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University of Toronto St. George
Deborah Cowen

Course Concepts Securitization of Cities • Extent: how important is security and how extensive are efforts to securitize space • Contestation: what does security mean? Are there challenges to securitizing urban space? • Effects: does it solve what it set out to solve? How does it change urban space? What are the impacts on people’s sense of safety and security? • Cities have long been centers for security and defense • In WWII, city centers were targets because they were so dense; now, as part of planning, there is emphasis on dispersal and decentralization • Gives rise to gated communities; it was found that many people like gated communities because they pose a less risk of unwanted social exchange/encounters and a decline in their property values • Public space has also seen an increase in security; cameras, undercover police, security guards, etc. • Architecture has also changed in this form to make spaces seem more ‘secure’ such as the new bus shelters which have lights installed in them or the height of buildings proportionate to road • Changes in security in the US due to: anti-globalization protests and warfare and terrorism • Four other types of security: bio-security [health issues like SARS], human security [physical threats on people], environmental security [natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina] and system security [in response to the failure of energy grid systems or transport systems] Infrastructure • Social and physical • During WW1, most cities had streetcars and disappeared after WWII because automobile and oil companies were starting to take over • Cities based on walking, transport or the car o Cities based on walking are very dense, urban density for walking and rail is a bit more spaced out and those for the automobile are very spaced out • Auto dependent cities: made it hard for those without a car to get around, involved destroying streetcar lines in order to make way for highways and in turn, the highway construction destroyed homes and displaced people • Bus Riders Union LA: in 1992, the majority of people in LA were coloured [81%] and transportation plans were to channel a new subway system that would cater to white, elite neighbourhoods and their workplaces o Lawsuit against the LA metro transit, which resulted in $2.5 billion dollars which was used for bus only lanes, more buses, cleaner and more fuel efficient buses and created over 800 jobs. As a result, ridership increased Changing Urban Forms • Gated communities, big box and gentrification • 3 key changes in house building in the 20 century: home financing [mortgages], developer [professional large scale home builders] and speculative builders [people who built first then sold later] • Homelessness is caused by individual and structural factors. This is due to a changing economy and government policy: the rise of precarious work and the dism
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