Every place is different. And every place is a product of the people living there. But what happens when the number, age, background, language, income, or any other characteristic of the population shifts? How does the place react or change?

“While it is easy to marvel at the sheer scale of Tokyo, at Moscow’s intricate and extensive subway system, or at the dense beauty of Paris, it is important to remember that cities are defined not only by their urban structures but also by their people. And whereas buildings may stand for centuries, populations are much more fluid.” – Quietly Shrinking Cities

The Population and Place Research Lab (“The Pop Place”) at Queen’s University is dedicated to the study of how populations shape places and how places shape populations. More specifically, we are interested in how demographic shifts like the aging or shrinking of the population change communities and how communities can respond or guide that change.

Read about our Research, People, or Publications to learn more about population change and how (and how not) to plan for it.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates or contact us directly if you’d like to know more about the project or even join the lab. We’d love to hear from you.


  • Rachel Barber CAG Conference Presentation
    Rachel Barber presented her MPL work at the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) 73rd Annual Meeting & Conference in Montréal, Rachel’s presentation was entitled “Améliorer l’accès dans les régions délaissées : une analyse spatiale des routes piétonnières et de transport en commun à Elliot Lake”
  • Invited talk: CMHC Granville Island
    Population and Place Research Lab Director Maxwell Hartt presented results of the Aging Playfully project to the CMHC Granville Island team. The event was especially nice as one of the CMHC team members is former Queen’s University School of Urban and Regional Planning student (and Maxwell’s former research assistant) Claire Lee! Claire presented the findings […]
  • Pop Place Member Interviewed by Radio-Canada
    Pop Place member Rachel Barber was invited to discuss her research and her experience at the Urban Affairs Association conference on Radio-Canada’s Le matin du Nord on May 1st. The interview can be listened to here.
  • Rachel Barber presents at Urban Affairs
    On Friday, April 28th Pop Place member Rachel Barber presented her research “Promoting Access Within Left-Behind Places: A Spatial Analysis of Walking and Public Transportation Routes in Elliot Lake” at the 51st Annual Conference of the Urban Affairs Association in Nashville, TN.
  • New Play publication!
    How is play conceived and examined in planning research? Or is it discussed at all? Our brand new paper “Planning for Play? A Systematic Literature Review?” in the Journal of Planning Literature examines 3800 articles across 19 planning journals to uncover the extent to which planners and planning scholarship focuses on play. The quick answer: […]
  • Rachel Barber publishes 1st paper!
    Enormous congratulations to Pop Place member Rachel Barber for publishing her first academic peer reviewed journal article in Wellbeing, Space and Society! Rachel is a co-author on a fascinating study that examines the socio-spatial dimensions of school closures and neighbourhood change in Ontario, Canada. The authorship team is led by the wonderful Dr. Patricia Collins […]
  • AAG Conference
    Population and Place Research Lab researcher Rachel Barber presented the findings of her Masters thesis research at the American Association of Geographers Conference on March 24th, 2023. Her presentation was entitled “Combating Mobility Inequality Through Age-Friendly Transportation: A Spatial Analysis of Walking and Public Transportation Routes in Elliot Lake”.

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