#1: Residents are EXPERTS
Residents have rich knowledge about the public spaces, streets, and sidewalks in their neighbourhoods. They know what works—and what doesn’t—in their communities. Their expertise is valuable, and it can improve planning outcomes.
#2: Participation builds EQUITY
Intersecting factors—such as income, race, age, gender, disability, and other identities—contribute to inequities in planning processes and outcomes. Some people face barriers to participating in traditional consultation processes, and this leads to planning outcomes that can further marginalize these individuals. We aim to engage people who face barriers to participation, building equity in both process and outcomes.
#3: Planning can be FUN!
Opportunities to engage residents should be interactive, inclusive, and fun. Our process brings planning to the places where people already gather, live, work, and play. Participatory planning makes community engagement accessible, and allows residents to develop social connections and build planning literacy in informal, familiar settings.
#4: Combining knowledge creates STRONG OUTCOMES
We invite planning and design professionals into the participatory planning process to help translate resident visions into design solutions. Professional knowledge is essential to support and reinforce (but not override!) resident visions for public space.
#5: COLLABORATION is key
We bring residents together with strategic partners, like community organizations, municipalities, built environment professionals, and public health units. This creates the relationships and foundations necessary to bring residents’ visions to life.
#6: Community plans are LIVING DOCUMENTS
Our process results in a co-designed neighbourhood plan. Although the full plan may not come to life right away, we support residents to advocate for the changes they would like to see. The plan is a valuable tool to inform upcoming planning, development, and transportation projects in the neighbourhood, and we work strategically to align residents’ visions with pending capital investments.