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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.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that the places we live can elevate opportunities to thrive or can constrain them. Never have the connections between a healthy population, a healthy built environment, and a healthy economy been so prominent. Neighbourhoods and their characteristics have taken on new importance, as many navigate alternative working arrangements, as we seek to access greenspace and the outdoors for respite, and as we look to meet our daily needs — as locally as possible. Many face disproportionate barriers in their ability to thrive, and the built environment plays an important role. And many businesses have suffered from the restrictions due to the pandemic. How can planners contribute to building a more resilient and equitable future, in which people live in conditions that help them thrive, provide opportunities for local businesses, and deal with the intractable challenges of climate change?
The City of Ottawa is developing a new official plan that seeks to embed resiliency to major disrupters into long-range planning. This includes integrating economic development along with public health and climate resiliency, all of which are inextricably linked. Underpinning these directions is the fundamental framework of the new official plan around the concept of 15-minute neighbourhoods. These directions are going to play an important role in providing the building blocks for resilience, as well as social and economic recovery. They will help the city become more nimble to deal with long-term shifts that may come from the pandemic. This presentation unpacks these issues and explores how the 15-minute neighbourhood can address these challenges and provide a framework for a post-pandemic recovery through urban planning.