Transcript: Municipal Reinvention | Aug 27, 2018

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a gray blazer over a pink blouse.

A caption on screen reads "Municipal reinvention. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

NAM says ONTARIO'S GOT PLENTY OF
TOWNS AND CITIES WHOSE MAJOR
INDUSTRIES WERE SHAKEN UP IN THE
DECLINE IN MANUFACTURING,
AND OTHER SERIOUS ECONOMIC
DISRUPTIONS OF THE PAST
FEW DECADES.
BUT SOME MUNICIPALITIES ARE
FINDING NEW WAYS TO THRIVE.
HERE TO TELL US MORE, DEBORAH
COWEN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF
GEOGRAPHY AND PLANNING AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO,
AND PART OF U OF T'S
NEW SCHOOL OF CITIES.

Deborah is in her late thirties, with short black hair cropped at the temples. She's wearing a gray blazer over a black shirt.

Nam says WELCOME.

Deborah says THANK YOU.

Nam says IT'S NICE TO MEET YOU, DEBORAH.

Deborah says IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE, THANK YOU.

Nam says SO ONTARIO, BIG PROVINCE.
WITHIN THE PROVINCE, THERE'S 444
DIFFERENT MUNICIPALITIES.
SO I'M THINKING, DEPENDING ON
WHERE YOU LIVE IN THE PROVINCE,
IT'S EASIER TO REINVENT YOURSELF
THAN IF YOU LIVE IN A DIFFERENT
PART, RIGHT?

Deborah says ABSOLUTELY, YEAH.
I'M A BIG FAN OF THINKING
GEOGRAPHICALLY ABOUT THINGS,
FOR SURE.

Nam says SO TELL... SOMEBODY LIVED... IF A
MUNICIPALITY WAS IN THE NORTH
OF THE PROVINCE COMPARED TO THE
SOUTH OF THE PROVINCE,
WHAT KIND OF CHALLENGES WOULD
THEY HAVE IF THEY HAD TO
REIMAGINE THEMSELVES?

The caption changes to "Deborah Cowen. University of Toronto."
The caption changes to "A ground shift."

Deborah says RIGHT.
WELL, I THINK, YOU KNOW, FIRST
OF ALL, NOT ALL MUNICIPALITIES
ARE THE SAME.
AND WE HAVE ENGINES LIKE
TORONTO, WITHOUT BEING OVERLY
TORONTO-CENTRIC, WHICH HOLDS
ALMOST HALF THE PROVINCE'S
POPULATION AND IS A DRIVER, NOT
JUST FOR THE PROVINCE, BUT THE
NATIONAL ECONOMY.
AND SO THERE'S A WHOLE RANGE OF
MUNICIPALITIES AROUND TORONTO.
MUNICIPALITIES LIKE, THAT WE
MIGHT IMAGINE, AS DECLINING
MUNICIPALITIES THAT ARE ACTUALLY
IN A VERY DIFFERENT POSITION IN
RELATION TO GROWTH AND DECLINE,
BECAUSE OF THEIR PROXIMITY TO
TORONTO THAN IF WE WERE TALKING
ABOUT SAULT STE. MARIE
OR THUNDER BAY, FOR INSTANCE.

Nam says I WANT TO READ SOMETHING FROM
THE WORLD BANK AND THEN I WANT
TO DELVE MORE INTO THE
CONVERSATION OF WHAT'S BEEN
HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD.

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Reshaping the landscape." The quote reads "Heavy industries like steelmaking and automobile assembly once powered some of the world's mightiest economic urban areas: Traditional manufacturing industries shaped their identity, giving their citizens income and pride. But globalization, competition, shifting trade patterns and changing consumer trends are continuously reshaping the competitive landscape, with dramatic impact on cities and people."
Quoted from Christopher Colford and Anca Bogdana Rusu, The World Bank Blog. December 12, 2013.

Nam says HOW ARE SHIFTING FORCES IN
THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AFFECTING
TOWNS AND CITIES HERE IN ONTARIO?

