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CRIM 3654
James Sheptycki

CRIM 3654 – FALL LECTURE NOTES November 29 , 2013 Crime Prevention and Urban Revitalization When we think about urban space, think about urban space as a living laboratory for the implementation of these ideas and practices in crime prevention and policing. It is here that we will draw on insights of randy libert and his work on business improvement districts – this work has illuminated key transformations in the ways that policing, most broadly defined, gets done - Mass private property turns the idea of public and private space on its head – in the form of shopping malls, sites where legally private property public is invited in and where everyday public living occurs o Difference between walking into Eaton centre and walking into parliament centre in Queens Park - Leaning on geographers to understand policing in a new way – in relation to space o Space is not simply a physical thing, not just a container we can drop into and live our lives, rather it is imbued with all kinds of social meaning and helps to constitute who we are and how we engage as citizens - Cities (“the urban” as referred to by geographers) have been transformed by neo-liberalism o Argument is that neo-liberalism isn’t just an abstract idea that operates at just macro levels, but its also something that takes shape and meaning at the local level, and it’s in these local manifestations that the space of the urban takes on new significance o There is a drive towards urban regeneration/revitalization schemes  E.g. reforming of dundas square, on-going project of regent park  Idea is that these projects seek to transform city-scape into sites of consumption, entertainment and leisure  sites for the spending of money o This marketization lipert refers to as the branding of urban spaces then inevitably effects what is possible for us citizens and how we act as citizens Effects of Neoliberalism - “the understanding of what it means to be a citizen, to live everyday life in Toronto, has been shifted strongly to a novel concept of the individualized subject responsible for his or her own well-being, supported largely through the marketplace, market orientation, clientelism, consumer fees, voluntarism, and criminalization of marginal behaviours and spaces” [not in course] o Responsibilization, marketization o Issues not just of interest to us as criminologists, but also to critical urban geographers and other geographers Revitalization – cities transforemed from sites of heterogeneity and spontaneithy to sites of homogeneity and controlled consumerism - New understanding of cities as sites of consumption has helped to understand how we see ourselves - Geogrpahers says that urban streets were seen as spaces of democracy in practice before neo- liberal area o Streets were understood to be heterogeneious complex spaces that were available to everyone o Public streets – meaning they were spaces where the public in all its diversity and flaws could be o Example: jane Jacobs – vision of streets o There might be restriction on private space, but there is no power to forbid you from using sidewalk in front of house because it is a public space o In principle, streets were signed imagined to be spaces of spontaneity, encounter, serendipity, chance and exchange – they were unpredictable precisely because they seemed to belong to “the public” - Under neo-liberalism the idea of city space, this public shared space, undergoes a radical transformation and that’s because urban revitalization schemes are designed to lure people with disposable incomes to these city centres o Middle class abandonment of the cities o Urban centres caught between twin pushes of globalization and suburbanization  Chain of production broken, unemployment is high and economic base cities have relied on has decimated due to globalization in smaller towns like st. catherines, Peterborough, etc  At the same time, especially in st catherines, begins the building of Walmart style malls. Highway built through city to the mall. People take the car and drive through the city on the highway to the mall, leaving the downtown completely abandoned  Stores like eaton centre are empty, but stores like vauighan mills and yorkdale, malls that our out of the downtown city area are most likely busy  These filled malls go through Reconstruction to try and make these places destination location for both citizens and tourists - You want new centres to look attractive and inviting, which means that crimes that are considered unattractive (e.g. graffiti, sex work, etc) end up being the ones that are most policed o A unified street is one that has no graffiti, no homeless people Revanchism (revenge) - re-assirtion of bourgeois values through both militarism and moralism - Coined by neil smith to describe these kinds of developments, drawing on historical precedent and specifically from late 19 century paris - Anti-revolutarioney beourgies people in paris taking aim and indulgencies of aristorcracy and on the ground communism acting on the grounds - Felt their job was to reinstate the beourgies order, filling strategies of militarism and moralism – restoring public order to the street o Done by hunting down enemies and exacting revenge on them for having “stolen their vision of French society from them” - When we hear the phrase ‘take back our city’ this is revanchism that fuses militarism through target-policing and moralism to re-assert a sense of bourgeois order - We refer to cities that undergo these revitalization as revanchism’d cities Times Square, NYC – centrepiece of revanchised approach - From gritty slightly dangerous area to drug-free, pan-handler free, family friendly area Yonge-Dundas - People said it was dangerous before, mostly with pawn-shops, cheap clothing outlets, sex-work, drug deals and a large number of black torontonians who hung out there, being considered a problem - It was revitalized with all those shops torn down, revitalizing water-front, taking the ill-used problematic parts of the city and trying to turn them into destination location for good-clean- family fun - This also happened with casinos** - These revitalized areas promise risk-free adventure – deliberate effort to rebrand image from heterogeneity to homogeneity, from places of spontaneity to control and design organized to consumerism, from sites of risk based on unpredictability to places where risk, dirt and chance are eliminated BIA (business improvement assosicaiton) - Businesses in a particular area, geographically defined, club together to organize, finance and carry out physical improvements to the area nad promote economic development o E.g. better lighting, pedestrian walkways, beuatifucation programs, street-fairs and merchant friendly community days  Clean and safe passage (libert) – these various things are organized through a logic of consumption environment free of risk for consumers to be able to pass through unscathed - A Canadian invention that spread – all pretty much centrally located o The urban is a specific idea – not all of Toronto is spoken about, but a specific area o Over course of 1980s idea exported and adopted all over the world o Countries announce economic maturity through mentioning the number of BIA`s they have - BIA`s have had profound effects on policing o They used to hire private security firms to patrol their streets and ensure signs of disorder were removed o Libbert argues there`s more to the story about BIA`s  They have also introduced much more indirect forms of policing  “loss-
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