City Planning and Ci,zen Par,cipa,on Ins,ga,ng Ques,on How do ‘planning-‐ac,vist’ ci,zens meaningfully engage with City Planning bureaucracies + planning processes in Toronto? For: University of Toronto, Master of Informa,on Science. KMD1001 Fall 2012 Design Brief Michelle Gay (michellegay.com) email@example.com
City Planning and Ci,zen Par,cipa,on Ins,ga,ng Ques,on How do ‘planning-‐ac,vist’ ci,zens meaningfully engage with the City Planning bureaucracies + planning processes in Toronto? Michelle Gay
• area of study: West Queen West Triangle -‐ Toronto • re-‐zoned a Regeneraon area by City of Toronto in ~2005 • 6 independent developers bought up all the conguous parcels of land (9 parcels) • no collaboraon on a seamless site plan for the area • the beloved 48 Abell, an old warehouse full of ar,sts studios • Carnegie library was being underused • the en,re ward was ‘under-‐parked’ – not enough green/open space
• Development proposals were out of scale with the rest of the neighbourhood
• two words: bohemian embassy Their marke,ng campaign: “One of the ﬁrst condominium projects in the new West Queen West community in downtown Toronto, Bohemian Embassy was branded as the ul$mately “cool” address.” • this sen,ment exposed the disconnect between an exis,ng crea,ve, cultural and produc,ve communi,es – living and working in the area for decades…. And the private developers. • And it seems that the ball was dropped by the ward Councillor and city Planning department was overworked and understaﬀed
This disconnect spurred the community into acon: How do ‘planning-‐ac,vist’ ci,zens meaningfully engage with the planning processes in Toronto? FORM A GROUP | LEARN ABOUT CITY PLANNING | PRESSURE THE CITY
using KMD thinking to map out this problem: 2. Knowledge, Media, Design 2. Can we use 1. Exisng process of 1. Exis,ng * theory KMD analysis Planning and and tools to Prac,ce * frameworks review the engagement is full of problem and * methodologies develop holes, gaps and large potenal issues. soluons? 3. New Prac,ce
using KMD thinking to map out this problem: 2. Knowledge, Media, Design 1. Exis,ng * theory Prac,ce * frameworks * methodologies 3. New Prac,ce Can this new soluon be serialized and shared with other communies?s
Concept Map of City Planning Processes. Coagulate into 4 areas.
Red Zone: exis,ng city processes. These include Area, Master and Oﬃcial plans. Many other tools and opinions used by myriad of departments which knit into the planning process (transporta,on, roads, services). We have unelected city staﬀ running these departments, who ogen see ci,zens with opinions, as a pain. There are exis,ng city protocols – such as Community council, where ci,zens’ opinions can be heard. Oﬃcial city run Community Consultaons and Public meengs – where the city sends out no,ces and invites ci,zens to ‘consult’.
Green Zone: ci,zens’ desire to reach into the centre of the city planning process – but the MOAT of bureaucracy makes this very diﬃcult. Many ci,zens groups organize their own public mee,ngs. Case study: acve18 community organizaon, – a number of public charrehes were organized – around Urban Design, Park and Public spaces, and North triangle planning – all open and public meengs where cizens were encouraged to dream and think big thoughts about how to beher develop this area. These were mee,ngs where ci,zens could ar,culate complex community visions and where knowledge could be shared.
Blue Zone: is a catchall area for Radical ReDesign of City planning processes: It contains ideas like – A) the Ethics of Design; B) how to insert ci,zen par,cipa,on in earlier points on the development path; C) Funding for ci,zen’s groups to do these visioning projects; D) a way of inser,ng “Non-‐Expert” voices into the process; E) how to make transparent the city planning process; F) oﬀering tools for visioning and collabora,on; G) and a way of changing the development ,melines to work on an idea ,meline instead of ﬁnancial ,meline.
