Daily Diigo Public Link 01/01/2008

by Yule Heibel on December 31, 2007

Toronto’s year of living large – and tall (Toronto Star) Annotated

“Love it or hate it, the ROM Crystal signalled the return of ambition to our architectural stage” — Christopher Hume on the change(s) in the role of buildings, public architecture, and public perceptions around the values of public space.

Sybil Wa: Architect (Toronto Star) Annotated

– interesting article about a young architect who talks the talk and walks the walk: she works on highrises and downtown buildings, and lives d/t in a highrise with her young daughters and husband (families *can* live in condos d/t).

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

melanie December 31, 2007 at 7:34 pm

The ROM crystal looks a bit like a cross between the sydney opera house (updated) and melbourne’s federation square (the interior reminds me especially of the ian potter centre in the latter). Still definitely not a “shed”!

Wa is Chinese! That’s why her family can live in a downtown condo.

I’m currently reading Pierre Bordieu on the housing market in France in the 1980s (i’m not sure when the french version appeared, but it has only recently been translated). It covers quite a lot of the issues you have been discussing here about urban development. I like the way he treats the relation between supply and demand. Have you read it? It’s called The Social Structures of the Economy. I’m finding it very interesting if occasionally incomprehensible!

Yule January 1, 2008 at 11:26 pm

I haven’t read anything by Pierre Bourdieu in literally decades, alas! When I was still a serious art historian, I took some of his texts on, but found they had limited usefulness for what I was doing then. Now that I’m not doing that anymore, maybe I should take another look?

melanie January 3, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Well, I’ve only got as far as chapter 4 so far (reading sporadically). Some of it is pretty tedious, but I did find the intro and chapter 1 interesting because (unlike economists) he tackles the issues of where supply and demand come from and how property developers and builders respond, within the constraints of profitability. He makes some good points about the blurring of the distinction between the housing market and that for art! Chapter 2 deals with how the idea of/desire for private housing (SFH) was pushed as a result of liberal reforms introduced by Giscard d’Estaing, and otherwise succeeded in making Yes Minister look like a documentary series! Chapter 4 is about how local interests (public and private) succeed in ‘bending the rules’.

I suppose why I thought you might find it useful is that it’s one thing to have a vision of the city from an architectural and cultural perspective, but another thing to work out how to proceed towards that vision, given the downloading, bureaucratic inertia, the NIMBYs (local interests), etc.

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