Student Presentations / Presentations des étudiants

As a conference by students for students, one of the main priorities for CAPS-ACÉAU is to provide all planning students (and students interested in planning topics) with an opportunity to showcase their research among peers. The 2012 presentations are summarized below, in order of presentation date and time. If the presenter has given permission for their slides or contact information to be shared, the details are listed with their entry below.


The presentations were coordinated around the four conference themes:

• Inspiring Potential: Showcasing what is exciting about planning today

• Championing Creativity: Generating innovation and leadership in planning

• Finding Voices: Engaging with many diverse communities and disciplines

• Widening Our Lens: Looking beyond the conventional scope of planning


Finding Voices - Indigenous Planning Studio: The Manitoba Experience

University of Manitoba: Jill Collinson, Robin Beukens, Chris Lason, Jennifer Pritchard


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 9:30-10:00, Segal Room

Four Communities, Four Experiences.  Fisher River - Robin Beukens      Garden Hill - Jill Collinson      Sapotaweyak - Chris Larson      Swan Lake - Jennifer Pritchard The University of Manitoba's Department of City Planning and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) have partnered with four First Nations Communities in Manitoba as part of a pilot knowledge exchange project.  The First Nations have been working with planning students since September 2011 and are continuing to work together now. Community Project Briefs: Fisher River Cree Nation: Watershed mapping, renewable energy discussions & environmental awareness. Garden Hill First Nation: Land use inventory, visioning & pre-planning for a comprehensive community planning process. Sapotaweyak: Community housing survey to determine existing conditions, occupancy and servicing, as well as future development locations. Swan Lake First Nation: relationship building, setting the foundations for a CCP through dialogue and conversation.

Inspiring Potential - Hurdman Station Area Redevelopment Plan

Queen's University: Anya Paskovic, Sarah Bingham


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 9:30-10:00, Canfor Room

Graduate students at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Queen’s University present a transit-oriented redevelopment plan for the area surrounding a major interchange of the proposed Ottawa light rail transit system. The design concept applies TOD and site-specific best practices to surmount numerous natural and physical barriers to development.

Inspiring Potential - Improving Public Transit in Saskatoon: A Research-Based Approach

University of Saskatchewan: Lee Torvik Smith


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 9:30-10:00, Canfor Room

In the summer of 2011, the City of Saskatoon Environmental Advisory Committee (SEAC) hired me as a student researcher tasked with composing two reports on public transit in Saskatoon – the first specific to fare, and the second regarding overall system improvement. The fare report investigated the potential effects of both a fare reduction and a city-wide zero-fare program, while the system improvement report analyzed the practices of other successful transit agencies in North America. Both reports employed the most up-to-date and relevant literature in the field, and both concluded with recommendations for Saskatoon Transit. In the fare report, various transit fare reductions and their impacts on Saskatoon’s ridership were projected, but overall it was found that fare has less of an impact on ridership than many other factors. Furthermore, a system-wide zero-fare program is not at all recommended, despite possible increases in ridership. For the system improvement report, managers and planners of ten North American transit agencies with service populations similar to Saskatoon’s but with higher riderships per capita were interviewed, their responses forming the basis for best practices of smaller transit systems. Qualitative indexing methods were employed to discover the most popular reasons for success, and – combined with reputable literature – recommendations for Saskatoon Transit were formulated. Nearly all of the recommended changes are “old news” for the transit systems of larger cities, but Saskatoon now has the benefit of an itemized recipe for success. The reports were presented to City Council, and Saskatoon Transit quickly began to undergo changes and begin pilot projects pursuant to the recommendations made. It is still too early to confirm, but positive growth and promotion of transit in Saskatoon appears to be on the upswing.

Widening Our Lens - The Story of Slums

University of British Columbia: Tamara White


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 9:30-10:00, Sauder Room

By 2030, UN-Habitat predicts that 1 in 3 of the world's citizens will be living in a slum.  Astounded?  Find out why and what role planners may play in reversing the global slum-ization phenomenon.  This whirlwind presentation covers factors and typologies of modern urbanization; conditions in developing world cities; the proliferation of slums; and an introduction to the strategies employed to address this mega-trend.