Orange Zone: City Communicaons + consultaons -‐ looking at the way the City believes they are including Cizens’ voices into their process. The issues: A) printed maher sent to neighbourhoods are narrow cast. B) The designs of the missives are bureaucrac and uninving. C) The designs make people feel like they need to be experts in Planning or Architecture D) mostly that by the ,me the city sends out a missive, most people think decisions have been made.
Puts ci,zens in IDEA SHARING REACTIVE STATE not COLLABORATIVE CITY: Community Consultaons STATE CITIZENS: Charrebes at early design Cizens do not trust City processes stages City departments do not trust Cizens Ci,zens CONSCIOUSLY SELF ORGANIZE. PROBLEMS: IDEAL GOAL • Funding 1. Beber Urban Plan + Livable City • Resources • No Authority 2. Beber communicaons process between City planners, Developers BENEFITS: and Cizens • Engaged cizen groups SPECIFIC GOAL share gathered knowledge • Small advances in city plan if enough pressure Is felt by elected oﬃcials 1. 101 Guide to Understanding Urban Planning 2. Infographics explaining Planning Processes 3. Thesaurus of Controlled Language – Architecture, Planning, Policy terms 4. Redesign of City Communicaons Missives 5. Cultural Master Plan to accompany the area plan
How to deliver? Must be updatable; online; printable maher? KMD applicaon… Should be updatable; online; printable maher; animated? 1. ‘101’ Understanding Urban Planning 2. Infographics explaining Planning Must be updatable; Processes delivered online; mobile for use in public 3. Thesaurus of shared and controlled meengs; printable Language – Architecture, Planning, maber? Policy terms Re-‐Design Templates and Suggested Graphical Standards Manuals? 4. Redesign of City Communicaons Communica,ons Processes Missives reviewed and reworked. 5. Cultural Master Plan to accompany Online updatable; ebook; Print book the Area plans
1. 101 Guide to Understanding Urban Planning 2. Infographics explaining Planning Processes 3. Thesaurus of Controlled Language – Architectural, Planning, Engineering, Policy terms 4. Redesign of City Communicaons Missives 5. Cultural Master Plan to accompany the area plan Thesaurus will be an object for building literacy for cizens to help them engage in planning processes
Methods and Challenges for working on this KM Design applicaon: 1. Look at other city models – how do they engage ci,zens. 2. Study how they use language, how do they communicate to ci,zens? 3. What models of parcipatory processes work best for groups with varying exper,se levels? 4. What tools are employed? Sketchup for Massing Studies? Help to learning the language of massing. Photography/video for studying use of space, light, texture and materiality? 5. How do we move toward the concept of the Professional Cizen: the highly engaged, civic minded, ‘non-‐experts’, who bring other exper,se to the process?
Methods and Challenges for working on this KM Design applicaon: I will use the matrix of ‘cultural theory’ models put forward by the ‘Messy Research / Clumsy Soluons’ paper. (Ney & Verweij) How would one incorporate the cultural theories of egalitarianism, Individualism, fatalism and “the hermit” concepts that they propose -‐ into a staunch hierarchical model (that the city seems to use). What happens if you combine the Design Thinking and Parcipatory Acon Research models? Will use the work of Ac,ve18 Community Associa,on as the ‘empirical’ study to look at the ‘cultural theory ‘ within their matrix.
Projects to date by Ac,ve18 Community Organiza,on Purpose built 36,000 sq g Theatre Centre .4 hectare park Media Art ~ 96 Ar,st Owned Moving to purpose Underground wired Centre below-‐Market value Renovated Carnegie For digital media with cinema Live-‐work studios Library Art works
Some Quesons: Is a Mul,-‐Media based Thesaurus (language, video, graphical objects) a good focus for a KMD applica,on? Are there other applica,ons that make more sense than – web, anima,ons, mobile app, printed maher, ebook? Is focusing on the shared language a place that could actually be used to empower ci,zens? Will this inch us towards empowering ci,zens to become engaged in a seemingly blackbox process? What would make you get involved in city planning?