david pritchard. bibliography.

Author: Pierre Filion

[1] Pierre Filion. The Urban Growth Centres strategy in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: Lessons from downtowns, nodes, and corridors. Technical report, The Neptis Foundation, Toronto, ON, Canada, May 2007. [ bib | .pdf ]
Keywords: urban form, canada, toronto
[2] Pierre Filion, Trudi Bunting, Kathleen McSpurren, and Alan Tse. Canada-U.S. metropolitan density patterns: Zonal convergence and divergence. Urban Geography, 25(1):42-65, 2004. [ bib ]
The paper compares density patterns of the three largest Canadian metropolitan regions with those of a sample of 12 U.S. urban areas with comparable populations. It verifies if such patterns support claims of Canadian urban distinctiveness prevalent within this country's research literature. Findings indicate that regional differences among U.S. cities are as important as cross-national distinctions. Measures of centrality and overall density place observed Canadian metrpolitan areas within the same category as older U.S. East Coast metropolitan areas. Inter-city comparisons of historically and geographically defined zones suggest a period of cross-national convergence before World War II, when the inner city was developed, followed by a period of divergence from the 1940s to the 1970s, when the inner suburb was built. The development of the outer suburb, which began in the early 1970s, marks a return to cross-national convergence. These results question the continued relevance of the literature on the distinctiveness of Canadian urbanization.

Very interesting. They find that Canadian cities, as a group, do stand out from American cities-they are denser overall (than American cities of comparable size), and denser in their cores and inner suburbs. In the outer suburbs, however, densities are indistinguishable from American cities. Beyond that, however, Canadian cities have much smaller exurban regions than their American counterparts. They fit a cubic polynomial to the density/distance-from-CBD graph, and don't find Canadian cities to be as distinctive in that measure; I'm not sure how solid their analysis there is, though (haven't read it closely enough). Generally, the Canadian cities are distinctive as a group, since all of the major Canadian cities are dense, but are generally similar to northeastern American cities. The U.S. just has a wider variety of cities. “Our work does not so much refute the perspective espoused by the Canadian urban specificity literature as situate it historically and geographically. According to zonal findings and events that have marked the evolution of cities in the two countries, most of the noted cross-national differences can be linked to the period that ran from the end of World War II to the 1970s.” Overall, I don't think their results justify the final sentence of their abstract (repeated in their introduction); I think Canadian cities are quite distinctive. In particular, they don't discuss exurban trends very much, although these are a very significant part of American city development today: the Canadian cities have only 18 percent of their population in exurban areas, while the American cities are clustered closer to 30 percent, with some as high as 50 percent (Atlanta, Boston).
Keywords: urban planning, urban form, canada
[3] Pierre Filion. Towards smart growth? The difficult implementation of alternatives to urban dispersion. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 12(1):48-70, 2003. [ bib ]
The smart growth concept has recently achieved prominence within the planning profession. It represents a reaction to mounting resentment towards the adverse consequences of prevailing forms of urbanization: air pollution, high development costs and deteriorating quality of life. The article examines the possibility of implementing smart growth proposals within the prevailing political, economic and value environment. After drawing lessons from the lack of success of attempts at altering urban development over the last thirty years, the article proposes two smart growth strategies. To maintain their implementation potential and capacity to modify urbanization trends, the strategies avoid clashes with entrenched preference patterns and powerful interest groups. The first strategy consists in an expansion of the high-density transit-oriented compact urban realm into the ambient low-density car-dependent dispersed realm. The second strategy involves the creation of mixed-use high-density corridors, hospitable to transit use and walking, within newly urbanized areas.

An excellent article, aimed at realistic incremental policies to change urban densities, the main obstacle to mode share changes. The solutions he presents are not new at all, but the political context and discussion of suburban values are worth thinking about.
Keywords: urban planning, urban politics, canada, urban form, smart growth
[4] Trudi Bunting, Pierre Filion, and H. Priston. Density gradients in Canadian metropolititan regions, 1971-96: Differential patterns of central area and suburban growth and change. Urban Studies, 39(13):2531-2552, 2002. [ bib ]
This paper demonstrates that over the 25-year period, 1971-96, the majority of Canadian cities have undergone transition towards an increasingly decentralised urban form. The trends, however, are quite diverse, pointing to fundamental differences in the respective importance of growth in central and outer parts of the metropolitan area. On the whole, the relatively high densities observed in Canadian central cities, in comparison with US ones, appear to reflect residual centralisation rather than continued growth in metropolitan regions' innermost parts. Only Vancouver, and to a lesser extent Toronto and Victoria, exhibit indisputable evidence of post-1971 central-area growth. The predominant trend has been towards suburban-style, low-density expansion, albeit with considerable intercity variation regarding changes in central-area and suburban density. Findings presented here point to previously unidentified trends towards recentralisation in a few CMAs and, in about half of the surveyed metropolitan areas, densification of suburban tracts.

