International (RSAI)
  • IPAM (

Interesting Planning and Geography-related links


Concordia University