Change is in the Wind

June 01, 2018 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Mat Vaughan, RPP | Cannabis, Cannabis Planning Policy, Policy
Change is in the Wind
Can you imagine living next to 10,000 skunks?  For some Ontario residents, this is their new reality.
In the summer of 2018, the federal government will legalize the recreational use of cannabis. In Ontario, the proposed legislation is being tabled under the Ontario Cannabis Act; new provincial legislation that would support the province's transition to the federal legalization of cannabis.
This change in federal legislation will have land use planning implications in relation to the retail sale of cannabis, and the agricultural production and processing of cannabis materials.
As planners it is important we understand how the plans we create and implement have a real impact on both property owners and municipalities who rely on accurate property assessments to generate tax revenues. By virtue of their nature, planning policies, which regulate or restrict land uses, have the potential to drastically influence the value of properties.
Planners spend their days dealing with complex problems: from designing place-based communities, to creating effective transportation systems, and to creating housing opportunities for all. We know we need to collaborate widely and effectively across the urban system. How might we harness our understanding of the people we serve to develop collaborative methods for solving these problems together? 

Do Cities Impact our Mental Health?

January 08, 2018 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by David Stinson, RPP | Community Design, Mental Health
On Thursday, 7th of September 2017, CBC interviewed Professor Nicholas Rose from King’s College, U.K. on his sociological studies for an upcoming Mental Health and the Mega-city workshop in Switzerland. Professor Rose discussed the apparent link between higher rates of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia and city life. There were no definitive answers on causes: noise, congestion, smells, wealth gaps, social exclusion, limited access to nature, etc., except for the subjective experience of stress.
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