Transcript: Magic in the Modern Metropolis | May 27, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Magic in the modern metropolis. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says WHAT IS THE WORLD'S
MOST PERFECT CITY?
NEW YORK?
LONDON?
SHANGHAI?
HOW ABOUT ONTARIO'S CAPITAL
CITY?
IT'S A QUESTION THAT OBVIOUSLY
HAS NO DEFINITIVE ANSWER, BUT IT
SURE MAKES FOR A GREAT DEBATE.
URBAN PLANNER JOE BERRIDGE HAS
CONTRIBUTED WONDERFULLY TO THAT
DEBATE WITH HIS NEW BOOK
"PERFECT CITY: AN URBAN FIXER'S
GLOBAL SEARCH FOR MAGIC IN THE
MODERN METROPOLIS."
AND THE WORLD-RENOWNED URBAN
PLANNER JOINS US NOW FOR MORE.

Joe is in his seventies, clean-shaven, with short, receding white hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and black tie.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture of a city skyline against a partly cloudy blue sky.

Steve continues SO GOOD TO SEE YOU, AND BOY DID
I ENJOY THIS BOOK, I GOT TO TELL YOU.

Joe says I'M DELIGHTED TO HEAR THAT.

Steve says IT WAS TERRIFIC.
LET'S START WITH THIS.
THERE ARE SORT OF TWO STRANDS OF
THOUGHT ABOUT URBAN PLANNING.
THERE'S THE JANE JACOBS SCHOOL
AND THE ROBIN MOSES SCHOOL AS
YOU PUT IT, THESE TWO LEGENDARY
THINKERS.

The caption changes to "Joe Berridge. Author, 'Perfect city.'"
Then, it changes again to "Jane Jacobs versus Robert Moses."

Joe says THESE ARE ALMOST TWO CARTOON
CHARACTERS IN THE BUSINESS.
JANE JACOBS WAS A MAGNIFICENTLY
SPARKY FEISTY WOMAN FROM
GREENWICH VILLAGE IN NEW YORK
WHO BECAME A COMMUNITY
ORGANIZER.
SHE ALSO DID WRITE ON
ARCHITECTURE AS WELL FOR VOGUE
MAGAZINE, INTERESTING, AND SHE
CAME INTO CONTEST WITH ROBERT
MOSES WHO WAS A VERY POWERFUL
FIGURE IN NEW YORK GOVERNMENT.
HE'S ACTUALLY KIND OF A SLIGHTLY
SHADY FIGURE AS WELL IN TERMS OF
HOW HE OPERATED.
AND HE DID AN AWFUL LOT OF
REALLY WONDERFUL THINGS IN NEW
YORK.
HE BUILT ABOUT 700 PARKS.
HE BUILT TENS OF THOUSANDS OF
AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS, BUT IN
HIS LATER YEARS, IT GOT AWAY
FROM HIM.
AND HE BECAME THE BIG CITY MAKER
OF NEW YORK CITY, AND HE BECAME
IN LOVE WITH EXPRESSWAYS.

Steve says NEVER SAW A
MEGAPROJECT HE DIDN'T LIKE.

Joe says NEVER SAW A MEGAPROJECT HE
DIDN'T LIKE.
UNFORTUNATELY HE WANTED TO PUT A
CROSSTOWN EXPRESSWAY RIGHT
THROUGH LOWER MANHATTAN, RIGHT
THROUGH JANE JACOBS TURF.
SO THE TWO OF THEM HAD A KIND OF
LEGENDARY BATTLE OVER THIS.
AND WHAT'S FASCINATING ABOUT
THIS BATTLE, IT'S SINCE BEEN
TURNED INTO SEVERAL OPERAS,
PLAYS, ALL KINDS OF STUFF, AND
JANE JACOBS WON.
WHAT'S FASCINATING ABOUT JANE
JACOBS IS THAT ALMOST
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT EPISODE
IN THE LATE '60S SHE MOVED TO
TORONTO AND LO AND BEHOLD, WHAT
DID SHE HAVE, BUT AN EXPRESSWAY
COMING, AGAIN, RIGHT THROUGH HER
BACKYARD IN SPADINA.
THE SPADINA EXPRESSWAY THROUGH
THE ANNEXED NEIGHBOURHOOD.
AND SHE ORGANIZED THE WHOLE CITY
BASICALLY TO GO UP AND OPPOSE
THIS, AND AGAIN, A GREAT
LEGENDARY BATTLE, AND SHE WON.

Steve says BUT AS YOU THINK ABOUT
WHAT MAKES FOR A GREAT CITY,
YES, YOU WANT THAT KIND OF
LIVABLE, SMALLER SCALE, JANE
JACOBS APPROACH, BUT YOU GOT TO
HAVE A FEW BIG THINGS AS WELL.
SO HOW DOES ONE BALANCE?

The caption changes to "Joe Berridge. Urban Strategies."

