Tag Archives: political aspects

(1218) Merging out of it?


Amalgamating urban/suburban jurisdictions to relieve suburban poverty was advocated recently in a think tank report.
‘Just a second,’ we say.
Based on direct observation of merging sprawl zones with older centres in Canada in the 1990s this is not necessarily a hot idea.
Clashing expectations and entitlements when it comes to program priorities and the taxes that support them are virtually guaranteed under amalgamation schemes.  I doubt greater Toronto’s Tory-led merger, enacted in 1998 and still viewed as illegitimate by many, can be said to have done much for poverty in say north Etobicoke or Scarborough.  Montreal had such awful experience of merging boroughs and core that they wound up eventually reversing it.
Would city mergers help alleviate suburban poverty
psmag.com
Suburban colonization – Wikipedia
image: Taylor Riche via Flickr/CC

(1174) Suburbs matter to cities


US president 45’s inaugural address entered America’s uneven popular culture almost before he finished it, full, as it was, with references to urban social disaster.  The Donald’s portent-laden words seemed to reinforce and reflect still widely held beliefs about US communities, ones that deny urban success stories and suburban difficulty.  With that in mind, we read with tons of interest a recent survey of US city-watchers, and what they feel their issues are..
What’s the greatest risk cities face?
politico.com
image: Sean Davis via Flickr/CC

(1155) Grenfell


Here are two thoughtful pieces regarding the atrocious fire in a tower block in London on the 15th.  We can’t help but feel that London’s economic regime, aided and abetted by public policy, produced this fire.  People in authority need to go to jail.
Already there are several clear lines of responsibility leading to both government and business which indicate the fire would have been prevented had some fairly moderate things been tended to.   Unfortunately, the neoliberal economic regime in the UK is a beast now quite skilled at defending itself from acquiring responsibility for disasters of every kind from questionable privatization drives to botched wars.
UK public money is available for wars in the Middle East, for surveillance programs run by intelligence agencies, and extensive agricultural subsidies.  The local government body  responsible for the building recently handed out a property tax rebate and is one of the wealthiest in Britain with large amounts of money on hand.  Real property in London represents a vast and profitable churn of billions of pounds yearly and social housing has been a component of that for many years.  Why so little for the Grenfell’s residents?
We’ll see over the next few years if eighty or more lives are enough to change things.
Christian Wolmar: tower tragedy must mark turning point for council cuts
labourlist.org
Grenfell is a shameful symbol of a state that didn’t care
theguardian.com
(755) Towers for the better
(485) Highrise hell [report]
(321) Rising high

(83) 1 Millionth Tower
(61) Flemo!
image: ChiralJon via Flickr/CC

(1134) BC election 2017


Election time in British Columbia sees suburban issues, and mixed feelings, in the foreground.
Forget Vancouver, BC’s future will be decided by the suburbs. With big city problems creeping into the land of cul-de-sacs and single-family homes, suburban swing ridings are set to determine the outcome of the provincial election
vanmag.com

Some insight from recent US experience?

Environment as politics. New drawings of the relations between residential density and voting behaviour
placesjournal.org
image: Concert Properties via Flickr/CC

(1037) Love basic income

Une affiche qui mesure 8000m2 et pese sept tonne a ete posee, ce samedi 14 mai 2016, sur la Plaine de Plainpalais a Geneve par une centaine de benevoles. La plus grande question du monde y est posee: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR INCOME WERE TAKEN CARE OF? concernant la mise en place d un revenu de base inconditionnel qui sera l objet des prochaines votations du 5 juin prochain. Cette affiche bat le record actuel du livre Guiness des records pour la plus grande affiche du monde. (KEYSTONE/Magali Girardin)

It must be love, the way we keep on coming back to basic income on this blog.  Expecting a wider and deeper discussion of the matter in the near future.
To wit:
A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: A policy maker’s guide to basic income
(link to 42-page .pdf file)
A second CCPA report:
Basic income: rethinking social policy
(link to 62-page .pdf file)
An item from the Summer 2016 edition of Canadian Dimension which was devoted to the topic of basic income:
More smoke than substance in Canadian plans. Ontario wants pilot project, Quebec advocates tiny steps
Canada: please imitate:
GERMANY: single-issue political party founded to promote UBI

(1018) Suburban poverty totally ignored in US election

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”That brings us back to the election, and why it matters that this campaign season has failed to acknowledge the new geography of poverty.”

Ever the sentinel of suburban poverty in the United States, the The Brookings Institution spoke up earlier this month as a truly loony election rolls into autumn.

Suburban poverty is missing from the conversation about America’s future
brookings.edu

image: Jan Bucholz via Flickr/CC