Thinking Planning and Urbanism
336 pages, 6 1/2 x 9
22 b&w photos, 8 maps
Release Date:01 Jan 2010
Release Date:20 Jul 2009
Release Date:01 Jan 2010

Thinking Planning and Urbanism

UBC Press

When manufacturers and retailers vacate traditional locations, they leave holes in a city’s fabric that signal a shifting urban-industrial terrain. Who should mend these spaces, and how should they approach the problem?

Thinking Planning and Urbanism meticulously reconstructs the process of an urban core area redevelopment in order to show how city planning was involved in the decisions taken. Inspired by Times Square, Toronto wanted the Dundas Square area to capture impulse and entertainment spending by tourists and residents. As with similar redevelopments in Europe and the United States, a labyrinth of players, policies, and legislation – conflicting theories, arguments, and ambitions – eventually sidelined the public planning function.

The usual explanation in these cases is that the influence of money and politics superseded the planning process. This book exposes the cracks in planning itself, revealing how its theories – based on the premise that space is a social construction – do not help practising planners, who need a broader understanding of urbanism in which to find and persuasively argue for creative solutions to postindustrial problems. The findings drawn from this case will be widely recognized in redevelopment challenges elsewhere and thus will be extremely useful to students and practitioners of urban design, public administration, municipal law, and urban and regional planning.

Beth Moore Milroy, professor emerita, is former director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

List of Illustrations



1 Opening

2 History (with Nik Luka)

3 Regenerating

4 Redeveloping

5 Defending

6 Implementing

7 Closing

Appendix 1 Selected elements of the planning framework

Appendix 2 Chronology

Appendix 3 Basic characteristics of the planning area

Appendix 4 Socioeconomic information about the planning area

Appendix 5 Seven development options, Yonge and Dundas area, December 1996

Appendix 6 Financial plan and costing scenarios, Yonge and Dundas area, December 1996

Appendix 7 Issues raised at public meetings and via correspondence regarding the redevelopment scheme, spring 1997

Appendix 8 Bylaws before the Joint Board

Appendix 9 Decision of the Joint Board: Jurisdiction, conclusions and findings, decision and conditions, and obiter dicta

Appendix 10 Sample calendar of events at Nathan Phillips Square, January to July 2000




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