Presentation available here

Widening Our Lens - Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Engagements in Local Planning and Governance: the Case of the City of Powell River and the Sliammon First Nation

University of York: Sean Stewart


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 9:30-10:00, Sauder Room

My recently defended (Fall 2011) Major Paper looks at the issue of intergovernmental relations between Aboriginal governments and neighbouring non-Aboriginal municipal governments. The experience of the City of Powell River, British Columbia and the neighbouring Sliammon First Nation was chosen as a case study to further explore the issue of intergovernmental relations in planning. Reviews of government documents, local newspaper reports, a site visit and interviews with key figures involved all contributed to the final conclusions. Key findings from my research point to the necessity of building trust between governments, treating each party as equals, having strong leadership, and formalising governance and planning agreements. The two communities signed a Community Accord document and a Protocol Agreement that lay the foundation for future planning and governance relations in an effort to avoid conflict and mistrust. These documents, along with other important efforts have contributed to make the intergovernmental relationship between the Sliammon and the City of Powell River one for other communities across the country to aspire to.

Widening Our Lens - Community Minded Homeownership: Civic Initiative in the Provision of Affordable, Integrated Housing

University of York: James Calderone


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 9:30-10:00, Segal Room

Condominium tenure and increasing housing costs have come to characterize many urban centers across Ontario.  This presentation looks at creative ways to procure affordable homeownership in the absence of public subsidy and examines the ancillary benefits of alternative housing models.

Widening Our Lens - Housing in a changing labour market

University of Waterloo: Michael Seasons


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 10:00-10:30, Segal Room

What does a changing labour market mean for the structure and functioning of the housing market? We know about changes in the labour and housing markets separately, yet little empirical research exists to connect the two. If we are to effectively plan for and manage housing demand, urban planning as a discipline must bridge this gap.

Finding Voices - Lessons from the Back to the Land Movement- A Minority Voice in Rural Ontario

University of Guelph: Monica Walker-Bolton


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 10:00-10:30, Canfor Room

The back to the land movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s has had an impact on the fabric of rural communities that is of interest to rural planners. Monica Walker-Bolton of the University of Guelph will present preliminary findings from her research for a major paper in fulfillment of the MSc in Rural Planning & Development. The impacts of back to the land residents on the social, economic and political fabric of rural Ontario will be explored. Walker-Bolton’s research uses a narrative analysis approach with the use of storytelling and case studies to document the contribution of these residents. This research contributes to our understanding of how newcomers to the rural area adapt to, and change, their community as they move through the process of being an outsider to becoming an insider. By understanding the dynamics of how the back to the land residents change and are changed-by their community, planners will better understand how other minority groups are integrated. This presentation contributes to the Finding Voices theme of the 2012 CAPS Conference by demonstrating how planners can learn from the voices of a minority group in rural Ontario. This presentation also is relevant to the theme of Widening Our Lens because the lessons offered by back to the land residents provide an alternative view to our conventional scope of planning for rural areas.

For slides please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Finding Voices - Non-timber forest products management: Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Collaboration

Simon Fraser University: Samantha Charlton


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 10:00-10:30, Canfor Room

In the province of British Columbia, First Nations groups are working to gain control of their unceded land and resources through a variety of mechanisms, one of which is co or collaborative management. Planners today, particularly in more remote communities, must be versed in working collaboratively with First Nations bands to reach multiple objectives and incorporate diverse perspectives.  One area of contention is treatment of Non timber forest resources (NTFRs). NTFR's, also known as non-wood forest products and botanical forest products, include all botanical and mycological resources of the forest, other than conventional timber products such as saw logs, pulp logs, shakes and firewood My research, focused on case of the Wells Gray Community Forest located in Simpcw First Nation traditional territory, looks at barriers and opportunities to the use of NTFR's and to collaboration between first nations and non first nations communities in relation to their management. Central questions ask: How can First Nations groups protect their cultural values through collaboration? What are indicators of a successful collaborative process and how does this case fare? What is the ideal role of a Community Forest in NTFR management? How can and should a Community Forest facilitate access to and/or commercial use of NTFR's?