Deborah says YEAH, IT'S A REALLY CRUCIAL QUESTION.
I MEAN, IT'S NOT A NEW QUESTION.
THIS HAS BEEN A KIND OF PROCESS
OF CHANGE WE'VE BEEN SEEING
FOR PROBABLY HALF A CENTURY.
WE'VE BEEN CERTAINLY SEEING A
KIND OF SHIFT FROM
MANUFACTURING-INTENSIVE
ECONOMIES TO MORE
SERVICE-ORIENTED ECONOMIES AND,
YOU KNOW, THAT'S COME WITH A
LOT OF DRAMATIC CHANGE FOR CITIES.
PROBABLY THE MOST PALPABLE
CHANGE HAS BEEN IN TERMS OF THE
DECLINE OF THE MIDDLE-INCOME OR
MIDDLE-CLASS KIND OF POPULATION.
AND THAT'S REALLY A RESULT OF
DEINDUSTRIALIZATION.
THE LOSS OF STRONG UNIONS, BUT
ALSO THE WELFARE STATE DECLINE.
AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, WE CAN
IMAGINE ICONIC CITIES LIKE SOUTH
OF THE BORDER LIKE THE DETROITS
OR BUFFALO OR FLINT, MICHIGAN.
I THINK MICHAEL MOORE MADE A
FILM ABOUT FLINT MORE
THAN... PROBABLY ALMOST
40 YEARS AGO NOW.

Nam says THAT'S HIS HOMETOWN, RIGHT?

DEBORAH says YEAH, ROGER and ME.
AND SO THE COMBINATION OF
DEINDUSTRIALIZATION, BUT ALSO
WITH INTENSE RACISM IN TERMS OF
THE WATER CRISIS AND THE
CONTINUED ECONOMIC
MARGINALIZATION OF PLACES LIKE
THAT ARE QUITE MARKED.
IN THE... NORTH OF THE BORDER, WE
CERTAINLY HAVE SEEN THE DECLINE
OF MANUFACTURING SO WE CAN TALK
ABOUT, EVEN IN TORONTO, EVEN IN
THE CITY OF TORONTO, WE CAN
THINK ABOUT HOW IN THE EARLY
1980S MORE THAN 20 percent OF THE
WORKING POPULATION WAS WORKING
IN MANUFACTURING AND TODAY IT
WOULD BE LESS THAN 10 percent.
WE CAN THINK ABOUT A KIND OF
MAYBE MORE CLASSIC CITY LIKE
HAMILTON WHERE WE'VE CERTAINLY
SEEN A MAJOR DECLINE OF STEEL
PRODUCTION AND THEN ALL THE
MANUFACTURING ECONOMIES THAT
RELIED ON THAT EMPLOYMENT AND
THAT ENGINE.
SO THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO
QUESTION TO ME THAT THERE'S BEEN
A MASSIVE SHIFT IN THE KIND OF
ECONOMIES THAT WE ARE... OUR
CITIES ARE EXPERIENCING.
I WANT TO COMPLICATE THAT A
LITTLE BIT THOUGH AND...

Nam says IN WHAT WAY?

Deborah says THREE WAYS I WOULD COMPLICATE THAT.
THE FIRST IS, YOU KNOW, I THINK
WE TEND TO THINK ABOUT DECLINE
AND PLACES THAT ARE EXPERIENCING
DECLINE AS LIKE, YOU KNOW,
BAD PLACES THAT NEED TO FIGURE
OUT HOW TO CATCH UP TO THE
GOOD PLACES THAT ARE
EXPERIENCING GROWTH.
LIKE ENGINES OF GROWTH, WHETHER
IT'S TORONTO OR WHETHER IT'S
OTHER CITIES THAT ARE NOT
DECLINING IN THAT KIND OF
MEASURE OF... ABSTRACT MEASURE OF
THE LEVEL OF THE WHOLE CITY.
AT THE SAME TIME, I THINK IF WE
LOOK MORE CAREFULLY AT WHAT'S
HAPPENING WITHIN CITIES AND
ACROSS URBAN SPACE, WE WOULD
HAVE TO SEE THAT DECLINE AS A
MUCH MORE NUANCED AND MUCH MORE
COMPLICATED PHENOMENON THAT
HAPPENS AT EVERY SCALE.
SO, FOR INSTANCE, I'VE DONE
QUITE A BIT OF WORK IN
EAST SCARBOROUGH, A COMMUNITY
THAT HAS EXPERIENCED A LOT OF
DECLINE IN TERMS OF HOUSEHOLD
INCOME, LOSS OF MANUFACTURING
JOBS, AND THE RACIALIZATION OF
POVERTY IN THAT COMMUNITY.
BUT WE DON'T... WE DON'T TEND
TO IMAGINE THAT HAPPENING IN
RELATION TO WHAT'S HAPPENING IN
THE DOWNTOWN.
AND SO WE NEED TO, I
THINK... I DID A BIG REPORT A
FEW YEARS AGO AND ONE OF THE
CENTRAL ARGUMENTS IS THAT WE
CAN'T UNDERSTAND THE GROWTH OF
THE KIND OF ENGINE OF GROWTH IN
THE DOWNTOWN WITHOUT
UNDERSTANDING THE...

