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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered



  1. When it comes to neighbourhood gentrification the end goal of developers will always be to move out the undesirables. As such, the end goal of municipal planners working for elected municipal governments should be the full accommodation of the displaced within their own neighbourhoods. Unless the mandate of the consultations is full integration what does it matter who’s conducting the knowledge gathering? The difference between someone telling you to get out and someone walking you to the door is little more than fake altruism.

  2. This is a great article. I’m the stakeholder engagement guy in the Chief Planner’s Office and I’m glad the TPRP has fans. Just want to point out that the methodology outlined here is not new to the Planning Division. We’ve used essentially this methodology before, though perhaps not with homeless populations. Certainly with marginalized populations – Lawrence Heights is an example. The program there trained and paid residents to be ambassadors of the planning process, which is somewhat different, but was also very effective. For TOcore though, we will be reaching out to homeless populations in exactly this way. I don’t have too many details, but the idea is to equip local agencies with consultation kits that they can take to people where they are.

  3. I disagree with James.

    Why should the indigent have some moral claim to not being moved around as the nature of a neighbourhood changes? They have two easy ways to exercise their political power inherent to them as citizens (1) vote; (2) show up for public meetings and speak their piece. They choose to do neither of these.

    We see nothing wrong with telling the working and ambitious “you want to live in a better neighbourhood, get ready to pay more money, or move.” Why is it some how wrong to tell the poor and slothful “you want to live in a worse neighbourhood, move: this one’s getting better.” What happened to “beggars can’t be choosers?”

    The reality is running a city with all the programs we’d like to have costs money. Sustaining marginal housing on prime real estate is, in effect, a waste of money, or at least an opportunity of money. Asking private sector developers to do it on a large scale is a losing proposition: they simply won’t play the game if the money isn’t there for them. Guess where the money comes from for a public developer to do so?

    What we should really be doing is pulling out the stops to allow for the creation of all kinds of new housing everywhere. The sudden increase in supply would increase diversity of housing options for everyone, and decrease the cost, making the issue of lack of marginal housing options less of a problem.