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Canada is undergoing renewal and change with respect to its relationship with Indigenous communities across the country. Ontario is home to many Indigenous people and communities seeking a greater voice and place. Reconciliation by non-Indigenous Canadians is a multi-generational process and in order to begin that process, hard truths must be exposed, discussed and acknowledged. Many of those truths are directly tied to land use and land policies, which are fundamental to the planning profession as it has developed and evolved in the 400 years since the arrival of Europeans. The winter issue of Y Magazine explores these truths and the important role planners can play in working alongside Indigenous Peoples and communities to begin walking down the path of Reconciliation together.
One of the most important aspects of planning is the role it has in economic development. Whether a community is urban or rural, high growth or low growth, its planners are vital participants in economic development and work to make their communities sustainable for future generations. But is it enough? How can planning policy pivot to meet always-changing market demands and economic trends, while still maintaining focus on the public interest and sustainability? What is the role of planners in addressing issues such as housing requirements as more people work from home, migration to smaller cities and towns for people who seek to reconnect with outdoor spaces to balance working from home, the influence of changing retail models on Main Streets and neighbourhoods, the development of equitable opportunities to unlock the potential of marginalized communities — all within the scope of economic development and sustainability? The spring/summer issue of Y Magazine will look at ways planners are influencing and guiding decision makers to build stronger economies and sustainable communities.
Technology influences every aspect of modern life. In one sense, technology is changing how people work and use office space as they transition from tall skyscrapers to mobile or home offices. But how does this affect transportation and how employment centres are planned and used? Towns and cities that were once declining have embraced tech companies as major employers in a public/private partnership, which, in turn, has led to a renaissance and resurgence that is defining the communities of tomorrow. With data and analytics at their fingertips, planners can remake neighbourhoods, enhance services and engage with residents more efficiently and accurately than ever before. At the same time, there are increasing concerns over data usage and privacy – including how information is collected, shared and secured. How can planners use technology to redevelop communities to benefit the public interest? What policies need to be in place to address privacy and ethical concerns? Our fall issue of Y Magazine looks at some of many ways technology has changed how we live and work, or better and for worse.