Nam says THE DECLINE...

Deborah says THAT KIND OF DECLINE AND I THINK WE COULD SAY THE SAME
THING REGIONALLY.
THERE WAS A SCHOLAR, JEAN
GOTTMANN WHO, IN THE 1950S,
WAS WRITING ABOUT A TERM
HE CALLED, "MEGALOPOLIS."
AND WHAT HE WAS SUGGESTING WAS
THAT THE WHOLE CORRIDOR OF THE
NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES, FROM
BALTIMORE UP INTO BOSTON,
REALLY COULD BE UNDERSTOOD AS
ONE FUNCTIONALLY INTEGRATED
URBAN REGION AND I THINK WE
COULD SAY THE SAME FOR MUCH OF
OUR REGIONS.
SO, FOR INSTANCE, WE
HAVE... WE HEARD EARLIER THIS
SUMMER THAT IN TORONTO, WE HAVE
50 percent OF THE POPULATION THAT IS
RENT-BURDENED, HAVING A REALLY
HARD TIME PAYING RENT AND IN AN
UNSUSTAINABLE WAY BUT WHAT WE
KNOW IS HAPPENING IS THAT AS
PEOPLE IN TORONTO, FOR INSTANCE,
ARE EXPERIENCING AN
AFFORDABILITY CRISIS, THEY'RE
MOVING OUT.

Nam says AND THAT'S GOING TO AFFECT
THE CITIES THAT THEY'RE MOVING INTO.

Deborah says EXACTLY.

Nam says AND PROBABLY DISPLACE THE
PEOPLE THAT ARE LIVING IN
THOSE CITIES.

Deborah says EXACTLY.

Nam says SO IT'S LIKE A RIPPLE EFFECT.

Deborah says EXACTLY.

Nam says YOU MENTIONED HAMILTON BEFORE.
HAMILTON WAS THE CITY THAT WAS
BUILT ON STEEL.
WINDSOR AND OSHAWA HAVE
ALSO HAD TO COPE WITH DECLINE IN
THEIR MAIN INDUSTRIES AND THAT
WAS FOR THE AUTO SECTOR FOR THE
LATTER TWO.
SO WALK ME THROUGH THOSE THREE CITIES.
WE'LL START WITH HAMILTON, AND
HOW HAMILTON WAS ABLE TO
REINVENT ITSELF.

The caption changes to "Cities needing a lifeline."

Deborah says WELL, HAMILTON, I THINK, IS THE
STORY I KNOW BEST OF THE THREE.
AND I THINK IT'S A STORY, LIKE
OSHAWA, THAT CAN'T REALLY BE
ENTIRELY SEPARATED FROM TORONTO.
EVEN A CITY LIKE WINDSOR IS PART
OF THIS KIND OF BROADER REGION.
WHAT WE MIGHT CALL "THE GREATER
GOLDEN HORSESHOE."
OR I THINK THAT'S THE NEWEST
TERM AND THE MOST EXPANSIVE ONE,
SO IT'S A REALLY REGIONAL
QUESTION AT THIS POINT,
I WOULD SAY.
IN A PLACE LIKE HAMILTON, WE
HAVE SEEN, I WOULD SAY, A LOT OF
CHANGE THAT IS NOT JUST ABOUT
DEINDUSTRIALIZATION BUT ABOUT
THIS KIND OF NEW FORMS OF GROWTH
THAT ARE HAPPENING AND,
YOU KNOW, WE HEAR A LOT OF
STORIES ABOUT THE GROWTH OF
WHETHER IT'S MCMASTER OR MOHAWK
COLLEGE.
THE NEW FORMS OF KNOWLEDGE
ECONOMY THAT ARE KIND OF TAKING
SHAPE AND NO DOUBT, THAT'S
REALLY IMPORTANT.
WE ALSO HEAR ABOUT ART SPACE
COMMUNITY INVESTMENT AND GROWTH
IN HAMILTON, BUT THE MAIN STORY
IN HAMILTON FROM COLLEAGUES OF
MINE LIKE SARAH WAKEFIELD,
PROFESSOR SARAH WAKEFIELD,
WHO'S ALSO IN MY DEPARTMENT
WHO'S BEEN STUDYING HAMILTON
AND WORKING WITH COMMUNITIES IN
HAMILTON FOR MANY YEARS IS
ACTUALLY ONE OF INCOME
POLARIZATION.
NOT ONE OF JUST A HAPPY STORY OF
REINVENTION.
AND IN FACT, ANOTHER PROFESSOR,
RICHARD HARRIS, WHO WORKS AT
MCMASTER, HAS BEEN TALKING QUITE
A BIT IN THE MEDIA ABOUT HOW A
LOT OF THE CHANGE THAT'S
HAPPENING IN DOWNTOWN HAMILTON
IS A RESULT OF COMMUTERS FROM
TORONTO WHO ARE NO LONGER ABLE
TO AFFORD TO BUY HOUSING HERE,
AND SO THEY'RE BUYING UP THE
MORE AFFORDABLE VICTORIAN HOMES
AND OTHER KINDS OF...