Joe says IT'S AN IMPOSSIBLE PROBLEM
THAT EVERY CITY DEALS WITH, AND
NOBODY GETS IT QUITE RIGHT.
YOU KNOW, TORONTO INTERESTINGLY
HAS PROBABLY TURNED INTO THE
EPITOME OF THE JANE JACOBS CITY.
WE HAVE LOVELY LIVEABLE STREETS.
WE HAVE THE KIND OF TEXTURE OF
NEIGHBOURHOODS.
THERE'S VERY LITTLE DEMOLITION
GOING ON.
ALL OF THE TALK IS ABOUT, YOU
KNOW, HOW YOU MAKE THE LIVEABLE,
LOCAL CITY.
UNFORTUNATELY AT THE SAME TIME
WE DON'T HAVE A TRANSIT SYSTEM.
WE'RE NOT FIXING AFFORDABLE
HOUSING.
WE'RE REALLY NOT SORTING OUT
WHAT WE'RE DOING ON THE
WATERFRONT.
A WHOLE BUNCH OF MAJOR PROJECTS
ARE ELUDING US BECAUSE IN A
SENSE WE'VE KIND OF LOST THE
CONFIDENCE THAT WE HAD IN THE
EXPRESSWAY BUILDING ERA, BUT THE
PROBLEM WAS PEOPLE WERE BUILDING
EXPRESSWAYS.
WE WOULDN'T HAVE ANY PROBLEM IF
THEY HAD THAT CONFIDENCE
BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING OR
BUILDING GREAT NEW PARK SYSTEMS.

Steve says YOU'RE ORIGINALLY FROM
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE POND.

Joe says I AM.

Steve says WHEN DID YOU COME
HERE?

Joe says '96, AND INTERESTINGLY, I...
'69, AND INTERESTINGLY I
REMEMBER THE DATE.
I WAS A TEACHING ASSISTANT AT
THE U OF T, IN MY FIRST CLASS,
WHO WALKS IN?
JANE JACOBS WITH A WHOLE BUNCH
OF PLACARDS IN HER HAND, AND SHE
CORRALS MY ENTIRE CLASS AND
MARCHES THEM OFF TO AN
ANTI-SPADINA EXPRESSWAY
DEMONSTRATION. THAT WAS MY
FIRST EDUCATION HERE.

Steve says WELL, WHEN YOU CAME
HERE HALF A CENTURY AGO, HERE'S
WHAT YOU SAID...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Toronto the good." The quote reads "I hated the city. Actually, that is too strong because there was really nothing much to hate. Toronto was simply ugly, provincial, ignorant."
Quoted from Joe Berridge, "Perfect city." 2019.

Steve says IT HAS CHANGED A LOT, OBVIOUSLY,
IN ALL OF THAT TIME.
BUT IS IT POSSIBLE FOR TORONTO
TO BE CONSIDERED A PERFECT CITY,
GIVEN THAT IT DOESN'T HAVE A
THOUSAND YEARS OF WONDERFUL
HISTORY BEHIND IT, LIKE A ROME
OR A LONDON OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT?

The caption changes to "Joe Berridge, @joe_berridge."
Then, it changes again to "Toronto's international allure."

Joe says WELL, THE WAY I TRY TO HANDLE
THIS PERFECT CITY WAS TO KIND OF
DESIGNATE CLASSES OF PERFECTION.
AND CERTAINLY IN TERMS OF
HISTORICAL CHARACTER,
ARCHITECTURE, EVEN LANDSCAPE,
THIS IS NOT ONE OF THE PERFECT
CITIES.
BUT INTERESTINGLY, IN THE
CATEGORY OF WHAT MAKES AN
INCREDIBLY LIVEABLE PLACE,
TORONTO I THINK IS PROBABLY THE
BEST IN THE WORLD.
WE ACCEPT THE 125,000-ISSUE
IMMIGRANTS TO THE CITY EVERY
YEAR.
THIS IS TWICE AS MANY AS LONDON
OR NEW YORK, AND WE'VE BECOME
NOW A CITY WHICH IS 50 percent OF THE
RESIDENTS OF THIS CITY WERE NOT
BORN IN CANADA.

Steve says I'M GOING TO COME BACK
TO THAT IMMIGRATION ISSUE,
BECAUSE YOU GO ON TO SAY THIS
CITY NEEDS A CONFIDENT IMAGE OF
ITSELF AS A GLOBAL CITY, WHICH
YOU THINK WE DON'T HAVE.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Joe says NO, WE DON'T.
I THINK WE'VE BEEN... IN A FUNNY
WAY, CANADA LACKS THAT
CONFIDENCE TOO.
IT'S A KIND OF SECOND-TIER
COUNTRY.
WE ARE THE MAJOR CITY IN A
SECOND-TIER... WE'VE ALWAYS
REGARDED OURSELVES AS NOT IN THE
TOP TEN.
ACCIDENTALLY WE FOUND OURSELVES
NOW TO BE IN THE TOP TEN MOST
ECONOMICALLY CULTURALLY
SIGNIFICANT CITIES IN THE WORLD.
WE NEVER INTENDED THIS TO
HAPPEN.
I THINK, FRANKLY, TORONTONIANS,
CANADIANS, WOULD BE VERY HAPPY
JUST LIVING COMFORTABLE, GOOD,
SATISFYING LIVES.
IN A STRANGE WAY, WHEN YOU GET
INTO THE MAJORS, THERE ARE
ACTUALLY GREATER OBLIGATIONS ON
YOU.
AND CERTAINLY A CITY OF THIS
SCALE HAS TO CONCERN ITSELF
ABOUT HOW YOU MOVE AROUND AND
HOW YOU HAVE A TRANSIT SYSTEM,
HOW YOU PAY FOR AFFORDABLE
HOUSING, A BUNCH OF OTHER
THINGS.
WE'LL COME BACK TO THAT, BUT I
THINK THERE'S NEVER BEEN A
REALLY BIG PROJECT IN TORONTO
THAT THE CITY DIDN'T SAY, WELL,
MAYBE I DON'T THINK I'LL DO
THAT.
AND I'M NOT SURE WE'VE GOT THE
LUXURY OF THAT RETICENCE
ANYMORE.

