Everyday Law on the Street: City Governance in an Age of Diversity

Paperback | October 17, 2012

byMariana Valverde

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Toronto prides itself on being “the world’s most diverse city,” and its officials seek to support this diversity through programs and policies designed to promote social inclusion. Yet this progressive vision of law often falls short in practice, limited by problems inherent in the political culture itself. In Everyday Law on the Street, Mariana Valverde brings to light the often unexpected ways that the development and implementation of policies shape everyday urban life.
 
Drawing on four years spent participating in council hearings and civic association meetings and shadowing housing inspectors and law enforcement officials as they went about their day-to-day work, Valverde reveals a telling transformation between law on the books and law on the streets. She finds, for example, that some of the democratic governing mechanisms generally applauded—public meetings, for instance—actually create disadvantages for marginalized groups, whose members are less likely to attend or articulate their concerns. As a result, both officials and citizens fail to see problems outside the point of view of their own needs and neighborhood.
 
Taking issue with Jane Jacobs and many others, Valverde ultimately argues that Toronto and other diverse cities must reevaluate their allegiance to strictly local solutions. If urban diversity is to be truly inclusive—of tenants as well as homeowners, and recent immigrants as well as longtime residents—cities must move beyond micro-local planning and embrace a more expansive, citywide approach to planning and regulation.

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Toronto prides itself on being “the world’s most diverse city,” and its officials seek to support this diversity through programs and policies designed to promote social inclusion. Yet this progressive vision of law often falls short in practice, limited by problems inherent in the political culture itself. In Everyday Law on the Stree...

Mariana Valverde is professor in and director of the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. She is the author of several books, including Law’s Dream of a Common Knowledge.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:October 17, 2012Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226921905

ISBN - 13:9780226921907

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. The Law of the Street Corner

Chapter 3. The Legal Regulation of Taste: Annoying Noises, Unkempt Yards, and the “Quality and Tranquility of Life”

Chapter 4. City Bureaucrats and Village Elders: The Dysfunctional Dance of Local Governance

Chapter 5. Law without Rights: Zoning, Poverty, and the Normative Family Home

Chapter 6. “Putting Diversity on the Menu”: The Municipal Corporation and the Micromanagement of Street Life

Chapter 7. Driving a Taxi: City Fathers’ Myth of Immigrant Self-Employment

Chapter 8. From Local to Global and Back Again: Mosques and the Politics of Local Planning

Chapter 9. The Death of Planning and the Challenges of Diversity: Concluding Reflections

Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Valverde grapples with the ways that municipalities regulate space and the related largely unseen and unexamined issues that affect nearly everyone who lives in a city. . . . Distancing herself from Jane Jacobs, [she] compellingly argues that bringing back city planning is the best path to achieving more diverse and inclusive outcomes.”