Green Cities Against Neoliberal Urbanism

Toronto — 12 April 2015. Canada’s municipalities are collapsing, from both fiscal austerity and ecological pressures. Toronto, in particular, has been dealing with the enormous challenges of rapid population growth, amalgamation, crumbling infrastructure, and the federal and provincial offloading of costs. The chronic underfunding of municipal projects is negatively impacting affordable housing, public transportation, social … Watch video »

Toronto — 12 April 2015.

Canada’s municipalities are collapsing, from both fiscal austerity and ecological pressures. Toronto, in particular, has been dealing with the enormous challenges of rapid population growth, amalgamation, crumbling infrastructure, and the federal and provincial offloading of costs. The chronic underfunding of municipal projects is negatively impacting affordable housing, public transportation, social services, green initiatives, and public spaces. Instead of an increase in public investments in our decaying city, we have seen a process of ‘neoliberal urbanism’ characterized by the privatization and elimination of public goods and services. Lost in this process is attention to poverty, social services, good jobs, and the protection of the environment.

This forum looks at the track record of neoliberal urbanism and its deregulation of greenbelts, expansion of capital developments, resulting housing inequalities, and ‘green-washing’ of planning and urban design, with comparative analyses to cities like Berlin and Seoul. Our speakers also address paths to building people-centered and environmentally friendly cities through initiatives like democratic planning.

Moderated by Greg Albo. Presentations by:

  • Kanishka Goonewardena, Associate Professor, University of Toronto
  • Stefan Kipfer, Associate Professor, York University
  • Laam Hae, Associate Professor, York University

The forum was sponsored by: Centre for Social Justice, Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly and Socialist Project.