Steve says WELL, IN YOUR BOOK
"PERFECT CITY" YOU DO GO THROUGH
SEVERAL OTHER WORLD-CLASS CITIES
AND YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU LIKE
ABOUT THEM AND WHAT YOU DON'T
LIKE, AND I WANT TO START
OUTSIDE OF TORONTO, WHICH WE'VE
TALKED ABOUT A BIT NOW.
LET'S GO TO SINGAPORE.
THERE'S VERY LITTLE TRAFFIC IN
SINGAPORE.
HOW COME?

The caption changes to "Singapore."

Joe says WELL, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE TALK
ABOUT THE WAR ON THE CAR IN
TORONTO AND IF YOU WANT A WAR ON
THE CAR, FIRST THING YOU DO IS
YOU LIMIT THE ABILITY TO BUY A
CAR UNLESS YOU BUY KIND OF A
TICKET TO BE ABLE TO BUY A CAR.
AND THE TICKET PRICES BID OUT.
SO RIGHT NOW IT'S ABOUT 75,000,
85,000 dollars JUST TO GET THE RIGHT TO
BUY A CAR.
THEN YOU GO AND BUY A CAR, AND
ONLY 1 percent OF THE FLEET IS RENEWED
EVERY YEAR, SO THERE'S A VERY
LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKETS
ISSUED.
THEN YOU BUY THE CAR.
IT'S ALMOST DOUBLED IN PRICE FOR
IMPORT DUTIES.
THEN YOU HAVE A VERY ELABORATE
SYSTEM OF ROAD TOLLING.
SO BASICALLY IT MEANS THAT THERE
IS VERY LITTLE CONGESTION.
THE ROADS ARE, IF ANYTHING, A
BIT TOO FAT TO ACCOMMODATE THE
LITTLE TRAFFIC THEY HAVE.
BUT THEY HAVE A SUPERB TRANSIT
SYSTEM, ABSOLUTELY SUPERB
TRANSIT SYSTEM.
SO THEY'VE DECIDED TO COMPLETELY
READJUST HOW PEOPLE MOVE AROUND,
AND ALMOST GET RID OF THE
PRIVATE CAR.

Steve says BEING GAY IN SINGAPORE
IS ILLEGAL.
PEOPLE ARE CANED OR WHIPPED FOR
DRUG USE OR PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS.

Joe says YEP.

Steve says HOW CAN ANY CITY THAT
DOES THAT LAY CLAIM TO BEING A
PERFECT CITY?

Joe says EVERY CITY, AS I SAY, IT
DOESN'T WIN IN EVERY CATEGORY.
ON THE GAY, ANTI-GAY
LEGISLATION, AS THEY POLITELY
PUT IT, IS NOT ENFORCED.
THE ANTI-DRUG ACTIVITY IS
REALLY, REALLY, REALLY
CONSEQUENTIAL, AND AGAIN, IT'S
ONE OF THESE PIECES OF SOCIAL
POLICY THAT JUST MAKES YOU
SHUDDER, BUT IT'S VERY
EFFECTIVE.
THERE IS NO CRIME IN SINGAPORE.
AND YOU KNOW... IT'S A VERY HIGH
PRICE TO PAY.
BUT THEY HAVE... YOU SPEND YOUR
ENTIRE TIME WHEN YOU'RE IN
SINGAPORE SORT OF WRESTLING WITH
THESE IDEAS BECAUSE WE HAVE A
NATURAL INCLINATION TOWARDS
HUMAN RIGHTS, THE CONSTITUTION,
THE CULTURE OF SINGAPORE IS AN
ACTUAL INCLINATION TO HUMAN
RESPONSIBILITIES.
YES, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SPIT
YOUR GUM OUT ON THE SIDEWALK.
AS A RESULT, THE SIDEWALK
DOESN'T HAVE ANY RINGS OF NASTY
BLACK GUM.
SO YOU SPEND YOUR ENTIRE TIME
THERE... THAT'S WHAT I LOVE
ABOUT THE PLACE.
IS IT JUST... IT KIND OF KICKS
YOU IN THE BUTT IN TERMS OF THE
THINGS THAT YOU THOUGHT WERE
NATURAL ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE
WAY SOCIETY SHOULD BE ORGANIZED.

Steve says LET ME TAKE YOU BACK
TO THE MOTHERLAND.
MANCHESTER ENGLAND.
YOU HAD A FASCINATING ROLE IN
THE REBUILDING OF MANCHESTER
AFTER THERE WAS A TERRORIST
ATTACK.

Joe says YEP.

Steve says CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT?

The caption changes to "Manchester."

