Researchers and practitioners from many fields have been adapting ethnographic research methods to suit the complex demands of contemporary urban settings. The Urban Ethnography Lab is an initiative by scholars from the University of Toronto’s Ethnography Lab and Humboldt University’s Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies and the Department of Social- and Cultural Geography from Humboldt-University of Berlin.

We are happy to continue building institutional links between departments and scholars that are interested in fostering an international and interdisciplinary network of labs dedicated to spreading the value of ethnographic and qualitative urban research.

The motivation for creating this partnership was to create a lab through which to promote ethnographic methods in the study of urban and metropolitan areas and increase its relevance in science and policy-making.

The Urban Ethnography Lab is a growing centre that promotes ethnographic research methods, with a focus on urban areas, while the Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies encourages the growth of international networks of academic groups focused on metropolitan research. On the basis, our long-term objectives have been identified as to:

  1. Enhance ethnographic research methods at the intersection of urban anthropology, human geography and design.
  2. Create opportunities for research on urban comparisons,
  3. Promote the creation of a research network by facilitating the exchange of students and researchers internationally.

Insights from our workshop “Ethnography in Urban Settings” at the University of Toronto in 2017. For more information please visit:
Photos (c) Carolin Genz, 2017