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GEO 607 (1)

GEO607 notes.docx

15 Pages

Course Code
GEO 607
Valentina Capurri

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Chapter 1 - Growth & Change in Canadian Cities Why Canada? Canada: huge in geographical extent but small to medium-sized in terms of population: Canada is unique while also influenced by the economic, political, social and cultural global context The evolution of Canadian cities can offer insights into the evolution of other cities Canada and the US Canadas economy was initially closely integrated with Britains economy This integration ended at the end of WWII Canadas economy is today highly integrated with the US economy (80% of all Canadian exports go to the US) Consequences: 1. Volatility 2. High levels of foreign ownership Canadas Currency Despite integration with the US economy, Canada has kept its own currency Consequences: 1. Development of a Canadian financial sector centred in Toronto 2. In the past, the low Canadian dollar has encouraged export and sustained manufacturing 3. The Canadian dollar and its local financial sector have protected Canada during the recent recession Weakness of the Canadian Economy Notwithstanding efforts to diversify, Canadian economy remains a staple economy: Canada is dependent on its resource base Consequence: Canadas economy is subject to boom and bust cycles Canadas Face Immigration to Canada: Canada and Its Immigrant Population Has Canada been able to peacefully integrate immigrants? Integration and assimilation: what is the difference? The example of Quebec How attachment to place determines mobility: the US case vs. the EU case Canadian Cities Canadian cities follow similar trends and experiences of advanced societies Yet, there are also differences due to: 1. Geography 2. Relatively small population 3. High levels of foreign ownership of firms 4. Immigration 5. Cultural diversity The Importance of Cities Cities matter in term of economic development, productivity, and innovation City-regions influence national politics, economy and culture, while also being significant players in the global economy Immigration creates socio-cultural and ethnic linkages between cities globally and transnationally The Nation-State Why the nation-state still matters as a geo-political & economic unit within the global system: 1. It organizes administration, taxation & service delivery 2. It is a repository of citizenship & identity 3. It sets macro-economic & trade policies 4. It regulates immigration flows Cities & the Nation-State How cities are affected by actions/decisions taken at federal and provincial levels The odd case of city-regions: who is responsible for them? What are city-regions? Why do they matter? Metropolitan Regions Factors shaping growth & change in large metropolitan regions: 1. Causes of change might originate within or outside the city (or the country) 2. Processes & regulations shape patterns of change 3. Linkages exist among different parts of the city-region Chapter 2 - Canadian Cities in a Global Context Canada in the World Canada was colonized by the East from Europeans in search of land & riches Canadas growth has historically been driven by export of resources and inflows of immigrants Todays interchange of goods & people has become more complex while the exchange of capital, technologies & info has increased Canada & the US Canadians grow up imbued with US mass culture (TV shows, music, news) 55% of Canadas imports are from the US 81% of Canadas exports are to the US Most Canadian cities are located within 200 km of the US border Yet the US is 10 times bigger than Canada in terms of population NY city has a population 4 times bigger than Toronto Canada & the US In both Canada and the US, urbanization is concentrated in the East Both countries have few growing cities in the West (concentrated in California in the US, Alberta and BC in Canada) Both countries have an empty middle: the Prairie provinces & northern Ontario in Canada, the Great Plains states in the US Canada & the US Canadians reach the US regularly by plane and, more importantly, by land through major corridors Yet, the international border remains a constraint: air travel between Toronto & Montreal is more frequent than between Toronto and NY (similarly, more people fly from Vancouver to Toronto than Los Angeles) Canadian Exports The content of exports fluctuates over time depending on the region (automobiles in Ontario, agricultural exports in the Prairies provinces, oil in Alberta) The case of Alberta: the growth of the energy sector has driven rapid urban growth in Calgary and increased the political and economic significance of the region within Canada Exports to the US BC, Quebec and the 2 Prairies provinces have the lowest share of exports to the US (BC exports mainly to Asia, Quebec to Europe, the Prairie provinces to overseas markets) Ontario is highly dependent on export to the US (84%) The Auto Pact (1965), FTA (1989) and NAFTA (1994) Each region of Canada has a unique cross-border trade relationship Canadian Cities Economy Finance: Toronto in Canada and NY in the US (federally chartered & state chartered banks) Professional, scientific and technical services: in Canada, they are mainly tied to the resource economy (ex. Calgary and Montreal) Computer gaming and animation (Vancouver & Montreal) The Canadian Dilemma Canadas recent growth has relied on resource exploitation Resource-led growth brings in money & jobs, yet it hampers the growth of industries based on know-how rather than resources The resource economy is temporary and unstable The long-run economic health of cities depends on their ability to diversify their economy Immigration to Canada Since the 1960s immigration to Canada has diversified Immigrants tend to concentrate in the largest cities Immigrants tend to maintain transnational ties, thus socially, culturally and economically affecting the receiving country International Corporations in Canada Toronto is the location of most corporate head offices in Canada Yet, most corporate and financial headquarters in North America are located in the US rather than Canada due to: 1. A larger market 2. A currency less prone to resource-driven fluctuations
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