Joe says IN 1996, THE IRA, IRISH
REPUBLICAN ARMY, PLANTED A HUGE
TRUCK BOMB RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE
OF MANCHESTER, RIGHT OUTSIDE
MARKS AND SPENCERS, WHICH IN ANY
ENGLISH CITY IS KIND OF GROUND
ZERO OF THE CITY CENTRE.
AND THE POLICE AMAZINGLY GOT
SOME ADVANCE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS
AND EVACUATED SOMETHING CLOSE TO
75,000 PEOPLE IN ABOUT 20
MINUTES.
SO WONDERFULLY NOBODY WAS
KILLED, BUT THE BOMB WENT OFF
AND REALLY BLEW THE WHOLE CITY
CENTRE TO PIECES.

Steve says AND THEN YOU GOT A
PHONE CALL.

Joe says I GOT A PHONE CALL.
I WAS UP AT A COTTAGE, AND I HAD
WORKED FOR THE CITY OF
MANCHESTER BEFORE.
AND IT WAS KIND OF AN ALL HANDS
ON DECK.
SO THEY SAID GET OVER HERE, AND
SO I SPENT THREE YEARS
COMMUNICATING BACK AND FORTH,
AND WE... COMMUTING BACK AND
FORTH, AND WE OPENED THAT MARKS
AND SPENCERS AGAIN THREE YEARS
AFTER THE BOMB IN A COMPLETELY
REMADE CITY CENTRE.

Steve says WHAT DID THEY WANT YOU
TO DO?

Joe says BASICALLY WHAT THEY WANTED ME
TO DO WAS HELP THEM FIGURE
OUT... BECAUSE ACTUALLY THE OLD
CITY CENTRE WAS PRETTY AWFUL.
IT WAS VERY, VERY UGLY.

Steve says IT WAS A CHANCE TO...

Joe says IT WAS A 1960S REDEVELOPMENT
THAT HAD NOT DONE VERY GOOD
THINGS.
SO WHAT WE DID WAS TO TRY AND
MAKE A VERY PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY,
A VERY WALKABLE, A VERY PROPERLY
SCALED CITY CENTRE.
WE TRIED TO USE A LOT MORE
RESIDENTIAL IN THE SCORE.
WE REALLY WANTED TO GET THE
RETAIL ACTIVITY GOING BECAUSE
THERE WERE SOME SUBURBAN
SHOPPING CENTRES OUT ON THE
ENGINES, AND WE WORRIED IF THERE
WAS NO SHOPPING DOWNTOWN, THEN
THERE MIGHT NEVER BE ANY
SHOPPING DOWNTOWN.
BUT NOW IT'S REALLY THRIVING.
IT'S ACTUALLY ONE OF THE MOST
SATISFYING THINGS I'VE BEEN
INVOLVED IN.
YOU GO BACK THERE, AND YEP, I
THINK WE GOT THAT RIGHT.

Steve says I DIDN'T KNOW UNTIL I
READ THIS BOOK HOW MUCH YOU
DISLIKED ARCHITECTS, AND I'M
GOING TO READ A QUOTE TO THAT
EFFECT HERE.
HERE IS JOE BERRIDGE...

Another quote from Joe's book appears on screen, under the title "Architects versus planners." The quote reads "You cannot trust architects with an urban problem of any scale or seriousness. They will always go for a bigger, shinier idea."

Steve says TELL US MORE ABOUT THE TENSION
BETWEEN ARCHITECTS AND PLANNERS.

The caption changes to "Architects versus planners."

Joe says OH, ARCHITECTS.
I THINK THERE'S A REAL
DIFFERENCE IN CITY MAKING
BETWEEN ARCHITECTURE AND WHAT
YOU MIGHT CALL URBAN DESIGN AND
CITY BUILDING.
AND ARCHITECTS ARE A FANTASTIC,
WONDERFUL FOLK, BUT THEIR FOCUS
IS ON THE BUILDING.
WHAT MAKES CITIES WORK IS THE
PLACE, IS THE PEOPLE IN THAT
PLACE.
YOU LOOK AT THOSE RENDERING,
THERE'S NEVER ANYBODY IN THEM.
THERE'S THE BEAUTIFUL SHINING
OBJECTS.
SO I... THE JOB OF A CITY
PLANNER IS TO GET IT BASICALLY
RIGHT AS A PIECE OF CITY.
AND THEN HAVE WONDERFUL
ARCHITECTS PUT THE BUILDINGS IN
WHERE THEY OUGHT TO BE AND WORK
THEIR MAGIC ON IT.
BUT IF YOU DON'T HAVE THAT, YOU
ALL YOU GET IS A BUNCH OF SHINY
OBJECTS, AND YOU KNOW, AS I
MENTIONED IN THE BOOK, YOU GO TO
THE NEW DISTRICT OF SHANGHAI,
PUDONG, WHICH IS JUST A
MENAGERIE OF WONDERFUL SHINY
OBJECTS.
BUT THE CITY ITSELF DOESN'T YET
WORK.

Steve says YOU HAVE CALLED
SHANGHAI... YOU HAVE SAID: I'M
CONVINCED THAT SHANGHAI IS
DESTINED FOR GLOBAL SUPREMACY,
AND HERE'S THE QUOTE.

