New urbanist housing in Toronto, Canada : a critical examination of the structures of provision and housing producer practices
The empirical focus for this thesis research is Toronto, Canada where four case study sites are investigated and fifty-seven semi-structured interviews conducted with a range of actors both directly and indirectly involved in the creation of New Urbanist-inspired development projects. Two of the sample projects are situated in greenfield locations outside the administrative boundary of the City of Toronto, and two are situated in brownfield locations on formerly developed lands, both within the urban core of the City of Toronto. The contrasting contexts of the study units have been purposefully selected to explore the possibility of multi-factor causality involving contrasts of place, process, time, and social interaction. Underpinning this empirical research is the contention that the structures of provision model provides a useful approach for framing housing production research. However, it is argued that the evaluative power of this approach is limited by its inability to adequately account for how and why the New Urbanist form of provision has emerged, been legitimised, and normalised as 'best practice' within Toronto. In an unorthodox move, the final chapter of this thesis takes the level of theorisation enabled via the empirical framework of the structures of provision a step further to address this shortcoming. This is done by applying a 'rationalities' perspective to the investigation of how and why New Urbanism has become such a powerful force within Toronto's development cultures.