Keywords: canada, urban planning, urban form
[5] Pierre Filion. Suburban mixed-use centres and urban dispersion: What difference do they make? Environment and Planning A, 33(1):141-160, 2001. [ bib ]
Some very good points in a comparison of several Toronto shopping centres that I know well. Hard data makes for an interesting comparison exercise. The amazing thing, really, is the allocation of space in each centre: roughly 2.5:1 ratio of space for cars to space for buildings (except North York Centre, at 2:1), compared with 1:2 in downtown Toronto. North York Centre still comes out almost as bad as the others, since it uses its saved space mostly for open park space (38% of total space!)

“If suburban mixed-use centres have been successful in juxtaposing different land uses, their integration of these uses has been far less impressive.”

Keywords: urban planning, transport planning, urban design, pedestrian planning
[6] Pierre Filion. Balancing concentration and dispersion? public policy and urban structure in Toronto. Environment and Planning C, 18:163-189, 2000. [ bib ]
An excellent, detached and comprehensive overview of postwar trends in the Toronto region. The hypothesis that Toronto may have “the best of both worlds” by having both dispersed and concentrated environments is an interesting one, although the retention of that status would require both realms to grow at similar rates, which has not been the trend in recent decades.
Keywords: canada, urban planning, geography, urban politics, toronto
[7] Trudi Bunting and Pierre Filion. Dispersed city form in Canada: A Kitchener CMA case study. The Canadian Geographer, 43:268-287, 1999. [ bib ]
Keywords: canada, urban planning
[8] Pierre Filion. Rupture or continuity? modern and postmodern planning in Toronto. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 23:423-444, 1999. [ bib | http ]
Keywords: urban planning, canada
[9] Pierre Filion, Trudi Bunting, and K. Warriner. The entrenchment of urban dispersion: Residential preferences and location patterns in the dispersed city. Urban Studies, 36:1317-1347, 1999. [ bib ]
Keywords: urban planning
[10] Pierre Filion, Trudi Bunting, and City of Kitchener Planning Department. Housing development potential in Kitchener's core area: Markets and recommendations. Technical report, City of Kitchener, Kitchener, ON, Canada, 1998. [ bib ]
Keywords: urban planning, canada
[11] Pierre Filion. Metropolitan planning objectives and implementation constraints: planning in a post-Fordist and postmodern age. Environment and Planning A, 28(9):1637-1660, 1996. [ bib ]
Planning faces the predicament that as recommendations become bolder possibilities for implementation deteriorate. This is imputed to society's transition from a Fordist and modern to a post-Fordist and postmodern era. On the one hand, postmodern values account for more public participation and heightened environmental sensitivity, which translate into proposals for alternative forms of urban development. On the other hand, the implementation of these proposals is impaired by reduced public sector resources as a result of the economic instability associated with post-Fordism. Another impediment is the difficulty to achieve sufficient support for planning objectives in the postmodern context. This context is marked by a fragmentation of values, attachment to the existing built environment, and suspicion between social groups. The empirical focus is on Toronto's bold metropolitan planning proposals. Most recent planning documents call for reurbanization efforts, a compact urban form, and reduced reliance on the car. In this paper I cast doubts, however, on the eventual actualization of these proposals by highlighting weaknesses in the present and anticipated implementation context. These are tied to factors that are specific to Toronto, but also to a greater extent to the post-Fordist and postmodern environment.

A few interesting ideas. He argues that the postmodern attachment of value to public participation and plural views could undermine processes aimed at changing suburban form to better accommodate plurality. He suggests that NIMBYism arises from suspicion between factions in a fractured society, and this will in turn hinder changes to existing urban form (infill, etc.) and favour greenfield development where such arguments can be avoided. In the light of his arguments, I find policies such as urban growth boundaries more appealing: they prevent greenfield alternatives and force NIMBYism to be confronted directly. Toronto already seems to be headed in this direction, as social housing projects are increasingly recognised as necessary and located in all wards, instead of being fought off by all wards.
Keywords: geography, urban planning, politics, canada, urban form
[12] Trudi Bunting and Pierre Filion. The dispersed city: its spatial and temporal dynamics. In Pierre Filion, Trudi Bunting, and K. Curtis, editors, The Dynamics of the Dispersed City: Geographic and Planning Perspective on Waterloo Region, volume 47 of Department of Geography Publication Series, pages 9-54. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, 1996. [ bib ]
Keywords: urban planning, canada
[13] Pierre Filion. Planning proposals and urban development trends: can the gap be bridged? Plan Canada, 35(5):17-19, 1995. [ bib ]
Keywords: urban planning, canada
[14] Pierre Filion and Trudi Bunting. Local power and its limits: Three decades of attempts to revitalize Kitchener's CBD. Urban History Review, 12:48-70, 1993. [ bib ]
Keywords: urban politics, canada, urban planning
[15] Pierre Filion. The neighbourhood improvement plan, Montreal and Toronto: contrasts between a participatory and a centralized approach to urban policy making. Urban History Review, 17:16-28, 1988. [ bib ]
Keywords: urban planning, canada

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