Another quote from the book appears under the title "The future is Shanghai." The quote reads "City planning in too many European and North American cities seems to be trapped in small concerns, unable or unwilling to grasp the big levers. The city that can comprehensively re-invent its urban movement systems to a zero-carbon, driverless vehicle, smart-city, public/private financed and operated, user-pay, drone-friendly future -that will be the exemplar of this century. In all probability, that will be a new world city."

Steve says WHAT ARE THEY DOING ON TRANSIT IN SHANGHAI THAT YOU LOVE SO MUCH?

The caption changes to "Shanghai."

Joe says MOST OF ALL, THEY'RE BUILDING
IT.
THEY HAD NO SUBWAYS IN 1993.
25 YEARS AGO, WHATEVER THAT IS.
THEY HAVE THE BIGGEST SYSTEM IN
THE WORLD NOW.
AND IT'S EXTRAORDINARILY MODERN.
IT'S VERY EFFICIENT.
IT'S VERY UNDERSTANDABLE.
I MEAN, I GO THERE, I DON'T
SPEAK ANY CHINESE, AND I CAN'T
READ ANYTHING, BUT I GET IT.
I CAN MOVE AROUND.
THEY HAVE ALSO... THEY ARE
ACCEPTING, YOU KNOW, BETWEEN
THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION AND
A MILLION NEW PEOPLE A YEAR.
SIX, SEVEN TIMES WHAT WE'RE
GROWING AT HERE IN TORONTO.
AND THEY ARE DOING IT IN A VERY
INTELLIGENT WAY IN TERMS OF
INTENSIFYING AROUND EACH OF
THOSE SUBWAY SYSTEMS.
THEY HAVE KIND OF SET THIS NEW
SUBWAY SYSTEM UP, THEY HAVE 12
LINES ON A GRID, AND EVERY
PLACE THEY INTERSECT, THEY HAVE
THOSE POINTS OF INTENSITY.
SO FROM A PURE CHESSBOARD POINT
OF VIEW, THEY ARE REALLY MOVING
ALL OF THE PIECES I THINK IN THE
RIGHT WAY.

Steve says AND BUILDING FOUR NEW
LINES.

Joe says THEY HAVEN'T STOPPED.
AND THEY KEEP ON GOING, AND
EVERY TIME YOU GO THERE, YOUR
JAW DROPS WITH SOME NEW THING
THEY'VE DONE.
NOW LET US SAY, MORE ROBERT
MOSES THAN JANE JACOBS.
THEY HAVE TO THEIR GREAT CREDIT
PRESERVED A LOT OF THE OLD
HERITAGE FABRIC.
THEY HAVE ALSO TAKEN OUT AN
AWFUL LOT OF IT.
AND AGAIN, YOU'RE CAUGHT IN ONE
OF THESE TENSIONS, BECAUSE IF
YOU WANT TO HAVE A
TRANSIT-FRIENDLY, INTENSE,
HIGH-DENSITY WORLD, PROBABLY
THERE WAS NO AVOIDING GETTING
INTO THE REMOVAL OF THESE VERY,
VERY, VERY TIGHT AND FRANKLY NOT
THAT FUNCTIONAL DISTRICTS.

Steve says BUT WE DO HAVE TO SAY
THAT YOUR ADMIRATION FOR THIS
PLACE IS UNDERSTANDABLE FOR WHAT
THEY'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO.
HAVING SAID THAT, THEY DO IT
UNDER AN AUTHORITARIAN COMMUNIST
SYSTEM WHERE THEY DON'T WORRY
TOO MUCH ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL
ASSESSMENTS OR NEIGHBOURHOOD
OPPOSITION OR THAT KIND OF THING.

Joe says WELL, IT'S FASCINATING, AND
AGAIN, I'M NO CHINA EXPERT, BUT
I JUDGE BY THE WAY PEOPLE WALK
DOWN A STREET, WHETHER THEY ARE
A FREE PEOPLE.
AND WHEN I LOOK AT THE WAY
SHANGHAIANS WALK DOWN THE
STREET, YOU DON'T MESS WITH
THEM.
THEY ARE EXACTLY LIKE NEW
YORKERS, YOU KNOW?
THEY'VE GOT THAT KIND OF FEISTY
QUALITY TO THEM.
SO YES, CLEARLY YOU ARE
OPERATING IN A VERY
AUTHORITARIAN SOCIETY, BUT
WHAT'S FASCINATING TO ME IS I
SEE SHANGHAI CREATING A CULTURE
WHICH CERTAINLY MIGHT BE ABLE...
YOU KNOW, EQUAL TO THE
NATIONALIST AUTHORITARIAN
CULTURE AND MIGHT ULTIMATELY
OVERWHELM IT.
CITIES ARE WHAT MAKE FREE
PEOPLE.
THROUGHOUT HISTORY THAT'S WHAT'S
HAPPENED, AND IF YOU WANT TO BE
AN OPTIMIST, YOU COULD SEE THE
GREAT CITIES OF CHINA, SHANGHAI
LEADING THEM, TRYING TO CREATE
FREE PEOPLE.
CHINA'S A VERY, VERY BIG PLACE,
AND I'M NOT SURE THAT YOU WON'T
SEE PLACES GOING OFF IN SLIGHTLY
DIFFERENT SOCIO-CULTURAL
CONTRACTS WITH THOSE SOCIETY,
WITH THE MAIN SOCIETY.
AND SHANGHAI LOOKS TO ME A PLACE
THAT MIGHT BE DOING THAT.

