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Toronto Inc? Planning the Competitive City in the New Toronto
This paper discusses and analyses the history of the municipal restructuring signal a new phase in Toronto’s planning history
Looking at Toronto on a bad day, one would feel compelled to agree with John Friedmann’s
Like their American counterparts, Canadian city planners have little control over investment and thus see their role restricted to managing the contradictions of capitalist urbanization and codifying real estate trends through the politics of development approvals
On a good day and focusing on the influence of oppositional and insurgent forces on institutional planning — including mainstream reform planning— one might conclude that Toronto planning has made a difference
Since the late 1960s, a number of movements have challenged official city planning and prefigured alternative planning practices
First, some labour unions, community groups and antipoverty organizations have tried to shed their predevelopment, productivity, and paternalistic orientation to focus on social unionism, homelessness and unemployment, workers’ communities, and health.
Second, immigrant and non-white communities have already affected everyday life in Toronto. They have become voices in conflicts over the location of mosques, temples, and cultural centres, the services provided by community agencies,
And third, the politics of gender and sexuality have had an influence on city politics in Toronto. Toronto’s gay and lesbian community—the third largest in North America—has had an impact on education and public health policies.
The formation of the competitive city is neither complete nor entirely new. It does represent a modest but “significant novelty” rather than a “world historic shift” in the 1990s
The formation of the competitive city represents a broader shift in contemporary city politics: a shift in city governance understood loosely as a constellation of gendered and radicalized...