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Theses

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Cahuas, M.C. (2011). Investigating the effects of “neighbourhood revitalization” on residents’ destigmatization practices, health and wellbeing in Toronto’s Regent Park Community (Master’s Thesis, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada). Retrieved from https://macsphere.mcmaster.ca/handle/11375/11281

Abstract: Social housing residents‟ lived experiences and understandings of their neighbourhood and home are key factors influencing their health and wellbeing, but remain under-examined in the urban redevelopment literature. This thesis investigates the ways in which people living in Toronto‟s Regent Park, Canada‟s oldest and largest social housing development undergoing “neighbourhood revitalization,” experience their community and respond to neighbourhood stigma. Drawing on Lamont‟s (2009) destigmatization practices concept, the aim of this study was to understand “neighbourhood revitalization” as a place destigmatization strategy that may influence the ways in which residents engage in personal destigmatization practices as well as affect their perceived health and wellbeing. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 15 Regent Park residents and NVivo 9 software was used for data analysis. Findings show that participants utilize various counter-narratives as destigmatization practices that challenge dominant narratives and stereotypical representations of their neighbourhood. However, since re-housing in revitalized buildings, participants‟ narratives describing their neighbourhood have changed and may further stigmatize some Regent Park residents. Counter-narratives may be implicitly linked to resiliency and wellbeing, while place destigmatization through revitalization was strongly associated to residents‟ perceived improvements in health and wellbeing. The findings of this thesis may contribute to the developing literature on the impacts of urban redevelopment on residents‟ health and wellbeing.

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2011 to 2015

Housing & Gentrification 

Social Mixing & Redevelopment 

Carter, K. (2011). Long-term Training in Learning and Work for Youth at Risk: Sustainability & Creativity in Policy and Execution of Youth At Risk Programs in Toronto (Master’s Thesis, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada). Retrieved from https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/27314

Abstract: The City of Toronto experienced a particularly tremulous year in 2005. Dubbed
the "year of the gun," the marked increase in violence among racialized youth lead to an
increase in community cultural programming. These programs provide safe productive
environments for youth to gather and develop self esteem and as well as important marketable life skills for the labour force. However there is currently a disconnect between these programs and the valuable training that they are imparting to youth. The
traditional training and learning-to-work transitions have not enjoyed the success that was envisioned in the early stages of these initiatives. Through interviews and observation, the research documented in this thesis offers an opportunity for practitioners, policy makers and program funders to re-think the traditional approach as it relates to the arts and cultural programs for racialized at-risk youth in Canada's largest urban centre.

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2011 to 2015

Community

Services & Programs 

De Schutter, J. (2009). Community Consultation and Environmental Justice in the Regent Park Revitalization (Master’s Thesis, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada). Retrieved from https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1968&context=etd

Abstract: The neighbourhood of Regent Park, located in the east end of downtown Toronto, Ontario, is the oldest and largest public housing development in Canada. In 2002, under its new management by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, the development was announced to undergo a total redevelopment to be completed over 12 years. The revitalization of Regent Park has involved, among other things, an extensive and uniquely designed community consultation process, as well as a redesign for its green space. The community consultation process is examined through a case study method, wherein the use of archival documents, interviews with community staff, and focus groups with residents of the neighbourhood form the data. The revitalization is analyzed according to its context within ecological levels, and situated within the framework of environmental justice.

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2006 to 2010

Community

Housing & Gentrification 

Social Mixing & Redevelopment 

Greaves, A. (2011). Urban Regeneration in Toronto: Rebuilding the Social in Regent Park (Master’s Thesis, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada). Retrieved from https://qspace.library.queensu.ca/bitstream/handle/1974/6864/Greaves_Astrid_E_201109_MA.pdf;jsessionid=3E9829B22823104FF824683E663F0EC5?sequence=1

Abstract: This thesis presents a critical exploration of the ‘revitalization’ of Toronto’s Regent Park. Regent Park is Canada’s oldest and largest government subsidized housing development. Originally designed in 1947, Toronto City Council approved the revitalization of the neighbourhood in 2003. Within this thesis, Regent Park serves as a means to examine some of the ways in which urban planning and design, public policy, architecture and landscape architecture interact with people’s daily practices in their socioeconomic and cultural contexts, to ‘rebuild the social’. In order to do this, the thesis begins by presenting an account of the original development, providing a sociohistorical context for understanding the more recent revitalization. Secondly, the thesis provides a review of relevant theoretical literature pertaining to the idea that design shapes society, discussing key aspects of modernist and postmodernist accounts of the city, arguing for the salience of a broadly ‘relational’ model inspired by the work of Julier (2008) and others. Thirdly, the thesis conducts an empirical analysis of the recent revitalization process, using a mixed methodology of documentary analysis and in-depth interviews with a key developer and the residents of Regent’s park. This analysis explores the ideological commitments at play within the planning process, as well as the practice of planning itself, investigating how theories of design and planning relate to the actual process of planning, including the political and financial obligations. The analysis then compares the intentions of the design with the inhabitant’s lived experience within the space, focusing on the inhabitants’ active role in negotiating the space in ways that were ‘unplanned’. This thesis provides a sociological exploration of Regent Park as a complex site of interaction between the design of the space (influenced by theories of design, as well as economic, political and social motivations), the materials that make up that space, and the actual use of the space by residents, the outcomes of which challenge deterministic accounts of urban development.

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2011 to 2015

Community

Social Development 

Social Mixing & Redevelopment 

Rosa, V. (2006). Producing Race, Producing Space: The Geography of Toronto’s Regent Park (Master’s Thesis, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada). 

Abstract: Regent Park, Canada’s oldest housing project, has deteriorated both in form and reputation. Examining this highly contested urban space reveals that spaces don’t
naturally evolve or emerge; rather, they are produced, controlled, and maintained through systems of power. Using Henri Lefebvre’s theory of the production of space, I contend that Regent Park is racialized in the production of space through urban planning, everyday life, and resistance practices, implying the various fields of the racial production of space. Although Lefebvre’s theory allows for the complexities of spatial production to be seen, his theory must be historically and contextually situated. Within the Canadian context this requires positioning Regent Park in a post-colonial framework that allows us to consider the history behind its production. Working with Lefebvre, among others, I will establish how space is racially produced, as well as demonstrate how bodies are mapped onto (and off of) urban spaces.

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2006 to 2010

History

Identity & Belonging

Planning

Sahak, J. (2008). Race, Space and Place: Exploring Toronto’s Regent Park from a Marxist Perspective (Master’s Thesis, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada). Retrieved from https://digital.library.ryerson.ca/islandora/object/RULA%3A562/datastream/OBJ/view

Abstract: Regent Park, a multi ethnic immigrant community situated in the centre of downtown Toronto, is the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. Using the spatial triadic theory of French Marxist Henri Lefebvre, Vanessa Rosa’s reformulation of his theory and Sherene Razack’s concept of “Place becomes Race”, the aim of this paper is to demonstrate that Regent Park has become a racially produced space through spatial practice, representations of space and representational spaces. In addition to Lefebvre, the writings of Frederick Engels, Louis Althusser, Antonio Gramsci and David Harvey will also be examined to put into context the historical significance of the existence of Regent Park in a capitalist society. This paper will analyze why Regent Park was built, who developed it, and who were the original residents. And the conclusion, that Regent Park was produced as a marginalized and racialized space within the periphery of the center, will be discussed.

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2006 to 2010

History

Identity & Belonging

Planning