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.


  • New Publication: The “Double Risk” of Aging
    Very excited to share the latest publication from the Population and Place Research Lab! The ‘Double Risk’ of Aging: Examining Vulnerability and (Un)Supportive Built Environments in Canadian Cities in the Canadian Journal on Aging. Led by Pop Place Affiliated Researcher Samantha Biligeri and co-authored by Pop Place Director Maxwell Hartt, this study examines whether our … Read more
  • New Publication: Effects of urbanisation on PM2.5 concentrations
    Congratulations to Pop Place member Jianing Sun, who recently published a paper in Science of the Total Environment with colleagues from Chongqing University and Southwest University in China. The paper, entitled “Effects of urbanisation on PM2.5 concentrations: A systematic review and meta-analysis”, includes a meta-analysis to investigate previous research on urbanisation and its effects on PM2.5 concentrations. … Read more
  • Welcome Janine Dodge!!
    We are so thrilled to welcome Janine Dodge to the Population and Place Research Lab! Janine is a PhD student in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University. Her background includes extensive work in the play field, as well as degrees in International Relations, Business, and Aging and Health. She is passionate about … Read more
  • New Publication: Aging in place, stranded in space
    “Aging in place, stranded in space: An analysis of health care access via public transportation in Elliot Lake” is a new publication published in Applied Geography and written by Pop Place member Rachel Barber. The article evaluates older adult health care access via public transportation in Elliot Lake, ON, Canada’s most severely shrinking city and … Read more
  • New Publication: Excessive Rightsizing
    “Excessive rightsizing? The interdependence of public school closures and population shrinkage” is a brand new publication authored by Pop Place members Rachel Barber and Maxwell Hartt, along with their Queen’s University colleague Patricia Collins. The article examines public school closures in Ontario, Canada, from 2011 to 2016 to determine the relationship between municipal population trajectories … Read more
  • Mary Smida: PhD CANDIDATE
    This morning Pop Place member Mary Smida successfully passed her Qualifying Examination! Mary’s research is entitled “Whose Economy? Whose Development? Exploring the Possibilities for Social and Economic Transformation through Education and Training in Yukon Communities”. As of today, Mary is no longer a PhD student but a PhD candidate! Congratulations Mary!
  • Pop Place Member Interviewed by Le Voyageur
    Pop Place Member Rachel Barber’s research was recently featured in an article published by the Journal Le Voyageur, a Franco-Ontarian newspaper that covers news stories across Northern Ontario. The article can be read here.

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