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GEO 793 Lecture Notes - New Urbanism, Transit City, The Province

Course Code
GEO 793
Cynthia Mason

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Reconnecting the disconnected: The Politics of Infrastructure in the in-between city
- A Politics of Infrastructure:
A growing awareness that “governing and experiencing the fabric of the city”
involves political acts that produce and reproduce the infrastructures of urban
The “politicization of infrastructure” involves the understanding of how
infrastructure policies and planning are linked to “the co-revolution of cities
and technical networks in a global context”
Increase significance of these spaces today commands our attention in new and
inevitable ways
The forgotten infrastructural polices of the in-between cities implies a de-
colonization from the forces that built the glamour zones at both ends of its
existence: the urban core and the classical suburb
- New Patterns of (Sub)-urbanization:
The “In-Between City
Lack of infrastructure in the in-between city
- More Canadians work in the suburban parts of metropolitan areas
- Inner cities experience densification of office and condo developments, some of the
most dynamic growth areas are literally in-between
- Areas of aggressive expansion, for example around suburban York University in
Toronto, where a New Urbanist styled “Village at York” has added 1000 units of
residential space
- The Jane-Finch district continues to lose both in economic standing and
- Metropolitan regions experience fast paced socio-spatial change, the political and
administrative realities that govern them structured such that the concerns of these
areas are literally marginalized
- Linear nature of public transit and other networked infrastructure- which favour
either mass concentration of jobs or housing or wealthy enclaves of economically or
politically influenced users (industry, commerce, upper-middle class residents, etc.)-
Predestines the place located between designated destinations to lie in a fallow land
of unsatisfactory access
- The techno-material bias is corroborated by the political decision-making processes
that underlie technical allocations
- Infrastructures that are built to connect centers actually disconnect those non-central
spaces that lie in-between
- The “in-between city” is a necessary precondition for creating more sustainable and
socially just urban regions, and for designing a system of social and cultural
infrastructures that has everything a community needs and meets global needs as
- These new regions led to largely two spatial effects:
1. The centrifugal sprawl away from city centers of new sprawl where there was
no previous agglomeration
2. The re-centralization of economics in downtowns as well as airports, edge
cities, business parks, etc.
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