Nam says AND THEN COMMUTING.

Deborah says ABSOLUTELY.
RIGHT.
I ACTUALLY TEACH A REALLY LARGE
FIRST-YEAR URBAN COURSE.
800 STUDENTS AT UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO AND WE DID A LITTLE
EXERCISE THIS YEAR.
YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS EXPECT THAT
THERE'S GOING TO BE STUDENTS
FROM ACROSS THE 416.
MAYBE EVEN ACROSS THE 905, BUT
WE'RE INCREASINGLY FINDING THAT
WE HAVE STUDENTS FROM THE 705,
FROM WINDSOR, FROM, YOU KNOW,
PEOPLE WHO ARE COMMUTING HOURS
EVERY DAY EACH DIRECTION JUST TO
GET TO SCHOOL OR WORK BECAUSE
THAT'S WHAT MAKES THEIR
LIVES AFFORDABLE.

Nam says SO WHERE DOES THAT PIECE FIT
INTO THE IDEA THAT HAMILTON OR A
CITY LIKE OSHAWA HAS REINVENTED ITSELF?
IS IT JUST MAYBE BEING LIKE
USURPED INTO THE CLOSEST REGION
THAT'S DOING WELL?

Deborah says WELL, I THINK IT'S NOT
NECESSARILY ABOUT JUST WHETHER
IT'S TIED INTO TORONTO, BUT
AROUND WHAT THAT GROWTH LOOKS
LIKE, OR WHAT THAT RENEWAL LOOKS
LIKE.
THERE'S A LONGSTANDING KIND OF
LESSON IN THE SCHOLARSHIP ON
GENTRIFICATION, WHICH SUGGESTS
THAT A LOT OF THE PUSH FOR
GENTRIFICATION AND THE EFFECTS
OF GENTRIFICATION ARE ABOUT
CLEANING UP THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
BUT NOT REALLY SO MUCH CONCERN
ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO'VE LIVED
THERE.
SO THERE'S BEAUTIFICATION
EFFORTS AND, YOU KNOW,
EFFORTS TO MAYBE FILL THE
STOREFRONTS AND MAKE SURE THAT
THERE'S NEW HOUSING STARTS.
BUT THE CONCERNS FOR THE LOCAL
POPULATION ARE NOT NECESSARILY
AT THE FOREFRONT AND PARTLY
WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT THOSE
TWO CITIES IS I'VE HEARD THAT
THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF MOVEMENT
ACTUALLY, FROM HAMILTON.
PEOPLE WHO ARE BEING DISPLACED
FROM NEW FORMS OF HOUSING
DEVELOPMENT AND RISING PROPERTY
COSTS AND PROPERTY TAXES WHO ARE
ACTUALLY MOVING TO BRANTFORD AND
OSHAWA AND THOSE REGIONS,
BECAUSE THEY'RE CONSIDERED MORE
AFFORDABLE.
ONE OF THE THINGS I WANTED TO
MENTION ABOUT HAMILTON
SPECIFICALLY, BUT ALSO I THINK
OTHER AREAS THAT ARE LOOKING
TOWARDS THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY AS
A SOURCE OF GROWTH IS THAT
THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY GOING TO
GET US OUT OF THESE PROBLEMS.
IF WE THINK OF SOME OF THE CORE
PROBLEMS OF OUR CITIES RIGHT
NOW, IT'S NOT JUST, YOU KNOW,
"THERE'S A DECLINING CITY,
AND HERE'S A GOOD MODEL OF
GROWTH," BUT THAT ACROSS,
EVEN IN THE CENTRE OF THE MOST
PROSPEROUS OF OUR CITIES,
OUR MUNICIPALITIES, THAT DECLINE
AND INEQUALITY AND ESPECIALLY
INCOME POLARIZATION AND
RACIALIZED INCOME POLARIZATION
ARE AT THE CENTRE OF CITIES THAT
ARE SUPPOSEDLY DOING
REALLY WELL.