Steve says AT THE RISK OF MAKING
EVERYBODY IN THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL OF
CITY ANGRY WITH ME, I WANT TO
COME BACK TO THE PLACE YOU CALL
THE ACCIDENTAL METROPOLIS,
STOLEN FROM BOB FULFORD, WHO YOU
ACKNOWLEDGE. HERE YOU ARE AGAIN...

Another quote appears, under the title "Ugly and expensive." The quote reads "Torontonians see Toronto as a place of inadequacy, unimportance, incompetence and inequity. It is an ugly, expensive, second-rate town. Its aspirations to a world-class status are preposterous."

Steve says AND YET, THIS PLACE
ROUTINELY RANKS VERY HIGH ON
THE LIVEABLE PLACES TO LIVE.
WHY IS THERE THIS DISCONNECT
BETWEEN THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE
SEE THE PLACE AND THE REST OF
THE WORLD SEES THE PLACE?

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Joe says ONE OF THE THINGS I FOUND
FASCINATING GOING TO ALL THESE
CITIES IS THERE IS A DEEP
CULTURE IN EVERY CITY.
WHEN YOU GO TO MANCHESTER, WHAT
DOES MANCHESTER DO?
IT WINS AT SOCCER GENERATION
AFTER GENERATION AFTER
GENERATION.
ORIGINALLY WITH JUST ONE TEAM,
AND NOW WITH TWO.
AND YOU GO TO SHANGHAI, SHANGHAI
HAS BEEN AROUND, YOU KNOW.
I MEAN, IT'S BEEN AROUND SINCE
THE MID-19TH CENTURY.
NEW YORK, YOU KNOW, WHAT CAN YOU
SAY.
LONDON WHAT CAN YOU SAY.
EACH OF THEM HAS A DIFFERENT
KIND OF SPIRIT.
AND TORONTO HAS A SPIRIT.
IT'S A VERY LOW-KEY ONE.
IT'S VERY COMMUNITARIAN.
WE ARE AN EXTRAORDINARILY
WELCOMING PLACE, BUT THERE'S A
HINT DON'T GET TOO BIG FOR YOUR
BOOTS.
DON'T HAVE IDEAS THAT ARE HIGHER
THAN YOUR STATUS, AND THAT'S THE
FLIP SIDE OF I THINK THE
EXTRAORDINARY JOB WE DO OF
ACCOMMODATING THIS NEW
POPULATION ALL THE TIME.

Steve says LET ME PICK UP ON THE
IMMIGRATION ISSUE.
YOU POINT OUT 125,000 ROUGHLY
NEW PEOPLE ARE COMING HERE ALL
THE TIME.
IS THAT THE SECRET SAUCE?

Joe says SIMPLY PUT, YES.
THE SUCCESSFUL CITIES IN THE
WORLD ARE IMMIGRANT CITIES
BECAUSE BASICALLY WHAT HAPPENS
IS... IMMIGRANTS ARE
SELF-SELECTED PEOPLE.
IT TAKES A LOT OF ENERGY AND
DETERMINATION TO BE AN
IMMIGRANT, ESPECIALLY THE
CANADIAN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM,
WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY QUITE A
SELECTIVE ONE.
BUT EVEN TO BE A REFUGEE, IT'S
FASCINATING.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE STATS,
THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE IN THE
SUCCESS RATES IN SORT OF
SETTLING IN CANADA BETWEEN
IMMIGRANTS COMING IN THE
CONVENTIONAL WAY AND REFUGEES.
AND WHAT'S THE SECRET SAUCE IS
THAT DETERMINATION TO SUCCEED.
WHY DID YOU IMMIGRATE?
WHY DID YOU FLEE YOUR COUNTRY IF
IT WASN'T TO DO BETTER THAN
WHERE YOU WERE BEFORE?
SO WHO SETS UP THE BUSINESSES?
WHO DRIVES TO CREATE THE NEW?
IT'S ESSENTIALLY IMMIGRANTS.
SO IF YOU STARVE THAT STREAM,
YOU ARE FAILING TO RECHARGE THE
ESSENCE OF THE CITY.
AND IT'S FASCINATING, YOU KNOW,
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WORRIES
ME ABOUT LONDON AND THE BREXIT
ERA, LONDON HAS BEEN A VERY,
VERY IMMIGRANT-FRIENDLY CITY.
IF THAT STOPS, I DON'T KNOW IF
IT WILL HAVE THAT SUPPLY OF
HUMAN ENERGY NECESSARY TO
MAINTAIN THE STATUS THAT IT HAS.

Steve says WELL, AS WE CONSIDER
THE PERFECT LEADER FOR THE
PERFECT CITY, YOU HAVE A LIST
HERE OF PEOPLE THAT YOU JUST
LOVE.
MIKE BLOOMBERG, THE FORMER MAYOR
OF NEW YORK.
BILL DE BLASIO, THE CURRENT
MAYOR OF NEW YORK.
Saddik Khan, from London.
LEE KWAN YU FROM SINGAPORE.
SO THE PERFECT MAYOR IN YOUR
VIEW WOULD ENCOMPASS ALL OF
THEIR TALENTS, WHICH ARE WHAT?

