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UBC Press Fall 2015 Trade

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Planning Toronto
The Planners, The Plans, Their Legacies, 1940-80
By (author): Richard White
9780774829359 Hardcover, Sewn English General Trade POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development Toronto Feb 15, 2016
$50.00 CAD
Forthcoming 7.5 x 10 x 1 in | 1180 gr 464 pages 60 b&w photos, 75 maps and drawings UBC Press
 
Fred Landon Award, Ontario Historical Society 2016, Winner
Planning Toronto is a comprehensive and lively exploration of how Toronto’s postwar plans came to be, who devised them, and how they shaped the city.

In this lavishly illustrated, meticulously researched book, Richard White analyzes the city’s planning and how it contributed to Toronto becoming a functional, world-class city. Focusing on the critical period from 1940 to 1980, he examines how planners sought to shape the city and the region amid a maelstrom of local and international influences and obstacles. Planning Toronto offers the first comprehensive explanation of how Toronto’s postwar plans – city, metropolitan, and regional – came to be, who devised them, and what impact they had. As this definitive history reveals, planning matters – though perhaps not always as expected.

Richard White is a Toronto historian and regular lecturer in Canadian History at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Now a recognized expert in Toronto planning history, he began his academic career with a PhD dissertation on the working lives of nineteenth-century Canadian civil engineers Frank and Walter Shanly, subsequently published as Gentlemen Engineers, and went on to publish several other significant works on the history of early Canadian engineering. He then served for several years as research director of the Toronto-based Neptis Foundation, during which time he developed an interest in the history of urban planning and began a long-term program of research into Toronto’s planning history that continues to this day.

Richard White’s definitive account of city planning in Toronto assesses what planners really did and didn’t do – and why. Documenting the transition from “modernist” to “reform” city planning during the key decades that saw the city emerge as a global metropolis, Planning Toronto's critical narrative resonates today. It’s planning history that makes you think. - Joe Berridge, city planner, partner at Urban Strategies, and teacher at the University of Toronto

At last! A planning book on Toronto’s early postwar decades, when neighbourhood and reform movements became a force in city politics, generating a lot of political heat but not always much light. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, Richard White provides us with a persuasive account of city planning in that era that is both measured and well-informed, as well as being a pleasure to read. - Richard Harris, professor in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University

As Toronto and Ontario move into the mid-twenty-first century and realize the extraordinary possibilities of the emerging Greater Golden Horseshoe region, Richard White’s book should be required reading. Rich in historical memory, solid in useful scholarship, and engaging in the sweep of its narrative, it provides future practitioners and citizen-participants alike with vital lessons from the past to inform their imaginings of the future. - David Crombie, mayor of Toronto, 1972-78, and current chair of the Toronto Lands Corporation

Planning Toronto is an extremely useful teaching tool for urban designers, planners, and administrators and for those doing more in-depth research on planning in Toronto.

- Tanu Sankalia, University of San Francisco, Journal of Planning History

[White’s] exhaustive account spans from the 1940s, when Torontonians embraced government-led solutions for servicing a rapidly urbanizing country, to 1980, by which time citizens were firmly entrenched at the centre of the planning process. Balancing academic rigour with readability, Planning Toronto is the definitive history of Toronto area urban planning. Teasing out remarkable nuance in some well-known events, White also pushes readers to reconsider what they already know—or don’t—about the city’s urban development in those decades.

- Kevin Plummer, Torontoist

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