Nam says SO DO YOU THINK THAT NEEDS TO BE
ADDRESSED FIRST?

Deborah says I THINK THAT IS THE CRUCIAL QUESTION.
BECAUSE THAT'S A PHENOMENON,
WHETHER IT'S HAMILTON,
WHETHER IT'S TORONTO, WHETHER
IT'S OSHAWA AND EVEN WHETHER
IT'S SOME OF THESE MORE
PERIPHERAL AREAS,
MUNICIPALITIES THAT ARE NOT AS
CLOSE TO THAT KIND OF CENTRE OF
THE ENGINE OF THE ECONOMY.

Nam says WELL, YOU MENTIONED
KNOWLEDGE-BASED.
SOME OF THE CITIES ARE
TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES,
BECAUSE THEY HAVE UNIVERSITIES,
COLLEGES.
BUT IF A CITY DOESN'T HAVE THAT,
WHAT ELSE CAN THEY DO TO ATTRACT
OR TO REINVENT THEMSELVES?

The caption changes to "Deborah Cowen, @debcowen."

Deborah says WELL, I THINK, YOU KNOW, AGAIN,
IT SORT OF DEPENDS ON HOW WE SEE
WHAT THE PROBLEM IS.
IF THE PROBLEM IS NOT JUST ABOUT
SOME KIND OF MORE ABSTRACT
NOTION OF DECLINE, BUT A MUCH
MORE FINE-GRAINED IDEA OF INCOME
POLARIZATION AND GROWING
DISPARITIES WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES AND ACROSS
MUNICIPALITIES, NOT JUST BETWEEN
THEM, THEN I THINK WE WOULD HAVE
TO START FROM A DIFFERENT PLACE.
I THINK WE WOULD HAVE TO THINK
ABOUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO
CREATE GOOD JOBS AND TO THINK
ABOUT LIVELIHOODS.
BUT EVEN, YOU KNOW, JUST EARLIER
THIS SUMMER, WE HEARD THAT 44 percent
OF CANADIAN CHILDREN ARE LIVING
IN INCOME... SORRY,
"DAYCARE DESERTS," THEY'RE
CALLING THEM.
AREAS WHERE THERE'S NOT ADEQUATE
CHILD CARE, AND SO I THINK,
YOU KNOW, WE MIGHT THINK ABOUT,
YOU KNOW, CONNECTING CITIES UP
AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THINGS
LIKE TRANSIT AND AS IMPORTANT
INFRASTRUCTURE FOR REINVESTING
IN CITIES AND IT IS, FOR SURE.
WE NEED A LOT MORE OF THAT,
ESPECIALLY IN A VERY CONGESTED
URBAN REGION LIKE THE ONE WE'RE
IN RIGHT NOW.
BUT WE CAN ALSO THINK ABOUT
SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE.
AND A LOT OF COMMUNITIES THAT
ARE EXPERIENCING... THAT ARE
STRUGGLING WITH DECLINE, THAT
ARE STRUGGLING TO FIND NEW
SOURCES OF EMPLOYMENT, AND TO
SUSTAIN LIVELIHOOD FOR THEIR
RESIDENTS, WE NEED TO THINK
ABOUT WHAT SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
MIGHT DO IN ORDER TO SUPPORT
THOSE COMMUNITIES.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: TVO.org. Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Nam says AN EXAMPLE OF SOCIAL
INFRASTRUCTURE IS WHAT?

