This special episode of Urban Limitrophe is brought to you in collaboration with the Graduate Geography & Planning Student Society (GGAPSS) in celebration of Black History/Black Futures Month! In this episode, I speak with Roxana Escobar Ñañez (PhD Human Geography), Brianna Lane (MSc Physical Geography), Priscilla Ankomah-Hackman (MSc Planning), Jane O'Brien Davis (MSc Planning), and Bola Oshinusi (PhD Planning) to explore why they got interested in geography and planning, and their advice for other aspiring geographers and planners looking to study in this field.

In this episode, you'll learn about each guests':

  • research interests and upcoming projects,
  • reasons for studying at the University of Toronto,
  • hopes for having more diversity in their respective field,
  • advice for other emerging geographers and planners,
  • and much more!

Powered by RedCircle

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts  Amazon Music | RSS 

Collaborator: Graduate Geography and Planning Student Society (GGAPSS)

GGAPSS is one of the University of Toronto’s graduate course unions that represents all full-time and part-time graduate students in the Department of Geography and Planning! Throughout the academic year, GGAPSS coordinates social and academic events for students. They also help to manage graduate lounge and study spaces at Sidney Smith Hall, and work on a range of academic and equity initiatives on behalf of the tri-campus graduate student body.

Guest: Roxana Escobar Ñañez, PhD Human Geography

Roxana Escobar Ñañez is an Afro-Peruvian Ph.D. candidate in Human Geography. She also holds a B.A. in Philosophy and a M.A. in Political Science by the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, and M.Ed in Social Justice Education from OISE-UofT. Roxana’s research focuses on the places Afro-Peruvian women hold in Lima’s sonic landscapes. With her project, Roxana seeks to contribute to the geographic knowledge production about Black womanhood in Latin America.

Guest: Brianna Lane, MSc Physical Geography

My name is Brianna, and I am currently in the first year of my Master of Science in Physical Geography under the supervision of Dr. Laura Brown. My research interests include lake ice climate interactions, cryosphere research, and climate change. My master’s research will focus on monitoring lake ice and snow in the Central Canadian High Arctic. I aim to develop a feasible method for snow and ice data quantification using ground-based cameras. My study will examine recent variability in snow and ice phenology and compare this variability to longer historical changes in the study region.
  • Email: brianna.lane[at]

Guest: Jane O’Brien Davis, MSc Planning

Jane is a MScPl student in the Department of Geography and Planning. Her interests lie in heritage planning, cultural planning, and public histories. Jane’s research looks at counter-monuments and alternative commemorations of space and place. She is interested in how grassroots organizing in Canadian cities engages with built heritage in a settler colonial context.

Guest: Priscilla Ankomah-Hackman, MSc Planning

Priscilla’s research explores the experiences of Black planning students and professional planners in Canada with major emphasis of anti-Black racism and mental health services. She is passionate about creating conducive and liveable spaces for racialized groups to thrive while contributing to the socio-economic development of urban spaces. She worked with the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly and Effutu Municipal Assembly Physical Planning Department as a Researcher/Urban Planner. In Canada, she worked with Hearts and Stroke Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. She volunteers as the Programs Manager for a non-profit environmental think tank in Ghana, Institute of Nature and Environmental Conservation, INEC. She has won a number of awards at the department - SSHRC, OGS, Black Graduate Research Award, Friends of Planning, Mitacs Accelerate Research Award, and Black Student Award. She is currently undertaking research to explore and document the experiences of Black professional planners and students in Canada.

Guest: Bola Oshinusi, PhD Planning

Bola is a candidate in the PhD Planning program. Her research interests look at the political and socioeconomic feasibilities of using land use planning initiatives for implementing urban agriculture programs that utilize organic waste segregation in cities of the Global South. By engaging with policymakers, urban farmers and local homeowners in Lagos, Nigeria, her project will assess how urban food security and climate resilience of the communities are affected, particularly in regards to rapid urbanization, urban population growth and solid waste generation.


  • 03:51 | Introduction to Jane, Roxana, Bola, Priscilla, and Brianna
  • 08:28 | How they got interested in geography and planning, and what changes they would like to see to have more diversity in the field/department
  • 25:20 | Why they chose to study at UofT
  • 36:06 | Their advice for aspiring geographers and urban planners
  • 45:43 | What's next for our guests

Show Notes

Additional Black History Month Resources

The University of Toronto Spanish and Portugese Department's Latin American Studies program along with the Latin American Network at McMaster University (LANMU) and McMaster's Black Student Success Centre have collaborated with several UofT students, including Roxana, to highlight the contributions made by the African diasporas in the Latin American regions. So to learn more about Afrolatinx history and more about Roxana's work make sure to check out the series here:



This episode is co-sponsored by the University of Toronto School of Cities and the Department of Geography and Planning. 

The School of Cities "convenes urban-focused researchers, educators, students, practitioners and the general public to explore and address complex urban challenges, with the aim of making cities and urban regions more sustainable, prosperous, inclusive and just". To learn more about the School of Cities visit

To learn more about the Department of Geography and Planning and the different undergraduate and graduate programs available please visit

  • Music Producer: Imany Lambropoulos
  • Podcast Host and Graphic Designer: Alexandra Lambropoulos
  • GGAPSS Team Support: Lauren Foote, Sami Ferwati, and Sarah Mackinnon

Stay in the loop!

If you would like to be interviewed, have an interesting idea to share for an episode, or have any feedback on the podcast, please send me an email at hello[at]

If you enjoy the show, please share it with your family, friends, Karate teacher, kinesiologist, Kpop Idol... and leave a review on Apple Podcasts! 

Make sure to subscribe to the newsletter and follow the podcast on social media @urbanlimitrophe to stay in the loop