Assignment Content
In this assignment
you will choose a Toronto (or GTA) neighbourhood and propose a utopian redevelopment
of that neighbourhood. You will research and write an 1800-2200-word Utopia
In the Module on
The Modern City and Ideas about the City, we heard some ideas about how people
thought the modern city could be improved. Some of those ideas, such as those
of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Broadacre City’, were quite utopian in character. A
utopia is an imaginary society or place that contains many or all of the
desired amenities of its residents. In this Utopia Project, you are tasked with
redeveloping a Toronto neighbourhood to help make the city more utopian!
You should be
prepared to dream big! Don’t be confined by what already exists or what is too
expensive! Do you want roller coasters? Social housing as tall as the CN Tower?
Plots of land for people to farm? Go for it! The Utopia Project is up to you!
Despite your grand
dreams, what you redevelop should be grounded in contemporary reality and how
human geography addresses that reality. Human Geography is the study of the
relationship between people, place, and space. Your Utopia Project must be
about a particular neighbourhood and through your discussion of proposed
changes you should illustrate the integrative character of Geographical
analysis. Consider
the various aspects of Geography of Toronto (urban, social, cultural,
political, economic, environmental, transportation) and examine how your topic
and neighbourhood might be affected by each approach. Your Project should be grounded in the human experience of
You are tasked with
a four-part objective:
1) Identification
of neighbourhood (Approximately one page)
You should consider
at what scale your proposed changes will occur. For instance, if you are
proposing to redevelop the wealthy Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale, will your
proposed changes occur at a small, medium, or large scale? For instance, see
the map below for three possible scales at which a student might redevelop
Rosedale. Be sure to suggest the boundaries of your proposed changes, no matter
the scale you choose.
You must offer a
critical description of the current neighbourhood. You might consider including
information about some or all of the below:
-Statistics and/or demographics
-Housing and/or commercial costs
-Built form and/or land use
(residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, institutional, transportation)
-Relevant historical aspects of the
*Special note: Many
students choose the neighbourhood Jane-Finch for this assignment. While it is a
legitimate choice, Jeff has read SO MANY projects about this neighbourhood!
Please, if you can, choose another neighbourhood! You might even consider
redeveloping part of a neighbourhood that isn’t traditionally the kind of
neighbourhood that would be a target for redevelopment. I highly encourage you
to do so. For instance, housing unaffordability and wealth inequality are major
issues in Toronto, thus, a wealthy and expensive neighbourhood like Rosedale
has problems! You can consider any Toronto neighbourhood as long as you justify

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