Contested Geographies: Social and Cultural Perspectives on Land Use Downtown and Beyond

May 16, 2023 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time Tours
Community and Neighborhood Development Gentrification Resilience
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Debates around intensification and neighborhood change in Toronto are often framed in terms of NIMBY versus YIMBY, gentrification versus revitalization. But ingrained in these narratives are deeper issues affecting many communities experiencing development pressures, issues that go well beyond traffic congestion or building heights.

This tour will explore locations of contested place and space, where current and historical uses are increasingly challenged by high land values and redevelopment, raising questions about urban priorities. Are goals of intensification and redevelopment adequate in their own right? How can we balance the need for more density, more housing, and environmental considerations with protections for existing communities, particularly those with diminishing access to the city, where the value of preserving affordability and culture is less than fully realized?
During the tour, we will look at instances of competing land uses and priorities, and examples of strategies to address conflicts more equitably and creatively, including through the lenses of site-specific development, area-specific policy, and grassroots advocacy. Site visits will span Toronto’s west side including downtown neighborhoods, extending outward into some traditionally mixed residential/industrial areas.