Deborah says SO LIKE DAYCARES OR LIKE
COMMUNITY SPACES.
YOU KNOW, THERE'S SOME IRONIES.
SOME OF THE COMMUNITIES I'VE
WORKED IN THAT ARE EITHER
NON-URBAN OR SUBURBAN HAVE, IN
SOME SENSES, THEY SEEM TO HAVE A
LOT OF SPACE, RIGHT?
THERE'S, YOU KNOW, BIG OPEN
SPACES AROUND APARTMENT TOWERS
OR OPEN FIELDS AROUND THE TOWNS
THEMSELVES, BUT IN TERMS OF
INDOOR COMMUNITY SPACES OR
SPACES THAT PEOPLE CAN USE IN
OUR LONG WINTERS IN THIS
COUNTRY, IT'S REALLY LIMITED,
SO SPACE IS IMPORTANT.
VARIOUS KINDS OF SOCIAL
SERVICES.
INVOLVING RESIDENTS IN THE
PLANNING OF THEIR OWN
COMMUNITIES IS ABSOLUTELY
CRUCIAL AND I THINK SOME OF THE
MOST CREATIVE INITIATIVES FOR
CHANGE ARE NOT COMING
FROM MUNICIPALITIES.
THEY'RE COMING FROM COMMUNITIES.
THEY'RE COMING FROM FIRST
NATIONS AND OTHER
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES.
THEY'RE COMING FROM SOCIAL
MOVEMENTS, AND I THINK IT'S A
MOMENT WHERE WE NEED TO BE BOLD.
I THINK WE'RE... YOU KNOW, THE
KINDS OF CRISES THAT WE FACE,
BOTH SOCIALLY, ENVIRONMENTALLY,
AND IN TERMS OF INDIGENOUS
SETTLER RELATIONS, IT'S A TIME
THAT I THINK THERE'S A REAL NEED
FOR CHANGE, BUT ALSO A REAL
THIRST FOR IT.
AS I MENTIONED, I TEACH THESE
REALLY BIG CLASSES OF YOUNG
PEOPLE WHO ARE, YOU KNOW,
UNANIMOUSLY... AND I SAY THAT
AS HAVING DONE SOME RESEARCH
WITH THEM... UNANIMOUSLY ANXIOUS
ABOUT THEIR FUTURES, BUT ALSO
REALLY OPEN TO THINKING
DIFFERENTLY ABOUT WHAT AN URBAN
FUTURE LOOKS LIKE.

Nam says WELL, YOU MENTIONED THE
YOUNGER PEOPLE AND YOU SAID THEY
HAVE THESE GREAT IDEAS, BUT
OFTENTIMES, WHEN A CITY FACES
DECLINE AND THERE'S NO JOBS,
YOUNG PEOPLE ARE FORCED
TO LEAVE.
WHAT KIND OF IMPACT DOES THAT
HAVE LONG-TERM ON A CITY?

Deborah says IT CAN HAVE A TREMENDOUS IMPACT.
I MEAN, WE'VE SEEN THAT IN SO
MANY AREAS OF THE NORTH AND IN
RURAL COMMUNITIES.
I MEAN, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THOUGH IS
THAT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CITIES
IS NOT JUST... YOU CAN'T, LIKE,
HAVE THIS BORDERED PERSPECTIVE
ON CITIES, SO YES, ABSOLUTELY.
A CITY LIKE TORONTO OR OTHER
BIGGER CITIES ARE DRAWING IN A
LOT OF THE POPULATION FROM MORE
PERIPHERAL AREAS OR AREAS THAT
AREN'T EXPERIENCING THAT GROWTH,
ABSOLUTELY.
AND WE'RE SEEING, YOU KNOW, A
LOT OF COMMUNITIES THAT ARE IN
SMALLER, MORE REMOTE AREAS AGING
AND NOT EXPERIENCING THE SAME
KINDS OF INVESTMENT OF NEW
TALENT OR YOUNG
PEOPLE'S ENERGIES.
AT THE SAME TIME, I THINK IT'S A
LITTLE BIT OF A MYTH TO SEE
THESE PLACES AS COMPLETELY
DISCONNECTED.
SO WE TEND TO THINK ABOUT
TORONTO AS A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY
BASED ON THE UNIVERSITIES AND
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT, BUT ONE
OF THE THINGS THAT TORONTO IS
KNOWN FOR IN THE INTERNATIONAL
LITERATURE AND THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITIES IS MINING.
75 percent OF THE HEADQUARTERS OF
MINING CORPORATIONS... I'M
TALKING GLOBALLY, NOT JUST
CANADIAN... MINING CORPORATIONS
ARE LOCATED IN TORONTO, ON BAY
STREET.
AND SO WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT
WHAT ARE THOSE RELATIONSHIPS,
SO I'M DOING SOME WORK WITH
COMMUNITIES UP IN THE NORTH
THAT SEEM SO FAR AWAY.
AND THINKING ABOUT AREAS LIKE
THE RING OF FIRE THAT ARE SET TO
EXPERIENCE POTENTIALLY,
ESPECIALLY WITH THE NEW PREMIER,
SOME VERY, VERY FAST MOVING, YOU
KNOW... THE PREMIER'S GOING TO GET
ON THE BULLDOZER HIMSELF, HE says.
NOW THOSE ARE COMMUNITIES THAT
ARE EXPERIENCING, I WOULD SAY,
THE MOST PERSISTENT FORM OF
MARGINALIZATION.
THE MOST EXTREME FORMS OF
POVERTY AND THE MOST EXTREME
DEFICITS OF VERY BASIC
INFRASTRUCTURE.
I'M TALKING ABOUT HOUSING.
I'M TALKING ABOUT WATER.
YOU KNOW, THAT ARE FUELLING
SUICIDE CRISES.
SO THERE'S BEEN OVER 500
SUICIDES IN THE NORTH OF CANADA
OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS OR SO.
THESE ARE SOME OF THE
COMMUNITIES THAT I THINK WHEN
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT DECLINE, WE
REALLY NEED TO BE THINKING
ABOUT QUITE CENTRALLY AND IT
KIND OF RAISES LIKE ANOTHER
POINT THAT I WANTED TO THINK
ABOUT IN RELATION TO DECLINE
MORE BROADLY WHEN I WAS SORT OF
WANTING TO COMPLICATE THE
PICTURE, WHICH IS, FOR MANY
COMMUNITIES,
WHETHER IT'S PREINDUSTRIAL,
INDUSTRIAL OR POST-INDUSTRIAL,
ACROSS THAT TIME SPECTRUM,
THEY HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED
IN THE PROJECT OF ECONOMIC
GROWTH.
AND IN FACT, IF WE THINK ABOUT
THE KIND OF CENTRE OF THE,
YOU KNOW... THE INDUSTRIAL ENGINE
OF OUR PROVINCE THAT GROUPS
LIKE THE ANISHNAABEKWE
POPULATION, THE FIRST NATIONS
POPULATION IN THE SAME CORRIDOR
THAT WE SEE THE STRONGEST FORMS
OF INDUSTRIAL GROWTH, WERE
EXPERIENCING THE TOXIC EFFECTS
OF WHAT'S KNOWN NOW AS
CHEMICAL VALLEY.
SO I THINK WE NEED TO THINK
REALLY CREATIVELY ABOUT WHO
IS... WHO ARE WE THINKING
ABOUT WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT DECLINE?
AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO
ACTUALLY PRIORITIZE ISSUES OF
EQUITY, ISSUES OF ENVIRONMENTAL
SUSTAINABILITY?
YOU KNOW, IT'S GREAT TO BUILD
JOBS, TO BUILD NEW ECONOMIES,
BUT IF WE'RE MAKING THE WATER
UNDRINKABLE, IT'S HARDLY GETTING
US VERY FAR, SO I THINK WE
REALLY NEED TO THINK ACROSS
THESE KIND OF DIVISIONS WE
SOMETIMES HAVE, BOTH ABOUT HERE
AND THERE, BUT ALSO ABOUT LIKE
ECOLOGY AND ECONOMY.

