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Still Between a Rock and A Hard Place: The New Deal and Local Government Autonomy Christopher Stoney School of Public Policy and Administration Carleton.

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Presentation on theme: "Still Between a Rock and A Hard Place: The New Deal and Local Government Autonomy Christopher Stoney School of Public Policy and Administration Carleton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Still Between a Rock and A Hard Place: The New Deal and Local Government Autonomy Christopher Stoney School of Public Policy and Administration Carleton University

2 Chapter Plan òUrban renewal: why now? òAn economic, business case òA broader agenda for reform òPerspectives on local government autonomy òConstraints on autonomy òReviewing the options òConclusions

3 Urban Renewal - Why Now? Growing recognition of urban crisis: òUrban agenda òNew deal òFederation of Canadian Municipalities Urban pressures: òUrbanization and polarization òInfrastructure gap and emergencies òUrban sprawl òDownloading;amalgamations and emergency planning

4 The economic case for urban renewal Business central to (re)definition of cities as: òspace for flow of information, capital & knowledge òstrategic centres of growth and accumulation òhubs and ‘building blocks’ of competitiveness (US) Cities require: òinfrastructure, skilled labour, investment etc. ò‘productivity of public infrastructure’ New Deal : òSubsidy to private sector? òReductionist?

5 A Broader Agenda for Reform Social and Political crisis òCanada’s cities ignored òAlienation òGlocalization òCentralization and depoliticization òErosion of local autonomy òMunicipal service providers

6 Perspectives on Local Government Autonomy Classical òadministratively proficient ò‘spacially sensitive’ extension of the state Pluralist òdiffuses power ‘checks and balances’ òaccessible, participative òrepresentative and equitable Radical òunique legitimating function òabsorb and disperse political opposition òsocial closure

7 Constraints on Local Government Autonomy Fiscal and downloading òlimited strategic options and capability ònewdeal ‘cash with strings’ Constitutional and legal Ideological: òneo-liberal reforms (fiscal sanity) òwelfare to enterprise (Achilles’ heel) òagenda setting (mobilization of bias) ònew deal agenda: economic competitiveness

8 The Options? Multi-level collaboration òThree sided rhetoric òProvincial commitment to ‘loosen the chains’ òIncreased federal funding Limits and challenges òFederal transfers - constitutional? accountability? òCities vs. communities òFiscal gap òDemocratic deficit Constitutional change?

9 Conclusions New deal - a missed opportunity òrealigning municipal government òdemocratic deficit may produce crisis of legitimacy Contradictions and constitution = constraints Greater local autonomy required to... òreverse cynicism and alienation òdetermine local priorities òprovide local strategic options and capabilities òproduce effective and accountable renewal òaddress inclusion, democracy and citizenship


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