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Book launch – Shaping the Metropolis: Institutions and Urbanization in the United States and Canada

October 7 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Many contemporary policy problems – and their solutions – can be found in cities. For that reason, we need highly capable urban governance more than ever. What form should urban governance take? Is radical devolution the answer, or should we focus on more strategic involvement by senior governments?

In his new book, Shaping the Metropolis: Institutions and Urbanization in the United States and Canada (McGill-Queen’s University Press 2019), Zack Taylor compares the historical development of intergovernmental policymaking for Canadian and American cities since the 19th century with a particular focus on Toronto, Vancouver, Portland, and Minneapolis–St. Paul. He argues that provincial intervention, combined with the way in which parliamentary institutions make decisions, has often protected Canadian cities from the inequities that plague American cities. Growing political polarization may push an effective provincial-municipal partnership beyond reach, however.

On October 7, 2019, Professor Taylor presented his book’s main ideas and discussed their implications with IMFG Visiting Scholar Alan Harding.

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Zack Taylor is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance at the University of Western Ontario. He is a Fellow at the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance and a non-practicing Registered Professional Planner.

Alan Harding is Chief Economic Adviser at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and a visiting Professor at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research in the Alliance Manchester Business School. Previously, Alan spent 30 years in academia leading specialist research Institutes and Centres in the north of England, focusing on urban-regional development, policy, and governance.


October 7
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance


Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Room 208N
1 Devonshire Place, North House, Room 208N
Toronto, ON M5S 3K7 Canada
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