Independent topical source of current affairs, opinion and issues, featuring stories making news in Canada from immigrants, newcomers, minorities & ethnic communities' point of view and interests.

Planning Policy: Development Proposals and Citizen Engagement

planning policy: Two years after they were recruited, the original 28 panelists will meet for the last time next Saturday and the search is already on for the next batch of volunteers to take up the mantle in January, according to Toronto Star. Their input has helped makeover the city's ugly signage for development proposals and prompted heritage preservation services to better consider the histories of under-represented people in less affluent neighbourhoods, among other things. This week 10,000 letters were randomly sent out across the city soliciting regular folks interested in studying and informing municipal planning policy and projects on the Toronto Planning Review Panel, which is wrapping up its first-ever experiment in diverse citizen engagement, to mixed reviews. And they had to win a civic lottery to do it. The goal in part was to diversify the sort of input the planning department was getting through traditional consultation meetings typically that of older, white male property owners. The panelists were randomly selected in 2015 out of about 500 willing Torontonians who had responded to 12,000 letters seeking volunteers who reflect the city's diverse population and neighbourhoods. ( As reported in the news.