The caption changes to "The perfect leader for the perfect place."

Joe says ESSENTIALLY BEING ABLE TO
LINK THE KEY PIECES IN THE
BUILDING CITY CHAIN, WHICH IS
YOUR BRAIN, YOUR HEART, YOUR
WALLET AND YOU'RE ON, AND YOU
ESSENTIALLY HAVE TO PUT THOSE
INTO A SEQUENCE.
WE ARE VERY, VERY GOOD AT THE
BRAIN AND THE HEART IN TORONTO.
WE'RE NOT THAT GOOD AT THE
WALLET AND THE ARM.
WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT TO
DO.
WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE RIGHT
THING IS TO DO.
WE CAN THINK IT ALL THROUGH
ENDLESSLY, BUT WE CAN'T ACTUALLY
DO IT.
SO WHAT I ADMIRE ARE THE URBAN
LEADERS WHO FIGURE OUT HOW YOU
ACTUALLY TURN THAT MOTIVATION
AND THAT ASPIRATION INTO
PRODUCT.

Steve says IN THE 50 YEARS YOU'VE
BEEN IN CANADA, WHO IS THE BEST
MUNICIPAL LEADER YOU'VE EVER
SEEN?

Joe says UMM, I THINK DAVID CROMBIE
HERE.

Steve says I THOUGHT YOU WERE
GOING TO SAY HIM.

Joe says MIKE... VANCOUVER.

Steve says OKAY.
HOW CAN WASHINGTON OR ROME NOT
BE ON YOUR LIST?

Joe says LARGELY BECAUSE I HAVEN'T HAD
THE CHANCE TO WORK THERE.

Steve says OKAY.
ALL RIGHT.
BECAUSE I'M READING THE BOOK AND
THINKING WASHINGTON, D.C. IS NOT
ON THE LIST?
ROME IS NOT ON THE LIST?

The caption changes to "Didn't make the cut."

Joe says WELL, I MEAN, I... WASHINGTON
IS A FASCINATING PLACE,
ACTUALLY, BUT IT'S ONLY BECOME A
FASCINATING PLACE IN SOME WAYS
IN THE LAST FEW DECADES WHEN IT
ACTUALLY HAS BECOME MUCH MORE OF
A... I DON'T KNOW, A CITY THAT
ENGAGES WITH THE REST OF THE
WORLD.
I MEAN, FRANKLY, FOR THE LAST
HALF CENTURY OR MORE, IT'S RULED
THE WORLD, AND WHEN YOU GO
THERE, YOU FEEL VERY MUCH LIKE
SOME GUY FROM GORE GOING TO ROME
AND THE ERA 1AD.
YOU SENSE THAT POWER.
ROME, SADLY, I DON'T KNOW WELL
ENOUGH.
I WISH I DID.

Steve says OKAY, SO THE BOOK GOES
THROUGH A DOZEN OR SO CITIES.

Joe says EIGHT.

Steve says EIGHT CITIES.
THERE IS NO PERFECT CITY, BUT
DID YOU COME TO A CONCLUSION
ABOUT WHICH ONE COMES CLOSEST?

The caption changes to "The perfect city."

Joe says NO.
BECAUSE I DON'T THINK THERE IS.
IF YOU WANT THE BEST TRANSIT
SYSTEM IN THE WORLD, GO TO
SHANGHAI.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE BEST
AFFORDABLE HOUSING DELIVERY,
THEN NEW YORK AND LONDON ARE
OPERATING IN SIMILAR KIND OF
WAYS, AND SINGAPORE HAS ALWAYS
ITS OWN COMPLETELY ORIGINAL
IDEA, WHICH IS ACTUALLY VERY
EFFECTIVE.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE CITY THAT
IS A CAN-DO CITY FROM THE SORT
OF RAISING ITSELF UP FROM DOWN
BLOW, THEN MANCHESTER, OR EVEN
BELFAST ARE CITIES THAT ARE
DOING IT.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE CITY THAT
BEST ACCOMMODATES A REALLY
SUBSTANTIAL STREAM OF
IMMIGRATION, THEN TORONTO DOES
IT BEST.
SO CAN YOU PUT ALL OF THESE
THINGS TOGETHER?
I DOUBT IT.
I THINK, YOU KNOW, HISTORICALLY
PERHAPS... IT'S VERY
INTERESTING.
I THINK CITIES PRIMACY DOESN'T
LAST VERY LONG IN ANY OF THESE
CATEGORIES, MAYBE A QUARTER
CENTURY, MAYBE HALF AT BEST, AND
YOU GET THE DISTINCT SENSE IN
LONDON THAT IT HAS PEAKED AND IS
GOING DOWN, ALTHOUGH FRANKLY
IT'S PEAKED AND GONE DOWN
SEVERAL TIMES IN ITS LIFE
BEFORE.
NEW YORK IS STILL IN THE
ASCENDANT.

Steve says YOU SAY NEW YORK CITY IS THE
CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.

