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Rights, meaning and the privatization of public space: A case study of Toronto's Dundas Square

Burgess, EH; (2005) Rights, meaning and the privatization of public space: A case study of Toronto's Dundas Square. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The following dissertation is an investigation into the creation of a new public space in Toronto. The evaluation involved examining the space in relation to changes occurring in the public realm, including increased privatization and control. It also examined the project within the context of global changes affecting urban growth, such as place marketing, adoption of entrepreneurial strategies and the increasing role of private interests in public development. The research involved a qualitative case study investigating the planning, implementation, and outcome of the square. A series of in depth interviews were performed with relevant stakeholders and urban professionals, supported by examination of planning documents, newspaper articles, journal articles and site analysis. The research revealed that the use of a new method of management and the intention to manage the square as a profit making events venue to interfered with the public nature of the square. It concluded that the space's ability to fulfill the needs, rights, and development of meaning necessary for good public space was sacrificed by the desire to create a commercial space that satisfies the goals of local businesses and their desired consumers. Dundas Square is reminiscent of controlled, homogenized public spaces being created in newly regenerated downtowns across the globe. The implications are increased polarization in cities and the creation of spaces that are sanitized and exclusionary.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Rights, meaning and the privatization of public space: A case study of Toronto's Dundas Square
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: ?? BG ??
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1570285
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