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Putting a finger on urban Yves Bourgeois, PhD Director , Urban and community studies institute University of New Br PowerPoint Presentation
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  1. Putting a finger on urban Yves Bourgeois, PhD Director, Urban and communitystudiesinstitute University of New Brunswick Saint John, 3 October 2013

  2. Is this a village, town or city ?

  3. Main argument • Never take scale for granted in your research or projects. • Existing boundaries may be the wrong scale in understanding the problem or finding solutions.

  4. 1. Urban vs rural… a false dichotomy • Is NB a rural province ? • In 2011, 47% of NB’s population lived in rural areas (<1000; <400 sqkm)

  5. The idyllic nirvana of rural NB ?

  6. No, rural growth in NB occurred as employment shifted to post-industrial economy

  7. What is really at play in NB is that urban-(post)industrial growth has been extending onto suburbs and countryside • Saint John’s population has been in decline, but CMA steady • …Quispamsis tripled in size 1981-2011 • NB has been urbanizing 100 years + • NBers have been following jobs (Mass, TO, Alberta) • Low density communities are being urbanized from within • While 53% urban where they sleep, but 63% in 8 cities(MIZs) • Work and play (?) • http://users.humboldt.edu/mstephens/hate/hate_map.html#

  8. Why should I care ? (Will this be on the exam?) • Where do we locate schools, hospitals, arenas? • Who pays for amenities and roads to get there? Free riders? (water treatment? roads? aquatic centre?) …funding formula • We underinvest in amenity quality and overinvest on quantity and roads • Tim’s, McDonald’s, Costco • Do municipal boundaries reflect optimal level of planning and provision? Finance & HR capacity • Regional service commissions (RSC) solution or another layer of government? • Real issue is connected vs remote (…MIZs)

  9. Results – Adoption % of firms using internet-based technologies • Firms in rural areas use internet-based technologies significantly less

  10. 2. Urban systems • RSCs an attempt to create critical mass and better plan and provide localservices among connected communities, urban core and rural hinterland • When it comes to economic opportunities, scale can be global (not just markets, but networks) • DERN: where we fit in global production networks • Export activities we want: http://www.gnb.ca/inb/en/index-e.html • Export activities we have…

  11. NB adds very little value to its exports

  12. Sometimes biggers is better • NB small-town north vs bigger-city south debate disconnected from broader global reality • Canada’s demographic and economic growth driven by cities, and very large cities in particular. 2009-2012 CMAs 100-350k grew 2.1%, which is lower than for all of Canada 3.4%, and compared to 3.3% for 350-1M and 5.1% for cities 1M+ • Global phenomenon • Why? ISRN hypotheses… innovation infrastructure? creative workers?

  13. Critical mass matters • Small-city penalty? • Immigration, air connections, VC …are scale-dependent • NB individual CMAs don’t have much size (94-140k), but can borrow size off each other • Polycentric regions: NB, Sask, NC, Randstadt… • No dominant centre can create duplication but can also inhibit critical mass • Kumbayah ? All’s fun til someone loses an xport • NFPs are doing it, so why aren’t cities ? Parochialism, tax base • How do we plan economic infrastructure beyond municipal boundaries? • 5-yr Development grant

  14. Summary Need to do a better job understanding • how “urban-rural” connects • how city-regions connect in urban system Or we’ll keep fighting over shrinking pie