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GEO 793 (23)
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Department
Geography
Course
GEO 793
Professor
Valentina Capurri
Semester
Fall

Description
Moore, Greater Toronto Area New Urbanism in the GTA • The ‘Greater Toronto Area’ (GTA) is the largest and fastest growing metropolitan region in Canada • local and provincial agendas have called for new urban reforms to ‘stop sprawl’ and facilitate compact growth • This climate of a perceived need for systemic changes to how and where residential development and its supporting infrastructure are planned, designed and built • More recently, experimentation with New Urbanism extended from the suburban context into the city • New Urbanism o diverse, walk-able, compact o vibrant, mixed-used communities o housing, workplace, shops, entertainment, schools, parks and civic facilities all within easy walking distance o increased use of trains and light rail, instead of highways and roads 1. metropolitan region in Canada, Cornell, Markham: o from an affordable housing project (1988) to o a New Urbanist community with some conventional designs 2. Montgomery Village, Orangeville: o from a New Urbanist approach to o a conventional design (resistance to change) o its failure was due to the fact that the idea was never completely validated in the marketplace nor within the institutional response of the municipality 3. The Beach, City of Toronto: o New Urbanism’s success due to political and community acceptance o A unique, non-replicable situation 4. King West Village, City of Toronto: o from an industrial area to o a trendy urban village o New Urbanism at its best New Urbanism in City and Suburbs • Why does New Urbanism work better in brownfield sites than greenfield sites? 1. In the city there is no need to experiment and propose alternative visions 2. It can simply mimic the existing design without need to seek legitimization Obstacles to Change • Public and private actors’ lack of interest to change hampers New Urbanism attempts • Existing regulations facilitate maintenance of the status quo • Constraints imposed by the industry facilitate standardization over innovation Conclusion 1. “New Urbanism” label gets applied differently depending on the context 2. GTA developers and municipalities are still resistant to New Urbanist design 3. New Urbanism in the GTA: the hybridization of New Urbanist features and conventional housing schemes Cowen Citizenship and Metropolitan Toronto • January 1998 – Amalgamation of Metropolitan Toronto’s constituent municipalities into one “Megacity” • 2001 – The restructuring of public recreation policy: the rise of targeted social policy • Targeting and the end of universal citizenship Restructuring of the welfare state in Canada • 1985 – Restructuring at the federal level • 1995 – Restructuring in Ontario: 1. Workfare 2. Privatization of public assets and services 3. Downsizing of public services 4. Municipal amalgamation Restructuring in Ontario • Restructuring as a cost-saving measure Post-War Recreation Policy • Toronto: free recreation for all • Suburbs: recreation provided by the private sector, the family, user fees • Consequences in the suburbs: radicalization of recreation and communities Post-Amalgamation Recreation Policy • User fees applied to all services • Subsidies to target certain groups (the Welcome Policy): identifying “high needs” residents and neighborhoods • What is “high needs”? • Who is “high needs”? • Where is “high-needs”? Implication for Citizenship • Can citizenship be selective? How is the selection made? With what consequences? • Are we citizens or consumers? What is the difference? Why does it matter? Boudreau, Keil & Young Moving around the Toronto Region • The Toronto region sees two different but interrelated movements: 1. Goods o it is a place for production and consumption; centre for warehousing goods for distribution with and outside of the region 2. People o millions of journeys make daily by individuals travelling from home to work, study, and shop • The region is strategically situated at the crossroads of rail & roads networks that connect it to: 1. Northern Ontario 2. Quebec 3. Atlantic Canada 4. Western Canada 5. The US & Mexico Global City Transportation • Urban regions are in competition to attract global capital & are therefore building globalized superstructures (for ex., airports) to accommodate international trade • Such globalized superstructures are interlinked with localized transportation & transit systems that serve the everyday needs of the resident population A New Urban Geography • New rhythms & scales of production, exchange and consumption have affected urban geography in the Toronto region • This new geography is centred at Pearson Airport (Canada’s largest airport) • The area around Pearson is occupied by industrial buildings & crossed by a web of superhighways (for ex., the 407) & major
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