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GEOG 340 DAY 7. HOUSEKEEPING ITEMS We have someone from Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research (ACER), Larissa, to tell you a bit.

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Presentation on theme: "GEOG 340 DAY 7. HOUSEKEEPING ITEMS We have someone from Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research (ACER), Larissa, to tell you a bit."— Presentation transcript:

1 GEOG 340 DAY 7

2 HOUSEKEEPING ITEMS We have someone from Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research (ACER), Larissa, to tell you a bit about her organization. Sustainability Fair on Wednesday in front of the VIU Library – farmers’ market, free bike tune-ups, Nanaimo Car Sharing organization, and more… Amanda and I will be presenting today on Chapter 12 of the Harry Hiller book. Also: the criteria for evaluation of presentations are up on the web site (for your projects references all visuals too).

3 MEGALOPOLIS Neglected to mention on Thursday. Prime example in the States is ‘Boswash’ – the tendency of urban communities to overlap from Washington, DC to Boston. In Canada, it’s the Greater Golden Horeseshoe.

4 HARRY HILLER (ED.) – CHAPTER 12 The chapter is by John Hannigan and focuses on “The New Urban Political Economy,” though it’s a little light on Canadian examples, unlike much of the rest of the book. In the 1960s, sociology saw a shift from the ‘human ecology’ approach founded by the Chicago School in the 1920s to a political economy approach. In geography, the shift was from a more quantitative, ‘scientific’ approach to one that emphasized more humanist values and issues.

5 HARRY HILLER (ED.) – CHAPTER 12 Hannigan characterizes the new approach as emphasizing “investment shifts by banks, insurance companies, and international corporations that shaped cities by transferring ownership and uses of land from one social class to another. Furthermore, the political economy approach focused on how conflicts between different elements of urban populations, notably social classes and racial and ethnic populations, determined the physical and social character of the metropolis.” This approach is also echoed in the work of internationally renowned geographer, David Harvey.

6 HARRY HILLER (ED.) – CHAPTER 12 A key factor that fostered this shift was the development of urban conflict itself – social movements, race riots, ‘white flight’ (in the U.S.), the demolition of poor and ethnic neighbourhoods and their replacement by housing projects and major developments targeted to make money or infrastructure projects to facilitate commuting and urban development. In essence, urban sociologists and geographers were abandoning the supposed ‘neutrality’ of their forebears which the authors argues was questionable in the first place.


8 HILLER (ED.) – CHAPTER 12 The context for the Chicago School’s work was the movement into the city of former rural dwellers and immigrants, with an accompanying ‘adjustment’ crisis. From the perspective of the human ecologists, “the traditional bases of solidarity – the family, the neighhourhood, and the church – were all disintegrating, leading to widespread marital breakdown, juvenile delinquency, and other indicators of social disorder. The sociologists wanted to understand the impact of the physical environment of the city on its people, and how they could use that knowledge to put things right. Hence, the term ‘human ecology,’ with the analogy to the habitat and interactions between other species (in this case, different social groups).

9 HILLER (ED.) – CHAPTER 12 The sociologists and geographers of the 1960s no longer believed that there was a shared culture that people could or should buy into, that society as a whole was not serving much of the population’s needs. After World War II, major changes – at the behest of governments and corporations – had occurred. Housing development became largely a corporate prerogative. In the U.S., there was Levittown, in Canada Don Mills. The major expansion of the housing market was needed to address pent-up demand, especially on the part of veterans who wanted to start families, and the government pitched in by guaranteeing mortgages, giving subsidies and incentives to developers, and building freeways. Whereas Canada had a more homogeneous population in the ‘50s and ‘60s, in the U.S. white families began to move out to the suburbs, especially after the riots.


11 HARRY HILLER (ED.) – CHAPTER 12 Another source of conflict was ‘urban renewal’. The intentions were sometimes good – improve quality of housing and, in the process, elevate social standards, but in some cases it was a way of concentrating people of a certain class or race in high density units and grabbing their land for redevelopment. Oftentimes, the ‘projects’ were worse, in the long run, than the projects they replaced, a phenomenon that Jane Jacobs perceptively noted.


13 AFRICVILLE One of the worst examples of ‘urban renewal’ in Canada was Africville, a community Afro-Canadians, outside Halifax that the city government refused to provide services for and eventually expropriated for industrial development, dispersing its residents into public housing for the most part (with belongings sent in the back of a municipal garbage truck), and compensation of $500.00 paid per dwelling (the houses themselves were demolished in the middle of the night).

14 REDLINING Another practice that caused conflict was ‘red-lining’ where financial institutions would deem certain neighbourhoods off-limits for mortgages and renovation loans while realtors would discourage minorities from moving into white neighbourhods. This helped fuel the notion that some neighbourhoods were irredeemably ‘blighted’. Fortunately, under Trudeau, the federal government stopped subsidizing urban renewal and gave grants to neighbourhoods to fix themselves up, grants that required municipal collaboration. Also, the rebellion of numerous groups in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s led to the emergence of numerous municipal governments that were more democratic and reflective of the aspirations of the public. Numerous progressive initiatives came out of that era.

15 DEVELOPING WORLD URBANIZATION Geographers and sociologists have also looked at the massive expansion of cities in the developing world. In addition to being frozen out of formal economy largely, and having to scavenge in the informal economy – bartering, selling small items in street markets, searching through garbage dumps, and building illegal settlements without basic services – the rapid process of urbanization has also created a ready pool of cheap industrial labour for multi- national corporations and their local partners. At this point, I would like to turn it over to Amanda.

16 RICHARD FLORIDA AND THE ‘BOHEMIAN FACTOR’ Rich ard Florida is an American sociologist who has since resettled in Canada. He developed the concept of the ‘creative class’ – knowledge workers (software and game developers, computer engineers, architects, consultants, and others) who are part of the new “knowledge economy.” In contrast with where workers moved to where the jobs are (and still do – Fort Mac), these folks are so much in demand that the jobs will move to where they like to live. Communities that rate high on social tolerance and diversity, have a lot of urban amenities, and that feature large numbers of artists and gays, also tend to have a high number of member of the creative class. Thus, ‘quality of place’ becomes a key drawing card.

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