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Canadian cities in transition: new sources of urban difference

Author(s): Larry S. Bourne

Journal: Dela
ISSN 0354-0596

Issue: 21;
Start page: 97;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: settlement geography | urban geography | globalization | Canada

Cities, increasingly, are the principal arenas in which global, national and local forces intersect.Canadian cities are no exception. Those cities are currently undergoing a series ofprofound and irreversible transitions as a result of external forces originating from differentsources and operating at different spatial scales. Specifically, this paper argues that Canadiancities are being transformed in a markedly uneven fashion through the intersection ofchanges in national and regional economies, the continued demographic transition, andshifts in government policy on the one hand, and through increased levels and new sourcesof immigration, and the globalization of capital and trade flows, on the other hand. Theseshifts, in turn, are producing new patterns of external dependence, a more fragmented urbansystem, and continued metropolitan concentration. They are also leading to increased socioculturaldifferences, with intense cultural diversity in some cities juxtaposed with homogeneityin other cities, and to new sets of urban winners and losers. In effect, these transitionsare creating new sources of difference - new divides - among and within the country=surban centres, augmenting or replacing the traditional divides based on city-size, location inthe heartland or periphery, and local economic base.
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