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Everyday Law on the Street: City Governance in an Age of Diversity (Chicago Series in Law and Society)by Mariana Valverde
Synopses & Reviews
Toronto prides itself on being andldquo;the worldandrsquo;s most diverse city,andrdquo; 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 applaudedandmdash;public meetings, for instanceandmdash;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 inclusiveandmdash;of tenants as well as homeowners, and recent immigrants as well as longtime residentsandmdash;cities must move beyond micro-local planning and embrace a more expansive, citywide approach to planning and regulation.
About the Author
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 Lawandrsquo;s Dream of a Common Knowledge.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. The Law of the Street Corner
Chapter 3. The Legal Regulation of Taste: Annoying Noises, Unkempt Yards, and the and#8220;Quality and Tranquility of Lifeand#8221;
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. and#8220;Putting Diversity on the Menuand#8221;: The Municipal Corporation and the Micromanagement of Street Life
Chapter 7. Driving a Taxi: City Fathersand#8217; 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
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