Dr. Mia Gray

Dr. Mia Gray

In 2016 Dr. Gray was awarded a £1,000 travel award in order to conduct research on hidden austerity in Toronto. In December 2016  she used her grant money to meet my Canadian colleague, Dr Betsy Donald, for an intensive week of qualitative research in Toronto.  While there, she had a full week interviewing public policy figures, local politicians, industry watchers, local academics, and representatives from the civil society sector.  

She explored the extent to which Canadian cities display a very different form of austerity policy than their American counterparts.  There has been a plethora of analysis of the impacts of the financial crisis and policy responses at the macro-level, but urban-level analysis has been limited (Martin, 2011; Kitson et al. 2011).  Although Canadian cities often pride themselves on creating public policy which is a “kinder and gentler” form of capitalism than that seen in American cities, we have found a retreat of the welfare state and have found many periods of policy making where Canadian cities have also pursued forms of austerity.  Due to the uneven nature of this and the different language used to discuss and debate this, we refer to these policies as “hidden austerity.”  

 

The output is based on two articles.  The first piece has just been accepted for a book on Canadian urban policy, the second is still being written.  

  • Donald, B. and M. Gray, (2017) Urban Policy and Governance: Austerity Urbanism, Chapter in Urbanization in a Global Context, edited by Alison Bain and Linda Peake. Toronto: Oxford University Press, in press
  • Donald, B. and M. Gray, (forthcoming) “Hidden Austerity:  Understanding Economic and Political Change in Canada’s Cities”.  Urban Studies