Nam says WELL, WHAT I'M HEARING... WHAT
I THINK I'M HEARING FROM YOU IS
THAT WE MIGHT HAVE 444 DIFFERENT
MUNICIPALITIES, BUT WE'RE
ACTUALLY MORE CONNECTED.

Deborah says ABSOLUTELY.

Nam says AND IF YOU COULD GIVE SOME
ADVICE FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT IN
HOW TO MAKE SURE, YOU KNOW, THAT
THE NORTH IS INVOLVED OR SOME
OF THE ISSUES THAT YOU BROUGHT
UP, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM?

Deborah says I WOULD SAY TO LISTEN TO COMMUNITIES.
WE HAVE INCREDIBLY
SOPHISTICATED,
THOUGHTFUL INITIATIVES COMING
OUT OF COMMUNITIES,
AND I THINK COMMUNITIES
ARE GETTING INCREASINGLY
FRUSTRATED WITH THE STATUS QUO.
SO WE'RE SEEING RENT STRIKES IN,
NOT JUST TORONTO,
BUT IN HAMILTON.
WE'RE SEEING... YOU KNOW, JUST A
COUPLE MONTHS AGO, TVO REPORTED
ON VANDALISM IN DOWNTOWN
HAMILTON ON LOCKE STREET,
BECAUSE THERE WAS SO MUCH RAPID
GENTRIFICATION, RIGHT?

Nam says TENSIONS, YEAH.

Deborah says SO THESE ARE NOT LIKE SUBTLE
ISSUES AND I THINK WE'RE GOING
TO FIND THAT WE HAVE THE CHOICE
OF EITHER ADDRESSING THEM,
AND, LIKE, LISTENING TO WHAT THE
PROBLEMS ARE.
CENTERING QUESTIONS OF
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
AND SOCIAL EQUITY IN OUR
PLANNING AND IN OUR VISIONS OF
URBAN FUTURES, OR WE'RE GOING TO
JUST FACE MORE FRACTIOUS KINDS
OF FUTURES.

Nam says NAFTA RENEGOTIATIONS HAVE LEFT
MANY OF OUR COMMUNITIES HANGING.
WHAT COULD THESE AREAS DO TO
COPE WITH SUCH UNCERTAINTY?

