Place-based Public Policy: Towards a New Urban and Community Agenda for Canada
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To inform the efforts to address this new policy challenge now under way across Canada, this paper explores experiences in Britain, Europe and the United States. Governments there started earlier than Canada and have progressed much further, by adopting the four key elements of place-based framework: a) tapping into local knowledge, b) balancing a mix of economic and social policies which combine place-based programs with broad income security and services such as health and education, c) governing through collaboration with civil society and each other, and d) recognizing the emerging roles of municipal governments. Bradford extracts the learnings from these experiences, and then proposes action on four fronts: creating a new intergovernmental framework, adopting an urban policy lens based on knowledge flowing up from cities to provincial and federal departments, recognizing and resourcing local governments, and building on the Winnipeg and Vancouver experiences with Urban Development Agreements. These Agreements can be applied to one large city or to a cluster of cities with similar challenges –such as cross-border cities and immigrant-settlement cities. The paper is a companion piece to two previous papers by Neil Bradford – Why Cities Matter (2001) and Cities and Communities that Work (2003).