Championing Creativity - A new methodological attempt to Identify the regional export base; A case study on change in Metro Vancouver’s export base; 1991-2006

Simon Fraser University: Alireza Farahani


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 10:00-10:30, Sauder Room

Export base analyses have been used since the 1950s to achieve insight into the composition of regional economies for planning purposes. Recent theoretical work by Storper (1997) and others calls for attention on core of the export base, as opposed to the broader conceptualization of the export base suggested by commonly used indices of economic specialization. The most familiar analytic methods in this regard (employment location quotient (LQ) and minimum requirement (MR)) have shortcomings in providing insight into the core of the export base of the region. In this research to look beyond the conventional scope, these two methods will be combined and improvements in analyzing data in the SIC and NAICS industry classifications will be made to develop a new method for investigating the export base of Metro Vancouver. The evolution of the export base of metropolitan Vancouver will be investigated in comparison to Canada, Toronto and Montreal from 1991 to 2006 based on Canadian census employment data. My analysis shows that in the 15 year period 3 industries (wood industry, wholesale and construction) have moved out from the core of the export base of Metro Vancouver; four (the real estate industry, transport and warehousing sector, accommodation and food services and business services) have maintained position; and three (financial, educational and cultural industries) have emerged as the new export base of the region.

Championing Creativity - Sustainable Truck Routing

University of Waterloo: Samantha Vigder


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 10:00-10:30, Sauder Room

The transportation of empty containers by trucks moving to and from container yards is a source of inefficiency within the supply chain of goods and can add unnecessary traffic to city streets. Since the movement of empty containers has no required path, optimizing the path would improve efficiency. A Virtual Container Yard is a computer based system containing information on containers in order to match importing and exporting needs to optimize the distance travelled. In this paper, the paths taken using a Virtual Container Yard were compared to the actual paths to demonstrate the effect on vehicle kilometers travelled for trucks. Data was obtained from the Commercial Vehicle Survey, which gave information about trucking movement going to and from Vaughan CP rail yard within the Greater Toronto Area. A linear optimization method was applied to the data using an equation to represent the effects of a Virtual Container Yard. It was determined that implementing a Virtual Container Yard could reduce the vehicle kilometers travelled to and from the Vaughan CP rail yard by 40%. Reducing the distance trucks travel can have many positive impacts on cities, including the reduction in traffic and environmental impact.

Widening Our Lens - Envisioning Age-Friendly Communities: Three Manitoba Case-Studies

University of Manitoba:  Andrea Spakowski, Sangwoo Hong, Joyce Rautenberg, Ryan Gilmore, Kelly McRae, Adam Prokopanko


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 2:30-3:00, Segal Room

With the demographic shift towards more seniors in Canadian communities, consideration of the agefriendly nature of a neighbourhood is a vital task in the fields of urban planning and design. For the 2011 Fall Studio, University of Manitoba Masters of City  planning Students worked together with the University of Manitoba Centre on Aging towards a comprehensive age-friendly analysis of three communities within Manitoba. Looking at one urban, one suburban and on rural community, students created an in-depth analysis based on the World Health Organization's criteria on age-friendly communities from, Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide. Preliminary analyses of the communities age-friendly status were presented to older adults residing within the respective communities. Feedback was incorporated into community and design interventions for the neighbourhoods, which were presented using software tools such as Adobe Creative Suite and Google Sketch-Up. Analysis and recommendations fell into the categories of housing; social participation; transportation and mobility; and, outdoor spaces and buildings. Though feedback varied within the three study areas, residents were outspoken about their desire to age-in-place within their community and, also, to have their concerns heard in meaningful community consultation with the local planning departments. Results were presented to the City of Winnipeg's Mayors Senior Advisory Board.

