Sandeep Agrawal

Sidney Smith Hall, Room 5017A | 100 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 3G3 (map)

Right to the City: Human Rights and Canadian Cities

The idea of the right to the city, as conceived by Henri Lefebvre, raises questions of whether and how human rights intersect with cities. Human rights are the rights we each possess by virtue of being human, based on our inherent dignity and equal worth as human beings. Applying human rights legislation to government action, including challenges to municipalities, is a growing trend in Canada. Further, inconsistency with human rights legislation is a serious constitutional and legal violation and, above all, a moral issue. Within such a context, this presentation will systematically evaluate the idea of right to the city in the Canadian context and explore the role of the Canadian state in safeguarding its citizens the right to the city and all the related rights that attend this.
Sandeep Agrawal, PhD, AICP, MCIP, RPP, is Bousfield Distinguished Visitor, Program in Planning, University of Toronto (2019-2020) and Professor and Director, School of Urban and Regional Planning and Associate Chair, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Urban Environment Observatory, University of Alberta, Canada.
Sidney Smith Hall (100 St. George Street, Toronto, M5S3G3) is an accessible building, with a ramp located at the Huron Street entrance. Closest TTC locations: St. George and Spadina stations, the 510 Spadina streetcar at Harbord Street, and the 94 Wellesley/Ossington bus at St. George Street.
Toronto is in the ‘Dish With One Spoon Territory’. The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.

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