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.

How to Start a Mentorship Program at Work

October 02, 2017 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Brett Sears, RPP | Management and Leadership, Mentorship
The Transportation Planning Department of MMM Group (now WSP) established a mentorship program in 2016 in response to a strategic visioning exercise that identified mentorship as a staff need. A Mentorship Committee designed the initial program and guided it to the conclusion of the first year. Minor adjustments enhanced the program for its second year. This article summarizes the steps taken to establish the program and the lessons learned from its first year. 

I am an RPP

September 01, 2017 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Ben Puzanov, RPP | Inspire OPPI, Professional, RPP
Like many of my colleagues, during my time at planning school I was introduced to OPPI and with it, the Registered Professional Planner (RPP) designation. At the encouragement of our professors, many of us became student members of the Institute and began our respective professional journeys toward becoming RPPs.

Changes to the Planning Act – What you need to know

August 01, 2017 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Monika Rau
Communities in urban and rural areas are growing rapidly in Ontario. Our communities are being shaped by policy decisions in response to growth, which ultimately directs development. This is why the Smart Growth for our Communities Act was enacted, receiving Royal Assent on December 3, 2015. The Act helps to shape our communities through a set of predetermined measures, including:
  • To help municipalities fund growth
  • Give residents a greater, more meaningful say in how their communities grow
  • Protect and promote greenspaces
  • Make the development charges system more predictable, transparent and accountable
  • Make the planning and appeals process more predictable
  • Give municipalities more independence and make it easier to resolve disputes
Spring 2011. I began volunteering with my community Farmers' Market in Leslieville, Toronto. This community event happens every Sunday from May to October in the Johnathan Ashbridges parkette. The Market provides a weekly hub for food, arts, culture and education. Each week there is music, a children’s program, and local merchants and farmers sell quality goods and services. The Market was created by three community members and has developed significantly over time. Each Sunday, the Market attracts roughly 2000-2500 people. This was not always the case, and that growth had Market Director Daniel Taylor and I, questioning the effects; The popularity consuming the Market begged the question: Is this Farmers' Market making a difference in the community?
As Toronto's core continues to grow vertically, parks are taking on new roles in the City's landscape. Downtown parks are being reinvented as backyards, front porches and even as public living rooms for new populations in the downtown core. In particular, growing numbers of seniors and families with young children rely on public parks for a good quality of life. But these same parks are also having to address another energetic, rapidly growing and noisy population: dogs.
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