Championing Creativity - Planning Through Play: The Street Transformation Board Game

University of British Columbia: Adam Kebede


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 2:30-3:00, Canfor Room

This presentation aims to inspire, and look beyond the conventional scope of planning. It will articulate the opportunities to develop social capital through collaborative play — specifically through collaborative board games. Essentially communities with augmented social capital can transition residents from being consulted and informed, to being engaged and empowered. The need for such innovation is apparent in most communities, and communities within the City of Vancouver are no exception. The Neighbourhood Greenway (NG) program, for instance, enables any group of residents living adjacent to a residential road to permanently close down their street, and build not only an active transportation corridor, but a public space that could facilitate celebrations, community and sustainability. Unfortunately, the creation of NG demands a communities initiative-- thus, unintentionally presents challenges to interested residents: such as, varied depth knowledge of design strategies, and the facilitation and negotiating diverse or conflicting interests and values that these design feature would embody.

Championing Creativity -  PlaceSpeak: 21st century innovation in public participation

University of British Columbia:  Colleen Hardwick (Nystedt)


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 2:30-3:00, Canfor Room

My research interests lies at the intersection of community consultation and the social impacts of spatial technologies.  If one believes that community consultation is fundamental to good governance — and good planning — then keeping relevant pace with communications techniques is key to sustainable planning. My objective is to apply these principles to the creation of a web-based system that advances public participation by connecting geo-authenticated residents to location-based topics. It is called PlaceSpeak. PlaceSpeak is an innovative location-based public consultation platform designed to connect citizens to decision-makers and developers of public policy.  Its core innovation stems from its geo-authentication of citizen users.  Users confirm their residential addresses and then become a virtual opt-in GIS feedback system.  Thus, reporting can confirm spatial, quantitative and qualitative data stemming from a range of activities including discussion forums and polls and surveys.  PlaceSpeak also represents a new model for online engagement as it acts as a “central clearing house” of consultations tied into Open Data catalogues at all levels of government, where users can be notified of any new activities in their neighbourhoods by distance (1-100 km) and subject matter. Online public consultation up until this point has been anonymous and anecdotal.  PlaceSpeak shifts the paradigm by securely and privately verifying digital identity and tying it to place. This is a game-changer and the missing piece of the online public engagement landscape.  As with other online engagement platforms, it is accessible 24/7 but unlike other social media does not suffer from “troll attacks” as people are culpable. The proposed presentation will introduce planning students to PlaceSpeak and instruct them on the setup and management of Topic pages, including how to map out the areas of examination, and how to setup various consultation features including:  outgoing messaging, discussion forums, polls & surveys, uploading photos and videos, adding public meeting schedules, contact information, and producing analytics and reports.

Inspiring Potential - Towards a Green City: Public Perceptions on the Urban Ecological Landscape

University of Waterloo:   Kathy Szymczak


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 3:00-3:30, Segal Room

Canadian cities are resolving to incorporate more environmentally sustainable practices in their strategic plans. Many southern Ontario cities are adopting goals in favour of ecological restoration yet these issues are not being realized. In reality, many of these cities are slowly progressing, if at all, toward a greener vision. Particularly in the City of Waterloo, a fast growing urban area, the issues are identified, but planners struggle to understand the public’s perceptions of ecological restoration and how to make it a socially acceptable idea. The questions to be addressed through my Master’s research at the University of Waterloo include: What are urban residents’ perceptions of restoration ecology? How can the ecological restoration of urban areas be systematically incorporated into policy? The methodology for this study is consistent with the methodology from John Lewis’ 2010 study employing qualitative research whereby semi-structured interviews will be conducted with Waterloo residents to gauge their perceptions of alternative restoration schemes. In order to inform planners and decision makers about the need for restoration strategies studies which engage and represent the diverse public, planners will need to understand their constituents and operationalize behavior patterns. The outcome of this study will be a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Waterloo residents’ views regarding current restoration policy objectives. The ultimate goal is create a more grounded vision in Canadian cities for biodiversity, carbon sequestration and sewage/pollution treatment which can be seen in actuality.

