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Up to now, we have looked at areas where Canadian policies differ today or have differed at critical points in the past from those of the United States. Now our focus turns to how the these policy differences play out in different contexts, beginning with their effect on the character and vitality of central cities in the two countries. This chapter explores how those differences, along with other historical, legal, and cultural factors, have affected the trajectories and present state of central cities in Canada and the United States. Of course, there are many similarities between cities in the two countries as well as differences. In both countries, the condition of individual cities falls on a continuum, and there is more than a little overlap when it comes to population trends, urban form and density, and social and economic trends. At the same time, the typical or normative condition of Canadian cities is significantly different from that of US cities.
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1951 data are from the Canada Year Book 1952–1953.
The only city shown in table 4-7 that can be considered to have even a remotely credible potential to regain its peak population within the next few decades is Washington, DC, which is currently estimated to have a population of not quite 660,000 and is adding nearly 10,000 people per year. It is an outlier among US cities, for many reasons.
The predictions of the imminent decline of many Sun Belt cities made by some planners and other analysts in the wake of the foreclosure crisis of 2006–2007 were not only premature, but tended to reflect more wishful thinking than solid analysis.
See Sean F. Reardon and Kendra Bischoff, “Growth in the Residential Segregation of Families by Income” (Providence, RI: US 2010 Project, Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, 2011); and Kendra Bischoff and Sean F. Reardon, “Residential Segregation by Income, 1970–2009” (Providence, RI: US 2010 Project, Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, 2013).
Because Canadian municipalities change boundaries frequently, the analysis compared 2001 and 2011 census tract data only for those census tracts within the 2001 boundaries of the municipality.
David Rusk, Cities without Suburbs (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1993).
Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor, Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’ s Metropolitan Regions (London: Routledge, 2012).
In 2010, the combined Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade in Canada issued a policy statement entitled “A Call for a National Urban Strategy Targeted Toward Canada’s Largest Urban Centres” calling for fundamental reform of the structure of local government finance, writing that “the bottom line is that Canada’s largest urban centers need a more stable, secure and growing revenue source. They need a new tax framework that does not increase the burden on taxpayers, but instead establishes a framework between the three levels of government that ensures tax revenues are sufficient to sustain municipal infrastructure and operations” (2). Available at http://halifaxchamber.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/A-Call-for-a-National-Urban-Strategy-Targeted-Toward-Canada%E2%80 %99 s-Largest-Urban-Centres-Nov-2010.pdf.
More US cities might well seek bankruptcy if they could; under US law, states have the power to control whether their constituent cities may file for bankruptcy and, if so, under what circumstances. Many states have passed laws effectively preventing cities from doing so; in a 2011 case, the state of Pennsylvania successfully intervened under such a law to have a bankruptcy petition filed by the city of Harrisburg dismissed.
The Tyee, an independent on-line newspaper in British Columbia, published an outstanding in-depth look at the current status of the False Creek South development and the challenges it faces in the future. See The Tyee, “False Creek South: An Experiment in Community,” December 31, 2013, http://thetyee.ca/Series/2013/12/31/False-Creek-South-Experiment/.
Some of the retail vitality of downtown Chicago and San Francisco may well be a function of those two cities’ vibrant tourism sector.
Specifically, as of 2013 the foreign-born percentages were Seattle 18 percent, Minneapolis 16 percent, and Washington, DC, 14 percent.
Although the literature is voluminous, two important sources are Wesley Skogan, Disorder and Decline: Crime and the Spiral of Decay in American Neighborhoods (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990); and David S. Kirk and John H. Laub, “Neighborhood Change and Crime in the Modern Metropolis,” Crime and Justice 39, no. 1 (2010): 441–502.
Nick Taylor-Vaisey, “Where Canadian Criminals Go to Play: A Look at the Cities with the Most Lawbreakers,” Maclean’ s, November 29, 2012.
Ben Levin, “Comparing Canada and the U.S. on Education,” Education Week, April 4, 2011, http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/futures_of_reform/2011/04/comparing_canada_and_the_us_on_education.html.
New Haven Oral History Project, “Life in the Model City: Stories of Urban Renewal in New Haven,” accessed March 3, 2105, http://www.yale.edu/nhohp/modelcity/process.html.
Kenneth Gosselin, “New Haven’s ‘Downtown Crossing’ a Decade-Old Dream,” Hartford Courant, July 6, 2012.
Mark Alden Branch, “Then … and Now: How a City Came Back from the Brink,” Yale Alumni Magazine, May/June 2009.
Gordon Stephenson, A Redevelopment Study of Halifax, Nova Scotia (Halifax, NS: City of Halifax, 1957).
Richard Bobier (1995) “Africville: The Test of Urban Renewal and Race in Halifax, Nova Scotia,” Past Imperfect 4 (1995): 165.
Wikipedia, s.v. “Halifax (former city),” last modified July 9, 2015, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_(former_city).
Jill Grant, “Hard Luck: The Failure of Regional Planning in Nova Scotia,” Canadian Journal of Regional Science 12 (1989): 273–84.
Hugh Millward, “Peri-urban Residential Development in the Halifax Region 1960–2000: Magnets, Constraints and Planning Policies,” Canadian Geographer 46, no. 1 (2002): 33–47.
Igor Vojnovic, “Municipal Consolidation in the 1990s: An Analysis of British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia,” Canadian Public Administration 41, no. 2 (1998): 239–83.
Igor Vojnovic, “The Transitional Impacts of Municipal Consolidation,” Journal of Urban Affairs 22, no. 4 (2000): 401.
Branch, “Then … and Now.”
New Haven Public Schools, “School Construction,” accessed March 3, 2015, http://www.nhps.net/SchoolConstruction.
Jay F. May, “Connecticut,” in Charter School Funding: Inequity Expands, eds. Jeagan Bardorff, Larry Maloney, Jay F. May, Sheree T. Speakman, Patrick J. Wolf, and Albert Cheng, April 2014, University of Arkansas, Department of Education Reform, http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/charter-funding-inequity-expands-ct.pdf.
Halifax Regional Municipality, “The Greater Halifax Partnership—Economic Development Arm of HRM,” May 2010, https://www.halifax.ca/IntergovernmentalAffairs/documents/TheGreaterHalifaxPartnership-EconomicDevelopmentArmofHRM.pdf.
Halifax Regional Municipality, “The Greater Halifax Partnership.”
Jane Taber, “Interchange Demolition Plan Gives Halifax Renewal Rare Second Chance,” Globe and Mail, May 8, 2014.
Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 111-0009, last modified June 26, 2015, http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&id=1110009. The Maritime provinces are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
All data come from the 2000 decennial census and the five-year 2009–2013 American Community Survey, available at http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/searchresults.xhtml?refresh=t#.
US Census Bureau, Center for Economic Studies, “On the Map,” accessed March 3, 2015, http://onthemap.ces.census.gov/.
The New Haven–Milford Metropolitan Area, the city’s region designated by the federal government, is considerably larger than the South Central Region designated by the state and contains a 2010 population of 862,000, more than twice that of the Halifax Regional Municipality.
South Central Regional Council of Governments, “About SCRCOG,” accessed March 24, 2015, http://www.scrcog.org/who-we-are.html.
- Vibrant, Diverse Central Cities
- Island Press/Center for Resource Economics
- Chapter 8