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Beyond town and gown: Universities, territoriality and the mobilization of new urban structures in Canada

Addie, JD; Keil, R; Olds, K; (2015) Beyond town and gown: Universities, territoriality and the mobilization of new urban structures in Canada. Territory, Politics, Governance , 3 (1) pp. 27-50. 10.1080/21622671.2014.924875. Green open access

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Abstract

Cities and universities have been active participants in the creation of new economic structures, but the sociospatial relationships between ‘town’ and ‘gown’, and the potential impact of deepening and diversifying the relationship on either side, are neither fully understood nor simple. In this paper, we focus on universities in Canada to provide an integrative review of the changing sociospatial relations of cities and universities in an era of increasing neoliberal and globalized development agendas. We treat these relationships in spatial and institutional terms, recognizing that actors and decision-makers in government and academic bodies understand their links as a combination of both. Our analysis destabilizes established normative understandings regarding the sociospatial structure and governance of the university and the interrelations between universities and urban space. Numerous spatial strategies demonstrate that universities' relations are multi-layered, multi-scaled and multiply topological. Yet while they may be well positioned to adopt a proactive role in shaping economic development and civic agendas, universities have no privileged position in their communities. Despite acting as deliberate place-making agents in rapidly changing metropolitan environments, universities remain located in, yet apart from, their urban and regional context.

Type: Article
Title: Beyond town and gown: Universities, territoriality and the mobilization of new urban structures in Canada
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/21622671.2014.924875
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21622671.2014.924875
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Territory, Politics, Governance on 02/01/2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/21622671.2014.924875
Keywords: higher-education institutions, territory, topology, urbanization, innovation, regional development
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1447836
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