Dr. Jino Distasio
Introducing Keynote speaker Larry Beasley - Saturday, November 6 at 8:30am
Dr. Distasio joined the University of Winnipeg in 1999, serving as Director of the Institute of Urban Studies since 2003. For over a decade, Jino has worked in Winnipeg’s inner city as well as exploring Canadian and global urban issues. During this period he has been actively involved in over 100 projects, publications and community initiatives. At present he is helping to coordinate a study of homelessness and mental health in five Canadian cities. This $110 million dollar project is funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and is the largest such initiative conducted in Canadian history.
Areas of interest include urban revitalization, housing, economic development; and actively participating on numerous inner city committees and boards. This has included serving on the Mayor’s Rapid Transit Taskforce, the Zoning Advisory Committee, and the Downtown Housing Strategy. In 2010 he was appointed to the boards of the Westminster Housing Society and Habitat for Humanity. He also helped produce Winnipeg’s first urban Aboriginal housing plan in partnership with the Manitoba Urban Native Housing Association and worked with the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg to update Winnipeg’s Federal Homelessness Plan.
At the national level, Jino has led multi-city projects that have examined hidden homelessness, working poverty and most recently he coordinated the development of a national index of neighbourhood distress in Canadian cities.
As a faculty member in the Department of Geography, Jino focuses on urban issues. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor of City Planning at the University of Manitoba where he teaches and supervises graduate students. He is routinely asked to provide both local and national media comment on issues relating to urban change and poverty, transportation, inner city renewal and other civic and urban concerns.