Beth Moore Milroy, Thinking Planning and Urbanism. University of British Columbia Press. 2010. 316 pp.

Published at: 14 March 2011

Inspired by Times Square, Toronto wanted the Dundas Square area to capture entertainment and impulse spending by tourists and residents. As with similar redevelopments in Europe and the United States, a labyrinth of players, policies, and legislation -- conflicting theories, arguments, and ambitions -- eventually sidelined the public-planning function. The usual explanation in these cases is that the influence of money and politics superseded the planning process.
But this book exposes the cracks in planning itself, revealing how its theories - based on the premise that space is a social construction - do not help practicing planners, who need a broader understanding of urbanism in which to find and persuasively argue for creative solutions to post-industrial problems. The findings drawn from this case will be widely recognized in redevelopment challenges elsewhere, and thus will be extremely useful to students and practitioners of urban design, public administration, municipal law, and urban and regional planning.