02 May, 2019

Digital and city development and urban governance in Toronto


Looking over the property of the future Quayside project (photo by Carr 2019)




So I just completed an amazing research trip to look at digital and city development and urban governance in Toronto (a project description of DIG_URBGOV will be uploaded soon). Specifically, the objective was to get some impressions of Alphabet Inc.'s plans on the Toronto waterfront, and suss out the social political context in which it is embedded. There is actually so much to report that I am still unsure how best to sort and present it all. So, in this first entry I will simply review the various activities and call out a big thank you to everyone who spent time with me. 

First, I learned so much from Gene Desfor, Thorben Wieditz‏, John Lorinc, Nehal El-Hadi,  and Mariana Valverde. It was also great to hear Joe Cressy, Paula Fletcher, Canadian Civil Liberties Association representative Michael Bryant, Bianca Wylie, representatives from Waterfront Toronto, Saadia Muzaffar, Sam Burton, Nicole Swerhun, Julie Beddoes, and Melissa Goldstein speak on issues spanning digitization and urbanization in downtown Toronto. 

It was also a great pleasure to attend the CITY Annual General Meeting and then participate in the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Smart Cities Cluster @CITY_at_YorkU with Teresa Abbruzzese, Natascha Tusikov, Negin Minaei, and ‏Frederick Peters. This is a powerful group. I hope the public engages you as a valuable resource.

Two fluke highlights were: 1) attending the book event at the Four Season Hotel, where author of Zucked, Roger McNamee, explained facebook's business of data collection; and 2) an impromptu and quasi INURA meeting with Roger Keil, Stephan Kipfer, Ute Lehrer, Kate Shaw and Karen Wirsig.‏ 

And, also many thanks to the tour guides the Sidewalk Toronto headquarters at the 307 for showing me around. 

There are clearly so many dimensions to this issue. I want to know more.

Carr is a Visiting Scholar at the CITY Institute. See here for a full list .


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