Deborah says IT'S A GREAT QUESTION AND I WAS
THINKING OF... YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN
THINKING A LOT ABOUT NAFTA, AS
MANY PEOPLE HAVE,
AND HOW NOT TOO LONG AGO, IT WAS
CONSIDERED A PROBLEM FOR
INDUSTRY AND FOR INDUSTRIAL
EMPLOYMENT AND NOW THERE'S
A REAL QUESTION AND SET OF
CONCERNS AROUND WHAT ANY KIND
OF SUSPENSION OR WEAKENING OF
NAFTA MIGHT DO.
I THINK IT'S A REALLY OPEN
QUESTION AND I THINK, YOU KNOW,
THERE'S... NAFTA CERTAINLY WAS
PART OF... IT DIDN'T CREATE
DEINDUSTRIALIZATION BY ANY
MEANS, AND THERE'S A LOT OF
COMPLICATED DEBATES AROUND WHAT
THE IMPACTS HAVE BEEN ON THE
CANADIAN INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY.
BUT THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT IT
WAS PART OF... IT'S BEEN PART
OF THESE KINDS OF
TRANSFORMATIONS.
I THINK, YOU KNOW, REGARDLESS OF
THE AGREEMENTS WITH CROSS-BORDER
AGREEMENTS, CONTINENTAL
RELATIONS, I THINK ONE OF THE
FUTURE KINDS OF PROMISES THAT WE
CAN SEE THAT SO MANY DIFFERENT
COMMUNITIES ARE LOBBYING FOR IS
A LOT MORE EMBEDDED ECONOMIES.
ECONOMIES THAT ARE NOT STRETCHED
ALL OVER THE WORLD, YOU KNOW,
WHERE YOU HAVE, FOR INSTANCE,
SHRIMP FARMED IN SCOTLAND
AND THEN SHIPPED TO CHINA TO BE
PEELED AND THEN SHIPPED BACK
TO A EUROPEAN MARKET FOR
CONSUMPTION, WHICH REALLY ONLY
MAKES SENSE IF YOU'RE THINKING
ABOUT A BOTTOM DOLLAR,
BUT CERTAINLY NOT IF YOU'RE
THINKING ABOUT FUEL...
SUSTAINABILITY... OR EVEN THE JOBS OF THE
PEOPLE INVOLVED, SO I THINK THAT
SOME OF THE MOST PROMISING KINDS
OF INITIATIVES ARE COMING OUT
OF FOOD.
FOOD MOVEMENTS, GARDENING AND
FARMING, ALTERNATIVE FARMING
MOVEMENTS.
THERE'S A GREAT PROJECT IN
TORONTO CALLED THE
BLACK CREEK COMMUNITY FARM,
WHICH PRIORITIZES BOTH THINKING
ABOUT OUR CONNECTIONS TO LAND
AND OUR CAPACITIES TO EVEN KNOW
WHAT WE GROW.
LIKE I... YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS
DO THIS EXERCISE WITH MY BIG
800-STUDENT CLASS AND THEY CAN
IDENTIFY THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS
OF CORPORATE LOGOS.
THEY COULDN'T IDENTIFY THREE
TREE SPECIES AND ONE OF THE
STUDENTS, WHEN THEY DID TRY AND
IDENTIFY A TREE SPECIES,
THEY GUESSED "CHRISTMAS TREE."
SO, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE SOME REAL
PROBLEMS ABOUT JUST EVEN
LEARNING WHERE WE ARE AND WHAT
ARE ECOLOGIES ARE ABOUT
BUT ALSO THINKING ABOUT HOW CAN
THAT BE MAYBE A SOURCE OF KIND
OF RE-EMBEDDING OUR ECONOMIES,
AND THINKING ABOUT HOW THAT CAN
ALSO HELP US WEATHER SOME OF THE
KINDS OF EXTREME UPS AND DOWNS
OF A MORE GLOBALIZED FORM.

Nam says DEBORAH, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Deborah says THANK YOU.

The caption changes to "Producer: Sandra Gionas, @sandragionas."

Nam says YOU'VE GIVEN US A LOT TO
THINK ABOUT.
SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT
MUNICIPALITIES FACE WHEN THEY'RE
TRYING TO REINVENT THEMSELVES.
IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE HAVING YOU HERE.

Deborah says THANKS SO MUCH.

Nam says THANK YOU.

Deborah says GREAT TALKING TO YOU.

Nam says THANKS.

Watch: Municipal Reinvention