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Canadian Urban Development - Past and Present - L2.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
City Studies
Ahmed Allahwala

Citb01 lecture 2 Recall • What is planning o Everyday life to urban planning • Planning is imagining a desired outcome in the future and the strategy to get from the present to that endpoint to the future • Fundamental assumption is that if left unplanned, cities would be unsustainable • We live in a capitalist society so that most of the development is private o Invested, built for profit o Developer builds something with the purpose of making money • If profit is the main driver of urban development and private investment is the main investor, public infrastructure is not in the calculation • There is a public good that would not be taken care of if we let the private market build as it pleases • As cities grew in the 19 century, a series of undesirable outcomes happened o Overcrowding o Lack of crucial services o No parks o Etc • So thought of ways to have cities be efficient • Urban planning is about influencing urban development • Form of state intervention in a capitalist space economy • Different approaches to planning o Developers perspective- want to max profit and want the report approved  Want to jump over hurdles to get the approval o Community interest  Occur in non profit community based organization  To improve the lives of the marginalized  Want to get services and resources to these populations o Municipal planner’s approach  Employed by the city  A lot of the planning in the city is about development control  Idea is that an application is submitted to the planner and then the planner needs to see if that application fits in the city’s “official plan” • Talked about the politics of choice o Political in the sense that we may all not agree o Different desired outcomes that may conflict o Planners play a role in different political interests The historical context of planning theory and practice • Planning is political and historically specific • An idea that is accepted in planning practice today would be overthrown in 20-30 years • An idea in the 1950’s may not be relevant today • We under relationships differently, or former decisions lead to problems not seen at that time • Eg in the 50’s and 60’s did not think of the environment, or sustainability • Picture of the Toronto skyline, see the gardiner expressway o Built at a time when city planning embraced the private automobile o People would move into the suburbs and commute in and out of the city through cars through freeways and expressways o Would we build the gardiner how and where it is today?  Has a problem of congestion, we’ve outgrown the infrastructure o Would we build a freeway by the lake  Pollution  It’s a division of the landscape  It cuts the city off from the waterfront  It could be for condos, residential, recreational space • What was good practice at one point, is now to change • But the infrastructure itself is slow changing • Postcard of the yorkdale mall o Changed the retail geo of Toronto o Don’t need to go to downtown to ship bcause everyone was to have a car o Associated to suburban life, of private automobiles and private ownership • Initial proposal was to have a freeway from 401 down to the city on the west side o See protests challenging the authority of the planner o Political nature of planning decisions • Regent park o Was Canada’s largest public housing complex o When it was built, was to eradicate the slum neighbourhoods and build new modern complexes o Popular representation was that it was crime ridden etc o Decided it was wrong to put all the poor people in one area and bring in middle income earners o So before, the idea was to have affordable, efficient housing for the low income families o Now it’s all about social mixing, building condos and social housing in the same area • Africville, Halifax o Entirely black community in Halifax, mostly self sufficient o Paid property taxes etc o And then in the name of “slum clearance” o The evicted the people and destroyed and displaced the community o Today, would approach the project differently  Consult the community instead of just coming in and clearing Canadian urban development Objective • To identify and describe the main epochs of Canadian urban development • To identify and describe the economic, demographic, social and political factors that shaped Canadian urban development • To provide a historical context for next week’s discussion of the history of planning in Canada Part 1 • Historical development, up to 1975 Part 2 • Contemporary developments Differentiate • When talking about urban development can talk about the system as a whole or the development of one city • Talking about all Canadian cities, the relationships, the significance in the broader sense • Or looking at one city/ region and how it grows internally- Mercantile • Canadian used to be populated by the indigenous population • But talking about the development of cities, and it began with the emergence of the European colonizers • Bunting and filion- reading • Authors looked at historical development of Canada and then see how did cities develop in this broader historical context th • Beginning of 17 century with the arrival of the colonizers • What was the main goal of coming to explore? o Came for natural resources • Canada’s development up to today we have been a country of natural resource export • The main natural resource at that time for the fur trade • First primary staple that was exploited in Canada was fur • Who was involved with the fur trade o The natives- in “collaboration” • Fur is a small and high value commodity • Harold innis suggest that we can understand Canada’s historical development by looking at the main staple that it provided to the global market in any given period o Staples theory o Look at fur trade and explain use that info to understand how the city development • Fur is small and high value • Therefore population stayed small, not a lot of people needed for the fur trade • The ships and vessels used to ship the fur was small so that means not many immigrants woud come in with the ship • Came in at the east coast, and inland along the st lawresnce and along the north shore of lake Ontario- the main waterways • Settlements remained small and very little planning involved • See emergence of the grid iron system- which we still see today th • At beginning of 19 century and the period of agricultural expansion o Staples theory- what became the dominant export of british n a o Stopped being fur and became lumber • In terms of labour and bulk, for growth of population o More labour power o Much bul
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