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Lecture 3

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Ryerson University
GEO 793
Valentina Capurri

Week 3 Lecture Notes Typical North American city consists of two parts inner (developed first) and outer zones (inner and outer suburbs) Toronto’s inner zones: 1) Distillery Pre-Industrial Phase (1830’s-1861) -Toronto was an administrative/service town and trade centre -provincial gov’t, court, doctor Industrial Phase (1870’s-1950’s) -manufacturing develops and society sorts itself by class -Distillery district made to produce alcohol via breweries Post-Industrial Phrase (1950’s-present) -manufacturing moves out of the city, Toronto’s growing globalization, gentrification manufacturing centre move to: 1-suburbs: manufacturing in downtown very expensive and prohibited 2-US: bigger market, costs less per unit 3-overseas: weaker regulations, cost of labour cheaper -city needs production: Toronto is producing services not manufacturing -service economy polarized some services making lots of $ lawyers, accountants others working part time jobs at McDonalds -today service centre provides entertainment: coffee shops, gallery, restaurants 2) Holy Trinity Church -1/6 churches built in 1840’s -corporatization of land 1960-1970s -Eaton’s decided to transform to mall, resident tower, conference centre -illustrates the transience of city fabrics -not working class area anymore -cataclysmic changes happen all of a sudden involving big corps or gov’t -gradual changes-piecemeal effort left to private (single individuals)initiatives ex. one person renovates their house, then their neighbor likes it and changes too 3) Regent Park -Canada’s largest public housing project -build in 1950’s -situated 14 blocks east of downtown Roots and Modernism -former neighborhood was removed -streets were closed and replaced with pedestrian paths (no cars) -to foster a sense of community -mono-use: residential -design is utilitarian w/efficiency getting preferred to decoration -clean square, simple, easy-accessible buildings Why Regent Park Failed? -project built disconnected from its surrounding context -1) no pedestrian path 2) mono-use Modernism -movement born in Europe in 1920s -replacing slums with healthy and efficient lower-cost housing -promoting more equalitarian urban society Anti-Modernism -mixed-uses are better than mono-use -during weekday 9-5 area is empty until people come home from work -crime goes undetected -mixed-uses have people bustling all the time -older urban districts are a necessary element in a vibrant city -removing existing building bad because people have meaning -high concentration of people and activities bring life to cities Post-Modernism and Regent Park Revitalization -mix of public and private investments -want to mix lower and middle class people some buildings remain public for lower class and private -mix of uses via stores -new streets to tie neighbourhood back into city’s street grid -could this be another example of gentrification and push lower income people out 4) St. James Town example of dialogue in urban forms -modernism-good housing for working class -corporate property capital-earning profits from urban space Conclusion -city fabrics reflect urban economy -urban space is also shaped by corp’s -different levels of gov’t don’t have $ to inv in city who have necessary capital to inv -city fabrics tend to be transitory -area can completely change ex. Distillery -influence of modernism and post-modernism -urban forms are of a dialogical nature Urban Change: 1) Urban Form -structure/shape of the building changes -ex. church destroyed and build restaurant, bungalows destroyed high rise built 2) Urban Function -can have same building but different use for it -building in Distillery same as were in 1860 but now have a different function was factory now restaurant 3) Urban Meaning -how people understand that area -ex. Distillery from place of work to place of entertainment White -Jane Jacobs lived in Toronto from 1968 until her death in 2006 -before 1968 she was living in NYC where she developed anti-modernist ideas -How substantive as her impact on the city? -Was she a lone voice in critiquing the orthodoxies of urban planning (modernism) in the 1950s? No, others were arguing that too Jacob’s Impact on Toronto The article focuses on 4 episodes taking place between 1968 and 1978: 1. The Spadina Expressway -needed for baby boom and immigrants -SE was envisioned in the 1940s and formally planned in 1959 -reside
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