Fernando Calderón Figueroa wins 2023 Dennis William Magill Research Award

November 30, 2023 by Juanita Lam

Congratulations to recent PhD graduate Fernando Calderón Figueroa for winning the 2023 Dennis William Magill Canada Research Award. This award recognizes an exceptional paper or dissertation examining Canadian society. Dr. Calderón Figueroa receives this award in recognition of his dissertation, “The Spatial Dimensions of Social Capital”. Drawing on case studies in Canadian and Peruvian cities, Calderón Figueroa proposes a theory of spatiality for understanding the impact of the built environment on social capital. He argues that 1) the spatial construction of cities shapes social trust, 2) segregating infrastructure inwardly limits social capital, and 3) programs intended to improve the social capital of deprived neighbourhoods may instead stigmatize them. These findings have implications for future research and policy interventions.

In receiving this award, Calderón Figueroa thanks the award committee and the Department of Sociology, as well as faculty and fellow graduate students for their academic and professional support throughout his PhD.

Fernando Calderón Figueroa is currently Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Policy at the Department of Human Geography, University of Toronto Scarborough, where he studies the interaction between socio-spatial inequality, social solidarity, and policy. His research expands over three areas: (1) the impact of urban design and social infrastructure on communities, (2) urban politics and policy, and (3) the evolution of neighbourhoods, while bridging sociology, geography, political science, urban planning, and computational social science.