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September 21 and 22
2 days, 2 disciplines, 2 ways to participate – defining our professional roles and uniting to build more equitable, accessible and inspired communities.
School closures are highly divisive processes with polarizing outcomes. While discussion on this topic is often visceral, a key consideration largely absent from the discourse is what represents good planning and what is in the public interest — fundamental principles to the planning profession and our everyday work, regardless of the context in which we practice.
In this context, it is equally important for planners to build a shared understanding of different perspectives and professional obligations among ourselves in much the same way we do externally with the public. In other words, the planning profession’s grasp of this topic can only evolve if we collectively strive to better understand differing thoughts on this issue within the profession itself. In our view, this is a critical step for the conversation to evolve in a progressive and deliberate way, and the 2020 OPPI Conference represents an excellent opportunity to move the conversation in this direction. Schools are inherently linked to the key issues of the 2020 OPPI Conference: housing and demographics. Importantly, the traditional role of schools as pedagogical institutions is changing as their function increasingly assumes other capacities or, at least, has an impact on a range of planning considerations.
A panel of planners with four different backgrounds will provide a forum for informed observations to explore the core question of this issue: Do school closures represent good planning and do these outcomes represent the public interest. Importantly, the perspectives offered will be based on a lived and worked-experience. It is an explicit intention to encourage opportunity for ample two-way dialogue.