2015 Maxwell Studentship Recipient
Trevor Wideman, Queens University
Toponymic inscription in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside: a critical planning intervention
Trevor Wideman’s study will examine the politics of place (re)naming as an enactment of the right to the city, using a case study of a participatory neighbourhood revitalization planning process in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). His aim is to provide an empirical contribution to critical studies of place naming (toponymy) insofar as its increasing role in the mediating the contentious politics of the “branded” city. To achieve this he will: 1) Undertake a theoretical review of ‘everyday’ place naming practices as an intervention that influences perceptions of place, 2) Investigate the praxis of place (re)namings (as a framing tactic of city planners as well as concomitant resistance movements) surrounding market-driven revitalization practices; and 3) Mobilize research into a policy critique to create openings for organizations to defend their right to the city.