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Thorben Wieditz

Lupe

York University

Dissertation

Labour-Community Struggles and the Production of Space: The Case of the East Toronto Community Coalition

As more and more capital circulates through built environments in search for profit, and less capital is invested in manufacturing activities, the urban process takes on an important dimension in post-industrial cities like Toronto, not only for the reproduction of capital, but also for the reproduction of labour. To shape the urban environment in for workers beneficial ways, increasingly requires to engage in the politics of urban (re)development and highlights the importance of the mediating role urban planners can play, particularly when (re)development projects are adjudicated at quasi-judicial tribunals like the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Despite the importance of the OMB in regulating urbanization processes, the question as to whether or not this tribunal represents a leverage point for progressive social forces remains under-examined. While a number of authors have carried out research into the history of the OMB, its administration of land use planning, its scope of powers and its jurisdictions (Adler, 1971; Chipman, 2002; Krushelnicki, 2007), only one notable book length study exists that investigates the role of the OMB in the politics of urban development in Toronto (Moore, 2013). Yet, while this study provides much insight into how developers, city councillors, planning experts and community groups engage in urban development politics in relation to the OMB, Moore’s view that “[t]he board effectively removes actual planning decisions from the realm of the entirely political by exalting the role of planning experts” (p. 184), reproduces the assumption that state and civil society are two separate spheres and that the OMB can shield planning decisions from political pressures. My dissertation cuts into the opposite direction. It highlights that the OMB does not exist outside the “realm of the entirely political,” and argues that precisely for this reason progressive social forces can engage the OMB in a political struggle from a number of positions irreducible to the actual hearing itself.

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EDUCATION

Since 2008
PhD Candidate
York University, Toronto

2006
Master of Environmental Studies
York University, Toronto

2002
Bachelor (Equivalent) in Urban Planning
University of Dortmund, Germany


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2015
Lecturer: City Politics. Department of Human Geography: City Studies Program, University of Toronto Scarborough

2015
Lecturer: Planning and Governing the Metropolis. Department of Human Geography, City Studies Program, University of Toronto Scarborough

2015
Lecturer: The Process of Urban Politics: Issues, Institutions and Ideology. Department of Political Science, York University

2014
Teaching Assistant: Sustainable Urbanism: Environmental Planning and Design. Course Instructor: Dr. Sam Benvie, York University

2013
Lecturer: Political Ecology of Landscape. Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.

2012
Lecturer: Political Ecology of Landscape. Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

2012
Guest Lecture:  “Compact City Planning and the Amsterdam Extension Plan of 1935.” In Foundations of Urban and Regional Environments. Friday, February 17, 2012

2011
Lecturer: Urban Development Processes. Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

2010
Guest Lecture: “Labour’s Agency and the Production of Space.” In Creativity and Cities in Urban Politics and Planning. Wednesday, 27, 2010

2009
Guest Lecture: “New-built Gentrification: Toronto’s Condominium Boom.” In Foundations of Urban and Regional Environments. Friday, April 17, 2009

2009
Walking Tour and Discussion: “Gentrification in Liberty Village, Toronto. In Urban Development Processes. Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2009-13
Teaching Assistant: Foundations of Urban and Regional Environments. Planning, Analysis, and Design. Course Instructor: Dr. Stefan Kipfer, York University

2007-08
Research Coordinator: “Urban Images, Public Space and the Privatization of Toronto.” Principal Investigator: Dr. Ute Lehrer, York University


PUBLICATIONS

Wieditz, T. (forthcoming). Fixing Capital to Protect “Nature:” Urban Industrial Lands and Growth Management in Ontario. Environment and Planning A
Wieditz, T. (forthcoming). Film Unions Struggle to Defend Studio Space in Toronto. In I.T. MacDonald (Ed.) Labour in the New Urban Economy  Figueroa, M., Gray, L. and T. Wieditz (forthcoming). Introduction: Labor in the Creative City. In I.T. MacDonald (Ed.) Labor in the New Urban Economy
Figueroa, M., Gray, L. and T. Wieditz. Introduction: Labor in the Creative City. In I.T. MacDonald (Ed.) Labor in the New Urban Economy

Wieditz, T. (2014). Review of Reshaping Toronto’s Waterfront (by Gene Desfor and Jennefer Laidley), Urban Studies Journal

Kipfer, S., Saberi, P. and T. Wieditz (2012). Henri Lefebvre. Debates and Controversies. Progress in Human Geography