Inspiring Potential - Economic Adaptation to Climate Change

University of British Columbia: Ruth Legg


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 3:00-3:30, Segal Room

How well do BC local government sustainability plans address the economic impacts of climate change? The bulk of local government responses to climate change in BC so far have focused on mitigation, not adaptation. Ruth Legg contributes to this research gap through a plan quality assessment of BC sustainability plans.

Widening Our Lens - Quality of Life in Urban Villages: A Case Study (Canada vs. United Kingdom)

University of Waterloo:  Larysa Dubicki and Andrea Santi


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 3:00-3:30, Canfor Room

This presentation will analyze the design and implementation of urban villages within the context of British planning literature and practice, in relation to the Canadian planning framework. It will aim to draw lessons from both case studies on land use planning and urban design. Analyzing the success of urban villages is shown through measuring quality of life within the context of Britain’s strong policy guidance vs. Canada’s market driven approach with respect to urban villages. The concept of urban villages is based on principles centered on “well designed, mixed use and sustainable urban areas, with a sense of place and community commitment” (Biddulph, Franklin & Tait, 2003) as well as premise of walkable communities and provision of good public transportation. The concept of urban villages is appearing across the United Kingdom; however, these developments are not as common in Canadian cities. This presentation will focus on two case studies: Greenwich Millennium Village (London, UK) and King Liberty Village (Toronto, Canada). Life satisfaction surveys were conducted to analyze quality of life. Results concluded that residents in both communities experience a high quality of life and further, that both central policy guidance and market-driven approaches can be successful. This presentation widens the Canadian planning lens by showcasing the success of urban villages. This presents an opportunity to learn from forms of planning that may be deemed unconventional in Canada. By merging the needs of residents and new developments grounded in planning theory, such as urban villages, a high quality of life can be attained.

Widening Our Lens - Defining Bus Rapid Transit in North America: From Curitiba to Cleveland, Calgary and many more

University of Waterloo: Adriana McMullen


Friday, Feb. 3rd, 3:00-3:30, Canfor Room

Touching on its origins in Curitiba, my presentation will take participants on a brief journey of what world-class Bus Rapid Transit looks like, and then step closer to home to examine the various definitions and understandings of Bus Rapid Transit used in North America and how they have shaped what is considered (and sometimes not considered) to be Bus Rapid Transit in a number of Canadian and US cities. It turns out that in North America, BRT can be a very diverse concept.  But why? What are the factors that make BRT different in North America from Latin America? What are the implications of the type of diversity we see in North America? The presentation will wrap up with a look into how BRT may be changing in North America, including a brief summary of what I will learn at the 2012 Transportation Research Board Meeting in Washington DC.


Widening Our Lens - Understanding the effects of walkability on walking behaviour: findings from NEWPATH study

University of British Columbia: Timothy Shah


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 10:00-10:30, Fletcher Theatre

This research is based on the Neighbourhood Environment in Waterloo Region: Patterns of Transportation and Health study (NEWPATH). The paper examines how neighbourhood walkability influences walking trips when controlling for socio-demographic variables. It also examines how driving variables such as time spent in cars, and automobile ownership influences walking outcomes. Identifying these relationships are important for understanding travel behaviour. This analysis is useful for policymakers and planners because it highlights which factors are significant in predicting walking trips and how this can, among other things, help promote physical activity and well-being in auto-dependent regions such as Waterloo.

Widening Our Lens -  Spatial Analysis of Health Data and a Cooperative Approach Towards Healthy Communities in the Southern Interior of British Columbia

University of Waterloo:  Brent Harris


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 10:00-10:30, Fletcher Theatre

