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March 2019

Sharing the Costs of a Growing City: The Case for Development Charges

March 19 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Room 108N, 1 Devonshire Place, North House, Room 108N
Toronto, ON M5S 3K7 Canada
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New development is essential to supporting a growing city but it also leads to added costs for municipal governments. New housing developments often require new or expanded infrastructure, including roads, sewers, and water treatment plants. There is ongoing debate on how cities should pay for this growth-related capital. Some argue that user fees and property tax revenues are sufficient to cover these costs, and that development charges on developers will likely result in increased housing prices. On March 19, economist…

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February 2019

Bold Ideas, Bold Action: Next Steps for the GTHA

February 28 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7 Canada
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Municipalities across the GTHA face many shared challenges. Ahead of last year’s municipal elections, the Institute on Municipal Governance and Finance (IMFG) published a series of essays from some of the GTHA’s most respected leaders offering bold ideas to push the region forward on key issues. On February 28, four of these leaders discussed their bold ideas in the context of a political landscape that includes newly elected mayors, councillors, and a provincial government set to table its first budget.…

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Governance Models for Successful Regional Transit: Who Owns It? Who Pays for It? Who Delivers It?

February 21 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7 Canada
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In tightly connected metropolitan regions, who should make transit decisions? Who should run the system? Who should pay for it? On February 12, Michael Schabas, Patricia Wood, and Joe Berridge will explore how different cities and regions around the world have confronted these questions.

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January 2019

Building Inclusive Cities: Diversity in the Infrastructure Industry

January 14 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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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On January 14, Matti Siemiatycki and Yoko Cecelia Pye will present new research on the diversity of the infrastructure sector, discuss how women and racial minorities are underrepresented in leadership positions in the industry, and share strategies to overcome this diversity gap.

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November 2018

Toronto’s Future: Who’s Paying? The 7th Annual IMFG Toronto City Manager’s Address

November 29, 2018 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7 Canada
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Chris Murray, Toronto's new City Manager, is a former planner who thinks of the future in terms of decades, not years. In his address, Toronto's Future: Who's Paying?, he will discuss the "elephant in the room" when it comes to municipal government: what kind of city are we leaving behind for future generations?

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Housing Access & Urban Governance: Lessons from Mexico’s Recent Experience

November 19, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Room 208N, 1 Devonshire Place, Room 208N
Toronto, ON M5S 3K7 Canada
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Changes to federal housing policy in Mexico in the 1990s helped finance the largest housing boom in the country’s history. During the 2000s, millions of Mexicans acquired mortgages to buy homes in the fringes of cities throughout the country. At the same time, decentralization efforts were under way to increase the capacity of local governments to, among other things, manage urban growth. Yet, even large municipalities have been ill equipped to provide adequate infrastructure and services to the new remote housing locations that have popped up in the last two decades. Furthermore, an increasing number of Mexican households have struggled to keep up with their mortgage payments with the result that some new developments have alarmingly high housing vacancy rates, all while about a third of Mexicans live in poor housing conditions.

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October 2018

Behind the City Beat: A Pre-Election Media Panel

October 2, 2018 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7 Canada
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In the lead up to Ontario’s upcoming municipal election, the Institute of Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) will bring together a panel of journalists who will address how they cover municipal elections; which policy issues matter most; and how they adapt and stay relevant in the changing media landscape.

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June 2018

Mind the Funding Gap: Transit Financing in Los Angeles County and Metro Vancouver

June 26, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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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Across North American cities, the demand for better public transit is pervasive, yet many local governments lack the sufficient revenue tools to finance the construction of new infrastructure. To resolve this dilemma, some localities have turned to citizens directly, proposing temporary earmarked sales tax increases as a way to finance capital-intensive projects. Why have some communities been more receptive to this funding model than others?

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Toronto: The Accidental Metropolis

June 20, 2018 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7 Canada
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Toronto is evolving with a style and character unique in the world, widely recognized for its livability. Now its economic power and its critical and largely successful function as a crucible of immigrant settlement is becoming more and more evident. Remarkably, the emergence of Canada’s cities on the world stage, and Toronto’s rise to the top dozen in global status, has been largely accidental. How did this happen?

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Is Municipal Cooperation a Silver Bullet? Experience from Australia, Brazil, and Canada

June 14, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Municipal cooperation on planning and service delivery is often advanced as a means to strengthen local government and address fragmented governance in metropolitan and other regions. If municipalities could work together, we could improve efficiency, lower service delivery costs, achieve better outcomes, and provide an alternative to municipal mergers. But, is municipal cooperation a panacea, or is it just a convenient solution to address some immediate problems?

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