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Friday, April 6 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
FR3.30.20 "Crisis", Public Space, and City Building: The Redevelopment of Moss Park

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The planned revitalization and redevelopment of Moss Park, one of Toronto’s most economically diverse neighbourhoods, involves a public-private partnership between the City of Toronto, The 519 – an LGBT-focused community centre, and a private philanthropist. This partnership represents a unique approach to the planning of social infrastructure in Toronto through the use of a public-private partnership. Furthermore, it is premised on the framing of Moss Park as a community in “crisis” which has been seen as necessitating the suspension of standard planning practices, in favour of “innovative” design and consultation processes that attempt to deliver social justice and fix neighbourhood ills. The application of the crisis place-frames used to characterize the neighbourhood fail to investigate the long-term, historic systemic processes and conditions that have contributed to the current social conditions in the park and surrounding neighborhood. In the research presented in this poster, we will be analyzing the implications of this crisis-framing as it is used to justify neighbourhood improvement schemes that have the potential to further disadvantage the historically poor and racialized users of Moss Park. We ask, how does the portrayal of a neighborhood in crisis impact how planning is conducted there? How do recent urban pursuits of private funding and public-private partnerships, shape how social infrastructure planning is done? Through media analysis, qualitative interviews, and participatory observation with community stakeholders, we will be analyzing how the neoliberalization of social justice shapes local decision-making, community planning, and whose recommendations are being utilized and prioritized over the course of the neighbourhood’s redevelopment. This project is important to study as it could set a dangerous precedent for future infrastructure initiatives that exacerbate already existing conditions of uneven investment in communities across the city.

Nikki Pagaling, University of Toronto; Keisha St. Louis-McBurnie, University of Toronto

Friday April 6, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
Provincial Ballroom (2nd Floor)