In British Columbia, planning decisions are made at a municipal level, with guidance handed from the province, and strategic direction defined by the Regional District. This allows for considerable variation in the way cities are built. This is beneficial in that municipalities can determine the most appropriate needs of their community, and tailor their development and design to that need. However, research suggests that these planning decisions can affect the health of residents by encouraging and discouraging certain behaviours, which can affect the burden of chronic diseases on the health care system. This study aims to examine this relationship. The data includes individual hospitalizations for chronic conditions related to the built environment: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, Asthma, Cerebrovascular Diseases, Diabetes (type 2), Heart Failure, Hypertension, and Ischaemic Heart Diseases. These outcomes will be tested for spatial clustering, and measured against socio-demographic characteristics and features of the built environment to assess the relationship between planning decisions and health in two medium sized cities. By linking health outcome data to features of the built environment, it may be possible to improve population health through planning; creating healthier cities and decreasing reliance on health care services for behavioural morbidities. The goal of this work is not to blame poor health on planning decisions, but rather to complement existing work in preventative medicine, and provide a platform for increased collaboration between local government and the health service providers in British Columbia.

Inspiring Potential - Building Community Capacity through Sustainability Education

Simon Fraser University: Brennan Lowery


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 10:00-10:40, Canfor Room

This research examines the role of education in enhancing capacity for sustainable development in marginalised communities and regions. I examine this relationship in two milieu, first reviewing the theoretical basis of Education for Sustainable Development and other learning paradigms, and then exploring how the planning initiative of green collar job development in Vancouver, British Columbia can spark learning and empower working class residents. The theoretical section focuses on the development challenges of marginalised communities and interprets the framework of capacity building within the need for multifaceted processes of social learning that can empower communities through a blend of formal and informal education, local knowledge, and job training. From this basis, I apply several educational paradigms to the process of sustainable community development and elaborate how various forms of learning can enhance developmental capacities in marginalised regions. Next, I analyze the case study of green collar job development in Vancouver by examining the potential for green jobs to empower marginalized residents of the city. In light of the Greenest City Action Plan’s commitment to create 20,000 new green jobs by 2020, I apply the theoretical tools examined earlier to the potential of this planning initiative to enhance capacity and learning for working-class and low-income Vancouver job-seekers. This analysis finds that green collar job growth is capable of enhancing capacity through skills and instrumental learning, and could lead to critical reflection and deeper learning processes to empower working-class Vancouver residents for sustainable development.

Inspiring Potential - Toolkit for Social Enterprise & Innovation: A Primer for Social Entrepreneurs

Queen's University:  Megan J. Jones


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 10:00-10:40, Canfor Room

The creation of the Toolkit for Social Enterprise & Innovation: A Primer for Social Entrepreneurs was a joint endeavour between six planning students at Queen’s University and the Social Planning Council (SPC) of Kingston and Area. The purpose of the Toolkit is to act as a ‘one‐stop‐shop’ and primer for Social Entrepreneurs in the City of Kingston and area to implement their entrepreneurial ideas and innovations in order to benefit the community. What sets a Social Enterprise and Innovation Toolkit apart from the existing business‐model Toolkits is the focus of the organization is guided by a social objective or mission as opposed to a purely financial focus.

Inspiring Potential - Sustainable heritage tourism planning: A methodology for situation assessment and community participation in Ethiopia

Simon Fraser University:   Stefanie Jones


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 10:00-10:40, Canfor Room

Heritage sites, protected by law in most countries and a form of common property, present a unique opportunity to study sustainable and collaborative  tourism planning. After surveying a group of archaeological sites in northern Ethiopia, archaeologists and locals were both left wondering how to plan for tourism that would benefit the local community. My research focuses on a framework for determining if heritage tourism should be pursued,  evaluating the market appeal, the heritage significance, the site sensitivity, and the community involvement. The results indicate that the while the sites are historically significant and the community is capable and  supportive, the market demand is only mid-­‐level, and the sites are quite fragile. The recommendations outline the  next steps in the planning process for the community,  and improvements to the  framework.

Championing Creativity - Twitter for planning engagement and community

University of British Columbia: Karen Fung


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 3:15-3:45, Fletcher Theatre

New media tools are providing both members of the public and planners with new capabilities within their respective contexts. For the public, this includes personal expression, learning about civic issues, sharing stories about the urban environment, and organizing into communities of interest and geography to take coordinated actions both small and large. For planners, and especially planning students, this often includes all of the above, as well as receiving updates to coordinate with affiliated organizations, learning about planning best practice, and understanding how social media contributes to public engagement on planning issues. This presentation consists of two topics: first, it will summarize findings to date on the use of Twitter for public engagement by the City of Vancouver and  TransLink, based on research conducted for my thesis; and second, I will highlight observations, tips, and answers to common questions for planning students and practitioners who are already using Twitter.

