As municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe continue to grow in population and density, new strategies for creating parks and public spaces in more urban environments are needed. How do we engage communities and program parks when there are so many different users? How do we plan a public space system that is connected and accessible? How do we design public spaces in a flexible way to respond to their urban context?

Pokémon GO - a phenomenon that swept the world this past summer! Cities around the globe experienced an influx of citizens into their public spaces as everyone tried to 'catch-em-all.' Crazed Pokémon trainers wandered the city swiping their phones and battling to win gyms, ultimately searching for the coveted Pikachu.

Have you heard of the Healthy Rural Communities Toolkit? It's a guide for rural municipalities that helps recognize the characteristics commonly associated with rural communities. It provides examples of innovative practices, and land use and development strategies that can help to enhance the built environment and contribute to positive quality of life and health outcomes.

Are We The North?

April 01, 2016 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Sue Heffernan, RPP | engagement, history, human settlement, northern Ontario | 0 comments
Are We The North?
Historians and Geographers have often noted that Canadians claim to be 'northerners' but they don't travel or read about the north. In 1972, Daniel Francis wrote:

"Canadians may think that we are a northern people, but blessed little attention has ever been paid to the area or its inhabitants; unless, that is, the Americans show an interest in it, or there appears to be the possibility of some gigantic mineral discovery."
Rural communities are home to approximately one in five Ontario residents, who experience unique environments and lived experiences that can contribute to specific, and often negative health outcomes. These health outcomes call for concerted action and responsive public policy.

Curate The City

February 01, 2016 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Mojan Jianfar, on behalf of The STEPS Initiative | capacity building, Community, community design, community engagement, Engagement, healthy communities, Public Art, public realm | 0 comments
Curate The City
Construction boarding lines our streets for up to five years. An otherwise unwelcome disruption can be used as a blank canvas to engage local citizens in community building activities. With momentum building among Toronto's city councillors to require public art on these vacant spaces, there is a growing demand for public art from Council, as well as the public, and the opportunity to transform them into an outdoor gallery for residents and visitors alike.

Give your car a break!

January 05, 2016 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Liliana da Silva (Region of Peel), Mary Bracken (City of Mississauga) | active transportation, community engagement, Environmental Planning & Issues | 0 comments
Give your car a break!
Delegates at the 2015 OPPI Conference in Toronto learned about the challenges associated with social media as an engagement tool in the Let Your Green Show campaign, where Peel residents were encouraged to take action on climate change in their communities. This included the resources and logistics required to undertake a public sector social media campaign.

Walking Toward the Future

November 02, 2015 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Dan Burden and Rob Voigt, RPP | active transportation, blue zones, community design, community engagement, healthy communities, placemaking | 3 comments
Walking Toward the Future
In the week that preceded the recent OPPI conference in Toronto, Dan Burden (Honorary Member of OPPI) and I (Robert Voigt, MCIP, RPP) had a number of conversations about the future of planning. As friends and colleagues we enjoy these discussions and the inspiration we derive from them.

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Planning Exchange LogoThe Planning Exchange blog exists to facilitate the exchange of planning knowledge, best practices and issues important to planners, as identified by OPPI’s Learning Strategy. OPPI wants to foster meaningful and respectful discussion about planning issues, while simultaneously supporting members in the development and maintenance of their competencies as professional planners.

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