Photo of Associate Professor Jill Wigle

Associate Professor Jill Wigle

Informality & urban governance in Latin America; Uneven urban development and precarity; Urban food system/insecurity & informality

Degrees:Ph.D. (University of Toronto), MSc.Planning (University of Toronto)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 8552
Office:B353 Loeb Building


I received my PhD in Geography from the University of Toronto. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (Azcapotzalco) in Mexico City, I joined the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton in 2008. As an urban geographer, my primary research interests include informal housing and settlement processes, urban spatial regulation, and socio-spatial conflict in Latin America, especially Mexico City. Before starting my doctorate, I worked as an urban planner in Toronto and remain a Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP). I am cross-appointed to the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton.

2020 – 2021 Courses

  • GEOG 3023 Cities in a Global World
  • GEOG 5000 Approaches to Geographical Inquiry

Research Interests

  • Informality and urban governance in Latin America
  • Uneven urban development and precarity
  • Urban food systems/insecurity and informality
  • Comparative greenbelt governance: Mexico City and Ottawa

Research Projects

  •  2016-2018  Co-Investigator, Insight Development Grant (2016-2018), Safe Cities, Urban Politics and Social Policy in North American Cities (New York, Toronto, Mexico City).
  •  2014-2019  Co-Investigator, Mexico City Team, SSHRC-IDRC Partnership Development Grant, Hungry Cities (China, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique and South Africa).

Selected Publications

Wigle, Jill. 2020. Fast-track redevelopment and slow-track regularization: The uneven geographies of spatial regulation in Mexico City. Latin American Perspectives available online at:

Hungry Cities Partnership Report No. 7: The Urban Food System of Mexico City, Mexico. 2017. Cape Town, South Africa and Waterloo, Canada: African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town and Wilfrid Laurier University/Balsillie School of International Affairs. Report available at:

Connolly, Priscilla and Jill Wigle. 2017. (Re)constructing Informality and “Doing Regularization”in the Conservation Zone of Mexico City. Planning Theory and Practice, 18 (2): 183-201.

Wigle, Jill. 2016. De Áreas Verdes a Zonas Grises: Gobernanza del Espacio y Asentamientos Irregulares en Xochimilco, Ciudad de México, in Antonio Azuela (Ed.) La Ciudad y Sus Reglas: Sobre la Huella del Derecho en el Orden Urbano. Mexico City: Instituto de Investigaciones, UNAM and PAOT.

Wigle, Jill. 2014. The “graying” of “green” zones: Spatial governance and irregular settlement in Xochimilco, Mexico City. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 38(2): 573-589.

Wigle, Jill and Lorena Zárate. 2012. Realizing the Right to the City: From declaration to action? Progressive Planning 193: 35-38.

Wigle, Jill. 2010. The “Xochimilco model” for managing irregular settlements in conservation land in Mexico City. Cities 27: 337–347.

Wigle, Jill. 2010. Social Relations, Property and “Peripheral” Informal Settlement: The Case of Ampliación San Marcos, Mexico City. Urban Studies 47(2): 411–436.

Wigle, Jill. 2008. Shelter, Location and Livelihoods: Exploring the Linkages in Mexico City. International Planning Studies 13 (3): 197-222.

Graduate Student Supervision

2019- Monika Imeri, PhD student in Human Geography (co-supervision with Professor David Hugill)

2019- Jessica Sperry, MA student in Human Geography

2018- Lucia Morales Vargas, MA student in Human Geography

2017- Lorna Quiroga, PhD student in Human Geography (co-supervision with Professor Christina Rojas)

2017-2019 Paulina Ascencio Ramos, MA student in Human Geography. Everyday Experiences of Women in Mass-produced Housing in the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara, Mexico.

2010-2016   Andrea Carrión, PhD, DGES, co-supervised with Professor Derek Smith. The Spatial Restructuring of Resource Regulation. The Gold Mining Enclave of Zaruma and Portovelo, Ecuador (1860-1980). Winner of the 2017 award for best doctoral dissertation, Canadian Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS).

2013-2016   Alex Copp,  MA, DGES, From Urban Forests to Neighbourhood Treescapes: An Examination of Power, Actors and Processes in Champlain Park, Ottawa.

2013-2014   Glennys Egan, MA, IPE, co-supervised with Professor Blair Rutherford. ‘Actually-existing’ Neoliberalism in Nairobi, Kenya: Examining Informal Traders’ Negotiations over Access to the Entrepreneurial City.

2010-2013   Chris Bisson, MA, DGES, co-supervised with Professor Patricia Ballamingie. Forests for the People: Resisting Neoliberalism through Permaculture Design.