Slides available here

Championing Creativity -  Digital Storytelling, Social Media Networks and the Public Consultation Process: A Case Study of Regent Park, Toronto

University of Waterloo:  Brandon Bell


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 3:15-3:45, Fletcher Theatre

In 2002, the City of Toronto announced that Regent Park, Canada's largest public housing project would be redeveloped. The redevelopment proposes a new planning approach that promises a better alternative through the introduction of mixed-incomes, mixed-uses, increases in density and the return of streets throughout the community. The introduction of socioeconomic mix into the previously exclusive low-income neighbourhood is in part an effort to reduce social isolation and de-concentrate poverty through the sale of market units. The objective of my proposal is to introduce a digital storytelling platform that shares the experiences of displacement that phase one tenants faced during the redevelopment process. The platform encourages tenants and others to share their experiences and ideas, essentially contributing to the planning process in new, creative ways. Several videotaped semi-structured interviews from a sample of Regent Park households will be integrated with online social networks to facilitate discussion. Furthermore, the platform (based on Facebook) will also provide users with links and information about civic engagement and how they can submit their own content. This research proposal has the potential to successfully utilize online social networks as another tool that planners could use to provide a more comprehensive public participation strategy. In addition, this research would be a significant contribution to the academic literature on social networks as they relate to planning. Furthermore, it will identify the opportunities and constraints that exist in utilizing both digital storytelling and social networks as planning tools that will inform policymakers and provide further research opportunities.

Finding Voices - Tourist preferences for whale watching and conservation: The case of whale watchers in Tofino

Simon Fraser University: Sandra Warren


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 3:15-3:45, Canfor Room

Over the past 15 years, whale watching has grown and expanded to all continents of the world. As a result, many studies have focused on the impacts of whale watching on the whales; however, little has been done to assess the human dimensions of this industry. This case study surveyed whale watchers in Tofino, British Columbia. The results of this study suggest that tourists differ in their preferences for tour characteristics, including the type of education received, the degree of crowding, the tour cost, and the number and type of whale species observed. The study also suggests that whale watchers are environmentally conscious and are willing to pay a preservation fee towards grey whale habitat preservation. Understanding human preferences and values will assist in the future management of this growing industry.

Finding Voices - Communicating research and monitoring for management: a case study of the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan

University of Toronto:  Michelle Berquist


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 3:15-3:45, Canfor Room

Growing concern over environmental quality has brought close attention to the ability of organizations to communicate relevant and timely scientific research and monitoring to decision-makers. In this paper I explore the issue through a case study of the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan. The Bay of Quinte is a nearly enclosed bay in Lake Ontario which has been impacted by multiple industrial contaminant events and persistent eutrophication. As a result, it became one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) identified and supported by the International Joint Commission (IJC) for remediation. The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan (RAP) relies on data from Project Quinte, a long-term monitoring and research program, to set targets and evaluate restoration progress. My paper describes multiple techniques used to communicate research and monitoring to decision-makers at the Bay of Quinte. I also discuss key beneficial outcomes of shared science and lessons learned that may be instructive for stakeholders conducting ecosystem restoration, planning or management, particularly those involved in any of the other RAPs underway on the Great Lakes.

Finding Voices - Oventic, Mexico: A Sustainable Community

University of Saskatchewan: Beth Cleghorn


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 3:45-4:15, Fletcher Theatre

In February, 2011, Beth joined a field school that studied models of Indigenous planning and development in Chiapas, Mexico. This presentation reflects the accomplishments of the Zapatista movement to protect their land rights and secure autonomy. Beth brings photographs and personal research from the village of Oventic, a sustainable Zapatista community.

