Critical Dialogues of Urban Governance, Development and Activism

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Edited by Susannah Bunce, Nicola Livingstone, Loren March, Susan Moore, and Alan Walks

Cities and urban change have been among the most visible manifestations of the evolution of processes of globalisation, neoliberalisation and population expansion. Global cities, in particular, are at the cutting edge of such changes and are often the first to experience policy experimentation and to spur a host of community political actions in response. This book examines changes in governance, property development and urban political change and community activism, in two key global cities – London and Toronto.

The analysis is inherently comparative, but not in the traditional sense – the volume does not seek to deliver a like-for-like comparison. Instead, taking these two cities as empirical cases, the chapters engage in constructive dialogues about the contested and variegated built forms, formal and informal governmental mechanisms and practices, and policy and community-based responses to contemporary urban concerns.

The authors position a critical dialogue on three central issues in contemporary urban studies: governance, real estate and housing, and community activism and engagement. Their less traditional approach to comparative framing seeks to understand London and Toronto from a nuanced perspective, promoting critical reflection on the experiences and evaluative critiques of each urban context, providing insight into each city’s urban trajectory and engaging critically with wider phenomena and influences on the urban governance challenges beyond these two cities.

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