Week 5 wrap-up

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Blog round-up

When I first read this paragraph, I was shocked. I had lived in Pittsburgh for a while in the past decade. This description could have been written any time then, or even now. Did Jane Jacobs possess a time machine and decide to write about a city forty or fifty years ahead of her time? Or has Pittsburgh remained fundamentally the same for the past fifty years? Read more »

Find more information on neighbourhoods and diversity at the Toronto Public Library

The Toronto Reference Library at 789 Yonge St. now houses the collection of the Urban Affairs Library, formerly located at Metro Hall. As a specialized collection devoted to all aspects of urban planning and local government, the library contains far more than the materials cited here. Titles were selected by librarian Cynthia Fisher to give you an overview of some new and some old books and reports that you can find at the library to complement (and perhaps contradict) some of Jane Jacobs’ views. When viewing the catalogue records for the books, click on some of the subject headings to give you a broader range of materials.

The need for mixed primary uses

Mixed-use development handbook 2nd ed.

Contributors: Schwanke, Dean.

The latest volume in ULI’s highly respected Development Handbook Series, this handsomely illustrated reference takes you step by step through the development of complex mixed-use projects. You will learn about the key points that can make or break a project, and get in-depth information on feasibility, financing, planning and design, regulatory issues, marketing, and management. Case studies describe how seasoned professionals developed projects with a wide range of densities–from suburban town centers to high-rise mixed-use towers. Borrow it from the library!

City form and everyday life : Toronto’s gentrification and critical social practice

by Caulfield, Jon.

One feature of contemporary urban life has been the widespread transformation, by middle-class resettlement, of older inner-city neighbourhoods formerly occupied by working-class and underclass communities. Often termed “gentrification” this process has been a focus of intense debate in urban study and in the social sciences. This case study explores processes of change in Toronto’s inner neighbourhoods in recent decades, integrating an understanding of political economy with an appreciation of the culture of everyday urban life. The author locates Toronto’s gentrification in a context of both global and local patterns of contemporary city-building, focusing on the workings of the property industry and of the local state, the rise and decline of modernist planning, and the transition to postindustrial urbanism. Drawing on a series of in-depth interviews among a segment of Toronto’s inner-city, middle-class population, Caulfield argues that the seeds of gentrification have included patterns of critical social practice and that the ‘gentrified’ landscape is highly paradoxical, embodying both the emerging dominance of a deindustrialized urban economy and an immanent critique of contemporary city-building.

Borrow it from the library!

Comparing gentrification in South Parkdale, Toronto and Lower Park Slope, New York City : a “North American” model of neighbourhood reinvestment?

by Slater, Tom, Ph. D.

Borrow it from the library or read it online!

Rediscovering mixed-use streets : the contribution of local high streets to sustainable communities

by Jones, Peter. Contributors: Morris, Linda A. ; Roberts, Marion.

Local urban high streets have frequently suffered from neglect in comparison to town centres and out-of-town retail. Yet they have the potential to meet contemporary policy aspirations with regard to sustainability, social inclusion and place making. Rediscovering mixed-use streets is the first in-depth investigation of local mixed-use high streets. Drawing on case-studies in three different locations in England, the report provides a wealth of data and findings produced from a variety of sources, both quantitative and qualitative. In particular, the report offers a comprehensive view of local high streets, from the point of view of transport, local residents, visitors, businesses and practitioners; provides a series of suggestions for their improvement and demonstrates how local high streets belong to future sustainable communities.

Providing a significant contribution to current interest in mobility, urban design and social inclusion, the findings have particular relevance for ‘Sustainable Communities’, ‘Cleaner, Safer, Greener’, and ‘Place Matters’ policies. The study will be of interest to policy makers and practitioners involved in the making and managing of streets and those with an interest in regeneration. Borrow it from the library!

Reclaiming the city : mixed use development 1st ed.

Contributors: Coupland, Andy.

Mixed use development is about retaining or creating a mix of different uses in cities or neighbourhoods. The trend in UK development has been towards specialisation and areas with single uses. Increasing the mix of uses is thought to reduce the need to travel, lower the likelihood  of crime, improve the ambience and attractiveness of areas and contribute to the sustainability of cities. Borrow it from the library!

Creating walkable places : compact mixed-use solutions

by Schmitz, Adrienne. Contributors: Scully, Jason.

Richly illustrated with color photographs, site plans, and diagrams, this new book explains how to create pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use developments. Discover how to get financing for mixed-use, new urbanist, and higher-density projects that don’t “fit the mold,” but are the kinds of environments where people want to live, work, play, and shop. Learn about the role of the public sector and the changes that can be made to encourage human-scaled projects, how to reconfigure old places and plan and design new projects, and what to do about parking. Case studies describe walkable, mixed-use town centers, and pedestrian-focused communities in urban and suburban settings. Borrow it from the library!

Growing together : prospects for renewal in the Toronto region : a report

Contributors: Miller, Eric.

Characteristics of an alternative development pattern include: increasing housing potential in mixed use developments on arterial roads; encouraging offices to locate in compact environments; creating strong city centres; designing attractive, pedestrian friendly arterial corridors and city centres; protecting countryside and creating effective urban separators; and water and sewage needs. Borrow it from the library!

Moral economy of cities : shaping good citizens

by Ruppert, Evelyn Sharon, 1959-

What makes a good city? This question has long preoccupied groups interested and involved in the making and remaking of city spaces. Ruppert contends that the vision of the ‘good city’ embraced by professionals in the business of city making recognizes the interests of a dominant public, namely middle class consumers, office workers, tourists, and families. This vision stigmatizes certain members of the public like street youth, panhandlers, discount- and low-income shoppers, and the language used to extol the virtues of the good city inherently moralizes social conduct in the city.

Using the redevelopment of the Yonge-Dundas intersection in downtown Toronto in the mid-1990s as a case study, Ruppert examines the language of planners, urban designers, architects, and marketing analysts to reveal the extent to which moralization legitimizes these professions in the public eye and buttresses the very projects they produce. Ruppert’s conclusion that economic practices are not free from moral investment encourages the considerable task of re-examining the implications of city planning and development worldwide. The Moral Economy of Cities is mandatory reading for urban studies scholars and practitioners, and their critics. Borrow it from the library!

The Need for Small Blocks

(One philosophy and the other….)

Regent Park : a study in slum clearance

by Rose, Albert, 1917-

After the completion of Regent Park North in 1956, Albert Rose, one of the most vocal proponents of the housing project, hailed it as a “symbol of successful public action and public housing experience” For some time after this, Regent Park was considered a success in terms of rehabilitation of a previously so-called “blighted area.” Eventually, it began to deteriorate, however, both physically and socially, and it slowly turned into an insular area with a less than kind reputation. Borrow it from the library!

Revitalization Regent Park

by Toronto Community Housing Corporation.

Revitalization will:

  • offer urban planning for the way we live today
  • lower operating costs
  • build an environmentally-friendly neighbourhood
  • connect Regent Park with the surrounding community

Tenant and community engagement is vital to the process. Through meetings, consultations and workshops,tenant feedback will help to form planning principles that guide the entire project. Borrow it from the library!

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