Area Study - Urban Regional Planning Critique: Toronto's Official Plan

Essay by Jamesstock17University, Bachelor'sA-, June 2006

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The purpose of my research on the City of Toronto's Official Plan is to critique Toronto's current planning process. The scope of my critique involves the examination of various social, livability, and quality of life issues. I will critically assess the arguments for and against amalgamation into Toronto's 'megacity', investigating any biases that may exist, and observing the effects on the aforementioned issues under a centralized metropolitan planning system. My objectives involve critiquing the establishment of a strong central authority for dealing with population growth and urban sprawl, discussing any potential problems and concerns, and examining whether this governing body is on the right path towards increasing the viability of its quality of life, livability, community building, and social development strategies for urban regional planning in Toronto.

i. Arguments Against Toronto's Official Plan

The City of Toronto has a main goal of building a more livable urban region. In 1998, the regional level of government was eradicated and Metropolitan Toronto's six municipalities were amalgamated into a single 'megacity'.

I will now critique this Plan's policies and objectives by discussing a number of social and quality of life issues relating to arguments and perspectives against the political restructuring and amalgamation of Toronto. The Plan first develops a strategy for directing growth within Toronto's urban structure. It sets out policies for the management of change through "the integration of land use and transportation" (Toronto, 2002, 9). Although the increased accessibility of traveling around Toronto with an integrated regional transportation system would benefit certain residents, the provincial government proceeded with opposition from the City and local governments, along with thousands of protestors, towards any form of a centralized metropolitan planning system. The conflict over megacity "generated a sense of public outrage" (Hodge and Robinson, 2001, 136), as policies of the new agency...