Active Neighbourhoods Canada (ANC) participatory planning projects have a goal to create green, active and healthy neighbourhoods in communities across Canada. TCAT’s ANC Project Team uses participatory methods to improve the conditions for walking and cycling in ways that reflects the local communities. At the heart of this process is a belief that a closer and more equitable collaboration between citizens and planners will yield more legitimate results that better serve local residents.
In addition to working towards changes to the physical form of streets and public spaces, we are actively documenting how lessons learned in each project can provide direction to citizen engagement processes in formal planning practice, including documenting barriers to engagement that currently exist within institutions.
On June 18, 2015, TCAT’s most recent ANC project in Peterborough captured this learning in partnership with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI). Starting with a neighbourhood walkabout lead by different members of the diverse partnership undertaking the project, the local context was presented and enriched with additional presentations on process, data collection and the collaborative approach. Through our close collaboration with professionals, ANC seeks not only to improve local neighbourhoods, but also to demonstrate and encourage the development of meaningful, transparent and engaged community planning.