The Role of Community Engagementin Urban Sustaiability : Investigation of three neighbourhoods in Toronto

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper


This paper considers the quantitative and qualitative observation-based assessment of neighbourhoodhealth in three Toronto neighbourhoods. In so doing, the paper addresses prevailing challenges andopportunities in a range of forms of neighbourhood health. The Bay Street Corridor, Kensington-Chinatown,and Regent Park were studied as exemplar cases of neighbourhoods in varying degrees of degradation. Theresearch involved a robust evaluation of raw statistical analysis, census data, anecdotal evidence, and annualreports to demonstrate the spatiality of crime, real estate, and socio-economic opportunity. Results from thisanalysis have demonstrated that certain neighbourhood characteristics are prone to higher or lower crime rates,structural neglect, real estate speculation, and proprietary action. ‘Fear proves itself’ in as far as neighbourhoodaction provides impetus to create defensible spaces to increase neighbourhood engagement and ownership and toprotect against neglect and crime. What is clear from these descriptions is that neighbourhood health issignificantly associated with endogenous behaviour; positing the important role that community advocacy playsin stewarding neighbourhood health. Understanding neighbourhood health requires an appreciation of localsocial assets, and how these indigenous resources articulate opportunities for sustainable urban development.The longevity of cities involves building neighbourhoods for people and providing a stable structure thatpromotes and perpetuates sustainable city living. By exploring themes in urban sociology, psychology of place,and place belonging, the investigation highlights

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