Joe says RIGHT NOW.
FUNCTIONALLY IT IS BECAUSE IT'S
THE HEART OF THE FINANCIAL
SYSTEM.
THAT'S THE OTHER THING THAT, BY
THE WAY, YOU CAN'T IGNORE.
THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY
IS THE BIGGEST INDUSTRY IN ANY
CITY, AND SO HOW THE BANKS ARE
DOING, HOW FINANCIAL SERVICES
ARE DOING IS HUGELY INFLUENTIAL
IN THE POWER OF THAT CITY.
LARGE PART OF ME WISHES THAT
WEREN'T THE CASE, BUT THAT'S
CLEARLY ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL
DRIVERS, AND NEW YORK IS STILL,
I'M NOT SURE FOR HOW LONG, BUT
IS STILL THE CORE OF THE WORLD'S
FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY.

Steve says SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA MADE
YOUR LIST.

Joe says YES.
LARGELY BECAUSE SOMEONE ASKED ME
TO GO THERE.
IT'S A FASCINATING CITY BECAUSE
IT'S LIKE TORONTO WITH A DECENT
CLIMATE.
IT'S LIKE TORONTO WITH
TOPOGRAPHY AND THIS
EXTRAORDINARY FILIGREE OF THE
WAY THE SEA COMES INTO THE CITY.
BUT WHEN YOU WALK ON THE
STREETS, THE FEEL IS IDENTICALLY
THAT OF TORONTO.
IT'S THESE ENDLESSLY LONG
STREETS FULL OF EVERY ETHNICITY
OF RESTAURANT YOU'VE EVER SEEN
IN YOUR LIFE.
INTERESTINGLY, THE SAME KIND OF
SLIGHTLY MUDDLING AROUND
INABILITY TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO
GET ANYTHING DONE THAT WE'VE GOT
AS WELL.
SO IT'S ALMOST AS IF THERE'S
KIND OF A COMMONWEALTH
SENSIBILITY.
THERE'S A WAY, PEACE ORDER AND
GOOD GOVERNMENT, BUT DON'T HAVE
ANY GREAT HIGH EXPECTATION.
EXCEPT THAT BECAUSE YOU'RE
SYDNEY AND REALLY WHENEVER YOU
LOOK AT A MAP, SYDNEY IS WAY
DOWN THERE ON THE BOTTOM CORNER,
THEY HAVE TO WAVE A BIG FLAG.
SO THEY WAVE A BIG FLAG, THEY DO
THE OPERA HOUSE.
THEY WAVE A BIG FLAG, THEY PUT
IN THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE.
THEY HAVE A FANTASTIC OLYMPICS
WAVING A BIG FLAG.
SO THEIR IMPETUS TO ACTUALLY
STRUT THEIR STUFF IS THERE, AND
YOU CAN COMPARE THAT WITH
TORONTO WHERE WE'VE NEVER HAD A
DESIRE TO WAVE A BIG FLAG ON THE
WORLD STAGE.

Steve says I WANT TO FINISH UP BY
GETTING A BIT PERSONAL WITH YOU
BECAUSE YOU MENTION THIS IN THE
BOOK.
THE WOMAN YOU DESCRIBE AS MY
TRUE CRITIC, ENCOURAGEMENT, LOVE
AND FRIEND, YOUR WIFE BILLY,
PASSED AWAY.

Joe says MM-HM.
WHILE I WAS WRITING THE BOOK.

Steve says WHILE YOU WERE WRITING
THE BOOK.

Joe says SHE HAD BEEN ILL FOR A LONG
TIME WITH HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE,
WHICH IS A PARTICULARLY DIRE
AFFLICTION.
I MET HER IN UNIVERSITY, AND SHE
WAS A NEW YORKER WHO HAD GROWN
UP IN PARIS AND WAS LIVING IN
LONDON.
AND I WAS A COUNTRY BUMP KIN,
AND SO I THINK MY AFFECTION FOR
CITIES, YOU KNOW, WAS STIMULATED
BY SUDDENLY A GUY FROM, AS I
DESCRIBED IT, FROM KIND OF
AGATHA CHRISTIE COUNTRY, ENDS UP
HAVING THESE THREE BIG CITIES
SUDDENLY THRUST IN FRONT OF
THEM, AND NEVER LOOKED BACK.

The caption changes to "Billie."

Steve says HOW DISCOURAGING IS IT
FOR YOU THAT SHE'S NOT HERE TO
SEE YOU COMPLETE YOUR FIRST BOOK
AND SHOUT IT FROM THE
MOUNTAINTOPS?

Joe says WELL, SHE WAS A VERY STERN
CRITIC WHEN I WAS GOING... YOU
KNOW, I USED TO WRITE A LOT FOR
THE GLOBE AND OTHER PLACES, AND
SHE WOULD REALLY DIVE IN, AND
ALWAYS PICK UP THE TONE.
SO I KIND OF SENSE THAT SHE'S
STILL DOING THAT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin."

Steve says AWESOME. JOE, WE THANK
YOU VERY MUCH FOR COMING IN.
THE BOOK IS CALLED "PERFECT
CITY: AN URBAN FIXERS GLOBAL
SEARCH FOR MAGIC IN THE MODERN
METROPOLIS." A TERRIFIC READ AND
THANKS SO MUCH.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Joe says GLAD YOU ENJOYED IT.
THANK YOU.

Watch: Magic in the Modern Metropolis