Tuesday, April 19, 2016

From Project for Public Spaces
Place Governance through
Neighborhood Planning Offices

Photo by Eric Sehr.
Imagine if your local city planner worked around the corner from your home in a storefront on your neighborhood’s shopping street. You wave at them through their window on the way to work, you drop by sometimes for a chat, and you may even be on a first name basis. For nearly two decades that’s exactly how it used to work in Toronto, Ontario. Embracing an innovative model of Place Governance, in the 1970s the City decentralized its planning department intoNeighborhood Planning Offices located in the very areas they served. 
When Jane Jacobs moved from New York City to Toronto in 1968, her adopted city was already well on its way toward reasserting itself as a city for people. After experiencing its first tastes of expressway construction and urban renewal and witnessing the destruction these strategies wrought in many cities south of the border, a movement led by young community activists and idealistic politicians was ready to overturn the status quo. In 1970, they worked with local residents and business owners in the Trefann Court neighborhood to put urban renewal plans for the area into their hands. In 1971, they stopped the construction of the Spadina Expresswaythrough the heart of the city. And finally, in the 1972 election, a host of reform candidates, including Mayor David Crombie, swept to power in city council with a new vision for a human-scale city. Read more:  Place Governance through Neighborhood Planning Offices

No comments: