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Raphael Fischler

Bio: Raphael Fischler is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Metropolitan area & Globalization. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 1 publications receiving 17 citations.

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Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine the slow march of the region of Montreal towards metropolitan governance and argue that the most recent round of municipal reform and regional institution-building is a continued reaction to the fiscal crisis of the State and that it lays the groundwork for a downloading of responsibilities from central to local government.
Abstract: The current upsurge of interest in metropolitan government on both sides of the Atlantic is mirrored in the debates raging in Montreal. An earlier boom period in the formation of metropolitan structures in the western world, the 1960s and early 1970s, left the region of Montreal with a legacy of partially fulfilled hopes and promises. At that time, as in many other countries, the political debate centred around issues of service provision, economies of scale and the need for coordination in matters such as land-use, control of urban sprawl, transportation and environmental protection. The instrumental arguments focused on size, territorial extent and representation. Today, while these arguments are still voiced loudly, the context has changed markedly. On the one hand is the ethos of globalisation and the perception that cities must be competitive on the world stage in order to prosper. Neoliberalism, the retreat of the welfare state, and the restructuring of the responsibilities and financial arrangements of the various levels of government have led to increased social fragmentation, social exclusion, often among immigrant groups, and severe inequities between the various parts of metropolitan areas. The central cities tend to house the poor and harbour the homeless, while the suburbs attract the more affluent. On the other hand is the acknowledgment of the importance of localism, community values, knowing why and how dollars are spent, participatory governance, consensual partnerships, along with increasing powers of special interest groups, business leaders, and corporatism in general. The ideas from the 1960s and early 1970s, of top-down directives, forced municipal amalgamations, imposed regional or metropolitan structures, are being challenged by principles of grassroots planning and collaborative action. The purpose of this paper is to examine the slow march of the region of Montreal towards metropolitan governance. It is organised in a chronological manner and follows the historical evolution of policies and debates. Over the decades, local, regional and provincial actors have come to recognise the interdependence of central and suburban municipalities. But they have offered different definitions of what ails the region and have resorted to different rationales for government action (or inaction) on these problems. If there is one continuous thread in Montreal's long saga of half-failed reforms, it is the fact that there is, politically speaking, no such thing as the problem of metropolitan governance. At any given time, various issues get conflated and often confused; over time, different problems gain prominence while others recede into the background. Governmental reforms do not proceed merely because the various parties agree on the problems at hand; they occur when the authorities experience a sense of urgency about one or another issue, be it infrastructure provision, environmental preservation, municipal solvency or economic competitiveness. We argue that the most recent round of municipal reform and regional institution-building is a continued reaction to the fiscal crisis of the State and that it lays the groundwork for a downloading of responsibilities from central to local government. Alongside the search for zero deficits on the part of the province (and the federal government), however, the desire to improve equity among municipalities and the will to foster democracy are strong motivations for local actors. As balancing budgets, downloading responsibilities to lower-level governments, and keeping older cities competitive in the world economy are the order of the day, municipal amalgamations and regional coordination mechanisms are of great interest to decision-makers. In the case of Montreal, local factors such as the political culture of the province and the persistence of linguistic tensions add to the difficulty of arriving at consensual decisions in the region. …

17 citations


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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigated the balance between forces of standardization and differentiation in the evolution of residential density in Canada's four largest metropolitan regions between 1971 and 2006 and found that the leading factors of standardized development are the continentwide postwar adaptation of urban form to the automobile and growing housing space consumption.
Abstract: This study investigates the balance between forces of standardization and differentiation in the evolution of residential density in Canada's four largest metropolitan regions between 1971 and 2006. The leading factors of standardized development are the continentwide postwar adaptation of urban form to the automobile and growing housing space consumption. The influence of these factors is manifested in increasing convergence in the density levels of the four metropolitan regions as one moves from older to newer zones. Nonetheless, inherited urban forms, topography, economic and demographic performance, and land-use and transportation policies all have the potential to shape distinct density patterns. Each metropolitan region presents a specific density trajectory: Toronto registers a pattern that can be qualified as stable and recentralized; Montreal emerges as a decentralizing metropolitan region; Vancouver shows clear signs of intensification; and in Ottawa-Hull the trajectory combines decentralization...

46 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors analyzed federal elections at the level of the constituency from 1945 to 1997 and found that inner-city residents remained to the left of the rest of Canada in their party preferences while suburbanites shifted increasingly to the right in their voting patterns.
Abstract: . Despite increasing speculation and attention, as of yet insufficient empirical research has been conducted on the possibility of a political cleavage based on differences between Canadian inner cities and suburbs. This article sheds light on the potential existence of such differences by analyzing federal elections at the level of the constituency from 1945 to 1997. Results show that city-suburban differences in federal party voting did not become significant until the 1980s, and increased after this point, with inner-city residents remaining to the left of the rest of Canada in their party preferences while suburbanites shifted increasingly to the right in their voting patterns. The results obtained from regression analysis suggest that such a divergence cannot be reduced solely to differences in social composition, housing tenure, or region, and thus confirm that it constitutes a ‘true’ political cleavage. It is argued that intra-urban geography needs to taken into account in future analyses of Canadian political behaviour.Resume. Malgre un interet croissant pour la question, il existe encore peu de recherches empiriques sur un possible clivage politique dont les fondements seraient les differences entre les quartiers urbains centraux et les banlieues. Cet article jette un nouvel eclairage sur l'existence possible de ces differences a partir d'une analyse des resultats electoraux dans les circonscriptions federales entre 1945 et 1997. Les resultats obtenus indiquent que les differences entre le vote pour les partis politiques federaux ne sont devenues significatives que pendant les annees 1980, mais qu'elles se sont exacerbees par la suite, les residents de quartiers centraux demeurant a la gauche de l'echiquier politique tandis que les banlieues votaient de plus en plus a droite. Les resultats de l'analyse de regression suggerent que ces differences ne sont pas seulement attribuables a la composition sociale, au taux de propriete, ou encore a la region, et constituent par le fait meme un “ veritable ” clivage politique. L'auteur conclut que l'analyse geographique intra-urbaine devra etre prise en compte dans les analyses futures du comportement politique Canadien.

40 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A survey of the literature on the environment in regional science can be found in this article, where the authors discuss five key issues in the literature: economic development, environmental regulation, natural resources, international affairs, and geographic information systems.
Abstract: The environment, broadly construed, is increasingly a salient topic in regional science research. Theoretical and empirical inquiries by regional scientists have progressively begun to address the manifold environmental ramifications of regional science questions. As such, there now exists a sizeable literature on what we may call the environment in regional science. Given this state of affairs, the purpose of this paper is to survey this extensive literature. To provide sufficient focus, we do this by discussing five key issues in the extant literature on the environment in regional science. These issues are (i) regional economic development, (ii) environmental regulation, (iii) natural resources, (iv) international affairs, and (v) geographic information systems. Our survey is both retrospective and prospective in nature. We are interested not only in what has been accomplished thus far but also in where research on the environment in regional science is headed in the future.

31 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A comprehensive survey of the literature on the environment in regional science can be found in this paper, where the authors discuss five key issues in the literature: regional economic development, environmental regulation, natural resources, international affairs, and geographic information systems.
Abstract: The environment, broadly construed, is increasingly a salient topic in regional science research. Theoretical and empirical inquiries by regional scientists have progressively begun to address the manifold environmental ramifications of regional science questions. As such, there now exists a sizeable literature on what we may call the environment in regional science. Given this state of affairs, the purpose of this article is to survey this extensive literature. To provide sufficient focus, we do this by discussing five key issues in the extant literature on the environment in regional science. These issues are: (i) regional economic development, (ii) environmental regulation, (iii) natural resources, (iv) international affairs, and (v) geographic information systems. Our survey is both retrospective and prospective in nature. We are interested not only in what has been accomplished thus far but also in where research on the environment in regional science is headed in the future.

21 citations

01 Jan 2002
TL;DR: In this paper, the notion d'urbain de la gouvernance urbaine is examined and the importe de clarifier d'emblee cette notion d’urbain is clarified.
Abstract: Cet essai porte sur la gouvernance urbaine et il importe de clarifier d’emblee cette notion d’urbain puisqu’elle influence directement la sphere de gouvernance qui sera examinee. Nous essaierons d’eclairer des nouvelles relations qui s’etablissent au sein des agglomerations entre les villes (les municipalites), les autres organismes publics, les divers niveaux de gouvernements et les differents secteurs de la societe civile, dans les tentatives de maitrise du sort competitif des agglomerations. L’essai porte donc autant sur les enjeux de la gouvernance que sur les enjeux dans la gouvernance.

9 citations