Kipfer, S., Saberi, P. and T. Wieditz (2012). Henri Lefebvre. In F. Eckardt (Ed.), Handbuch Stadtsoziologie. Vs Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften

Wieditz, T. (2010). Gentrifizierung Im Stadtteil Liberty Village In Toronto. In I. Mertens & K. Usunov (Eds.), Raumplanerinnen im Ausland. Dortmund: Institut für Raumplanung (IRPUD) Universität Dortmund

Lehrer, U. and T. Wieditz (2009). Condominium Development And Gentrification: The Relationship between Policies, Building Activities and Socio-Economic Development in Toronto. Canadian Journal of Urban Research 18(1): 140-60

Lehrer, U. and T. Wieditz (2009). Gentrification and The Loss of Employment Lands: Toronto’s Studio District. Critical Planning 16: 138-60

Wieditz, T. and U. Lehrer (2008). Big Box Bitter Battle: Opposing the Impoverishment of Ontario. In: RC21. The research committee for the 21 century. Sociology of Urban and Regional Development. International Association. July 2008

Wieditz, T. (2007) Liberty Village - The Makeover of Toronto’s King and Dufferin Area. In: Research Bulletin #32, Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto


EXHIBITIONS

Lehrer, U. and T. Wieditz (2009). “Strip-mining for Creative Cities.” Toronto Free Gallery. Photographic Contributions. January 15 to March 1, 2009.


CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

Wieditz, T. (2014) “The Relationship Between Industrial Lands in the City of Toronto And Urban Containment Policies.” Paper presented at the 3rd Annual Conference of the International Graduate Research Program: Metropolitan Temporalities. Berlin, Germany. November 20-22, 2014

Wieditz, T. (2014) “Film Unions Fighting for Space.” Paper presented at The Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies. St. Catharines, Canada. May 29, 2014

Wieditz, T (2013) “Don’t Let The Condo’s Eat My Job: From the Production of Cookies to the Production of Space.” Paper presented at the 2nd Annual Conference of the International Graduate Research Program: Empire, City, Nature. Toronto, Canada. May 31, 2013

Wieditz, T (2013) “From a Socio-Ecological Fix in the “Country” to Labours’ Spatial Fix in “Town:” Condos, Cookies and Speculative Pressures in Toronto.” Paper presented at The Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Los Angeles, CA. April 10, 2013

Nugent, J. and T. Wieditz (2013) “Fighting to Protect Employment Lands: Recent Labour-Community Struggles in the City of Toronto.” Paper presented at The United Association for Labour Education. Toronto, Canada. April. 17-20, 2013

Wieditz, T (2012) Roundtable Discussion: Urban Renewal and Citizen Protest. Urban-Activism-Scholarship: Global Discourses in Local, Historical and Contemporary Contexts. 1st Annual Conference of the International Graduate Research Program. Berlin, Germany. November 2, 2012

Wieditz, T (2011) “Transcending the Regulation Approach? The role of the sensuous human body, everyday life and space.” Paper presented at The Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Seattle, WA. April 14, 2011

Wieditz, T (2010) “Where Regulation Theory meets Labour Geography: The case of the South of Eastern District.” Paper presented at the Second Annual FES PhD Research Matters Symposium. Toronto, Canada. November 25, 2010

Lehrer, U. and T. Wieditz  (2009) “Spatial Politics In Toronto: Community Groups Fighting Back.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers. Las Vegas, NV. March 24, 2009

Wieditz, T. and U. Lehrer (2008) “Walmart And The Gentry: The Fight For ‘Good Jobs’, Working Class Space and Sustainable Urban Development in Toronto’s Inner City.” Paper presented at the 15th Annual Critical Geography Conference. Athens, Ohio. October 3-4, 2008

Lehrer U. and T. Wieditz (2008) “Accelerated Gentrification: Toronto’s Condominium Boom.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Boston, MA. April 15, 2008

Lehrer, U. and T. Wieditz (2007) ”The New Gentrification: Toronto’s Condominium Boom.” Paper presented by Ute Lehrer at the Conference: New-build Gentrification. Forms, Places and Processes. Neuchatel, Switzerland. November 15, 2007


MEMBERSHIPS

Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies (CAWLS) since 2014
The City Institute at York University (CITY) since 2012
Association of American Geographers (AAG)since 2007 

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