Part 1: Suburban Sprawl
Lewis provides a review the growth of the city up to 1945. I think that it is important material to
understand (as I stated in an earlier set of review notes), so I am including a review (edited
somewhat) of this material here.
The Industrial City (1875-1920)
* The city initially grew out along the streetcar lines and other mass transportation lines.
* Movement to suburban locations --> the wealthy then the upper-middle class.
* Housing still largely pedestrian-oriented centered on proximity to mass transportation and
more compact in nature.
* Few, small clusters of retail activities to serve the local market.
* Early zoning laws are discriminatory in nature (restrict land uses in upper class and upper-
middle class neighbourhoods).
Suburban Infill (1920-1945)
* Widespread ownership and use of the automobile.
* The middle class moving to suburban locations.
* Filling in of non-urban land in the city between the mass transit lines and on the fringes of the
built up area of the city.
* Decline in the use of mass transit in favour of the automobile.
* New road construction and improvements and building of high-speed, limited-access
* Beginnings of the use of the transport truck --> manufacturing and wholesaling who could
now move to cheaper land in the suburbs. Resident labour pool located here. Good for land
consumptive assembly-line production.
* Retail activity centres --> a hierarchy of functions and associated locations: CBD; outlying
business centres; principal business thoroughfares; neighbourhood business streets; and isolated
store clusters --> mimicked the CBD.
* The suburbanization of some retail activities (suburban retail plazas).Anew type of retail
structure. Awhole new concept in providing retail stores separated from vehicles. Some large
department stores began to experiment with branch stores in the suburbs.
* Some suburban shift in office activities especially consumer services such as doctors, lawyers,
* The CBD still strong and dominant with most retail and office activities centralized in this
district. Entertainment and civic functions also remain firmly entrenched in the CBD.
- at this point, suburbanization was largely a residential movement
- typically characterized by:
- low average densities in comparison with older centres - automobile dependence
- fragmented open space, wide gaps between development and a scattered, haphazard appearance
- separation of uses into distinct areas
- examples: satellite cities; major highway arteries; and speculation and development of
greenfield sites (ones in which no previous urban activity has taken place)
Conditions that led to urban growth 1945-1973 period
- not enough housing units were built to accommodate the need for housing during the first half
of the twentieth century
- post-war consumerism
- not many apartment buildings
- sever shortage of housing
The Baby Boom
- returning soldiers from the Second World War starting families
- in Canada --> within a period of 25 years, there had been an increase of 18 percent in births
- in Canada --> the Dominion HousingAct of 1935 and then the Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC), 1946
- began by building houses during the Second World War to house workers near factories needed
in the war industry
- after the war, built homes and assisted the building industry
- turned their attention to improving the quality and availability of construction materials and
construction methods for the housing market
- got involved in large-scale urban redevelopment projects --> example: Regent Park, Toronto
John Maynard Keynes (economist)
- governments should not be afraid to spend money to ensure a healthy level of employment
- pump money into the economy by ensuring employment --> generates economic activity
- government intervention in the housing market could prime the economy
Land Use Planning
1) Dealing with old urban developments -- dealing with obsolescence and urban decay through
urban renewal plans
2) Planning new developments -- the planning of complementary land uses, orderly development
of new neighbourhoods and the provision of municipal services. - a whole new set of skills and expertise were required to plan the city (planners, engineers,
- a whole new 'professionalism' was added to the role of municipal government
Urban planning involved:
- the laying out of the pattern of complimentary land uses throughout the city
- the design of urban infrastructure -- roads, sidewalks, water mains, sewage systems, power
distribution networks, etc.
- the provision of social services -- schools, community services, parks and recreation centres,
- the establishment of building standards
Remember that this all had to be done within the constraints of what was already built.
Levittown: The Prototypical Commuter Suburb
- brainchild of William Levitt
- mass production of homes
- relatively uniform in terms of building materials and construction techniques
- easy to construct (sometimes within a day)
- economical to buy (affordable to a larger number of people)
- developed 'greenfield' sites
- developed the first modern suburb
- planned street pattern, uniform lot sizes and a small number of different building types to
- included schools, churches and a shopping centre
- controlled everything in the community
- promoted commuting as a way of life
Building the Transportation Infrastructure
- transportation affected by technological innovations
- in turn, affects the pattern of growth of the city
- example: Gardiner Expressway and Bloor Viaduct in 1958
Part 2: Fordism and Fordist Production
- a series of interrelated technological innovations in manufacturing processes
- a number of important social repercussions
Henry Ford (1863-1947)
- a prominent twentieth-century industrialist, innovator and capitalist
Henry Ford's Chief Claim to Fame? - the 'assembly line' for the production of manufactured goods
- workers stationary -- their work brought to them at a regulated pace
- workers highly specialized in a limited number of tasks (repetitive tasks)
- a well defined division of labour
- much higher levels