Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars
364 pages
6 x 9 inches
January 2008
Print ISBN: 9781551303307


The Public Metropolis traces the evolution of Ontario government responses to rapid population growth and outward expansion in the Toronto city region over an eighty-year period. Frisken rigorously describes the many institutions and policies that were put in place at different times to provide services of region-wide importance and skilfully assesses the extent to which those institutions and policies managed to achieve objectives commonly identified with effective regional governance.

Although the province acted sporadically and often reluctantly in the face of regional population growth and expansion, Frisken argues that its various interventions nonetheless contributed to the region's most noteworthy achievement: a core city that continued to thrive while many other North American cities were experiencing population, economic, and social decline.

This perceptive and comprehensive examination of issues related to the evolution of city regions is critical reading not only for those teaching and researching in the field, but also for city and regional planners, officials at all levels of government, and urban historians.

The research, writing, and publication of this book has been supported by the Neptis Foundation.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface: On the Study of Regional Governance

One: Introduction

Toronto in the North American Context
The Agenda for Regional Governance Reform: Competing Objectives
Alternative Approaches to Governing City-regions: The North American Experience
Service Delivery and Service Financing Go Hand in Hand
Historical Trends in the Governance of North American City-regions

Two: 1924-1966 Debating and Creating Metropolitan Institutions

Background and Context
The Post-war Situation: Defining the Regional Agenda
Financing the New Arrangements
Assessing Metro's Performance

Three: 1966-1975 Three-Tier Regional Governance under Provincial Stewardship

Introduction: Growth-Related Challenges Redefined
The Origins and Evolution of Policies for a City-Centred Region
Finance: The Driving Concern
Consequences of Three-Tier Governance for the Regional Agenda

Four: 1975-1985 Provincial Retrenchment and Local Inaction

Why the Ontario Government Backed Away from Regionalism
Institutional Adaptations to Regional Change
Financing Regional Services: An Emphasis on Restraint and Financial Restructuring
Consequences for the Regional Agenda

Five: 1985-1995 Regionalism Revisited

The Re-emergence of Regional Issues
Incremental Regionalism
The Financial Challenges: Grappling with Declining Federal Government Support and a Major Recession
Consequences for Regional Governance: Much Discussion but Few Accomplishments

Six: 1995-2003 Charting a New Course for Regional Governance

Institutional and Policy Adjustments Affecting the GTA
Financing the New Arrangements
Outcomes for the Toronto Region

Seven: Fifty Years of Regional Governance under Provincial Stewardship

Assessing the Results of Provincial Stewardship for the Regional Agenda
The Situation in 2003

Copyright Acknowledgements
The Neptis Foundation


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