Finding Voices - Tradition Meets Technology in S'ólh Téméxw

Simon Fraser University: Jessica Morrison


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 3:45-4:15, Fletcher Theatre

Consultation with First Nations can be a challenging and confusing process. Development referrals in S’ólh Téméxw (the Fraser Valley - Stó:lō traditional territory) navigate a fragmented network full of communication challenges, redundancy and frustration. The consultation ‘system’ currently in place is unsustainable, as Stó:lō bands and organizations (24 bands, 2 governments, 4 tribal entities) lack the capacity to manage the volume and complexity of the referrals they receive and those initiating consultation are often left with unsatisfactory or conflicting outcomes. With development pressures continuing to increase in the Fraser Valley, there is a strong motivation to improve consultation protocol by planning ahead, together. The Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre, in coordination with Stó:lō governments, tribal entities, and individual bands, is developing a new technological initiative that will facilitate more collaborative planning solutions, support resource co-management efforts and hopefully lead to improved consultation outcomes. Stó:lō Connect is a web-based portal which links referrals data management systems for Stó:lō bands, governments and tribal entities. The portal is framed on a social network model, with a GIS-enabled tool for decision-making support, analysis, and intuitive data management. Collaboration, data integration, enhanced inter-Stó:lō communication networks, and transparency of process are integral components of the design. Stó:lō Connect has the innovative potential to integrate with federal, provincial and local government planning processes by providing a shared understanding of the cultural landscape that has not previously been accessible for strategic planning.

Championing Creativity -  Lessons from Leipzig, Germany

University of York:  Camilia Changizi


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 3:45-4:15, Canfor Room

Retail structuring patterns have evolved and transformed in the last two decades within the City of Leipzig. Although the population has been shrinking for a number of years, retail, commercial, and shopping mall centres continue to be a prime form of development, impacting the urban fabric of both the inner city and peripheral areas. A shift in the urban structure of the city show large investment companies locating on the outskirts, while large retail and commercial space occupy the inner city. The implications of retail structures with respect to the built form, movement of people, social housing demolitions, and the regional and inner city context will be the main focus. The development of retail in the city has produced an over-supply, therefore, its significance to the inner city and region has become a prominent form of attracting investment and people. The notion of the ‘Competitive City’ plays a role in shaping the urban structure as the western form of the shopping mall is used to attract both human and financial capital as a means of sustaining the economy. The question of over development remains and the impact these retail structures will have on the urban form. As the unemployment level remains low, a shift towards the creative industry and creation of more jobs may be the underlying hope for the City of Leipzig. The perception of a shrinking city is most commonly viewed as a negative phenomenon, where the goals to achieve more growth through city wide promotions and investments are prominent. The City of Leipzig once being one of the most populated cities in eastern Germany was an economic and cultural hub; with the recent political restructuring, the city has experienced a decrease in its population. However, the question of shrinkage is objective and the push for growth is very much an influence of western cities. A comparison of the City of Leipzig and City of Toronto will be presented, discussing the potential lessons that can be learned from both cities.

Championing Creativity - Planning for the Post-Modern City: Cognitive Mapping as a Participatory Design Methodology

University of British Columbia: Jonathan Walker


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 3:45-4:15, Canfor Room

The research analyzes the cognitive mapping approaches of Kevin Lynch’s Image of the City in order to assess their applicability as a participatory design methodology under current (postmodern) planning conditions. This involves addressing the means by which municipalities can plan for a diverse citizenry, and further facilitate the access of urban resources to historically marginalized communities. My justification for the methodology of cognitive mapping arrives from a rigorous theoretical analysis of previous and current trends in socio-spatial theory, and how cognitive mapping can bring concrete agency toward theoretical conceptions of social equity within post-modern planning theory. It is my hope that this research could contribute to the dialogue on past and current planning practises as they relate to social equity by promoting a tangible methodology for uncovering psychological and subjective aspects of urban experience. This methodology could certainly complement conventional technical approaches by enabling a more holistic understanding of cities and their diverse communities.


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