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Community Readiness

Symposium 2018

304: Breaking Down Barriers to Participation: Experiments in Collaborative Planning

October 11, 2018

2:00pm - 3:00pm

A public realm that reflects the diversity and culture of a community begins with equitable and robust engagement processes. In conventional approaches to engagement, some residents face barriers to inclusion, stemming from complex social, economic, and cultural factors. This presentation will use the Active Neighbourhoods Canada project as a lens to consider participatory planning as a mechanism to break down these barriers, and create an equitable co-design process—resulting in Complete Streets and public spaces that respond to diverse community needs.  We will present participatory planning tools and best practices developed by our pan-Canadian partnership, and discuss resultant professional development opportunities.
Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will gain knowledge about about the principles of participatory planning, and how this approach can be used to design a public realm that reflects culture and diversity. We will explore the links between engagement and equity, including health equity outcomes, particularly as it relates to integrating active transportation as a design objective for equitable public spaces.
  • Session attendees will understand how to undertake similar work in their jurisdictions. They will leave with concrete examples of how the conference themes were enacted on-the-ground in our pilot projects. Additionally, participants will learn about the specific participatory planning tools and co-design activities the ANC partners have developed and refined, and will be invited to explore these tools and apply them to their local contexts.
  • The session will demonstrate how intersectoral partnerships, like the ones developed in the Active Neighbourhoods pilot projects, can shift power inequities in planning processes, and build meaningful collaboration. We will invite participants to form new partnerships and join our participatory planning national community of practice, becoming part of a growing national movement. Participants will learn about professional development opportunities offered by the ANC partners, including a university continuing education curriculum that explores the theoretical underpinnings of our participatory approach, and demonstrates how it can be applied to active transportation planning.