Bringing planning to the people! Participatory planning in Peterborough

Talwood Apartment Building and Community Garden in Peterborough

Photo Credit: Tessa Nasca

TCAT recently launched the next phase of our Active Neighbourhoods project, and have begun participatory planning with residents in the Brookdale neighbourhood in Peterborough. Along with our partner, GreenUP, and their NeighbourPLAN program, we are working to make urban planning accessible, community-driven, and fun! We are working in three Peterborough neighbourhoods over the next three years—Brookdale, Talwood, and Downtown Jackson Creek. On-the-ground planning activities are already underway in Brookdale, and we’re beginning to meet residents, lay the groundwork, and build capacity in the other neighbourhoods.

Following our three-phase participatory planning approach, we are engaging residents in building a portrait of their neighbourhood. We’re out in the neighbourhood, facilitating pop-up mapping activities, exploratory neighbourhood walks, and field surveys. So far, we’ve worked with over 50 people in the Brookdale neighbourhood, gathering their insights into the strengths, assets, and shortcomings of the public spaces, streets, and sidewalks in their neighbourhood—and this is just the beginning! As we deepen our work in Brookdale, we have many more tools to engage residents, and blend local knowledge with professional expertise—resulting in a co-designed neighbourhood plan that will articulate goals and design solutions for the neighbourhood.

Our participatory planning approach takes engagement out of formal spaces, and finds unique and accessible ways to engage residents in the process of reimagining public spaces. While the tools and activities we use vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, depending on local context and resident desires, there are some key principles of participatory planning that define our approach:

Principles of Participatory Planning


Posted On: November 16, 2017