Monday, October 19, 2015

Drone's Eye View - American Planning Association

Here is an article that was recently published in the journal of the American Planning Association.  I was asked to participate to describe my use of drones in my professional planning practice. 

The Walkability Factor

Here is an article that I was asked to participate in from the Toronto Sun.  It speaks to the "walkability factor" in the preferences of condo purchases. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Town Hall Meetings Aren't the Only Option

Here is a video of the recent Idea Bombing event we held in Pentanguishene.

This format brings together food, music, hands-on activities and fun so that citizens are more engaged and open to discussion.

My presentation ranged from Strong Towns perspectives, to Asset Based Community Development, to Healthy Community Design, and Placemaking Based Economic Development.  This Idea Bombing event also included guest speakers Chad Ballantyne of the Creative Space, and Michael McCreesh of Ontario By Bike.  Together we provided participants with effective strategies for becoming the change agents and creativity catalysts that our communities need now to bring them into a future of success.

Time Lapse of Idea Bombing in Penetanguishene from Robert Voigt on Vimeo.

Idea Bombing International - Australia to Ontario

Last year I was able to bring John O'Callaghan of Idea Bombing Sydney, to the Ontario Professional Planners Institute's Symposium as a virtual special guest speaker.  He has done some great work in Australia, and it was a pleasure to feature this with my fellow professional planners.

Being inspired by John and seeing a close relationship with the types of events and citizen engagement techniques I had used in my practice for many years, my wife Krista and I started Idea Bombing Ontario in 2013 -  We contacted John to get his blessing on our venture, and have held over 6 events since.

Below is the message John sent for the participants at OPPI.  We can all learn from his work, and hopefully creative and effective citizen engagement will become commonplace repertoire for professional planners soon.

Idea Bombing Ontario - John O'Cal from Robert Voigt on Vimeo.

CBC Spark - When Urban Planners and Guerrilla Urbanists Get Together

I recently had the pleasure of being on CBC's show SPARK.  The discussion covered the growing process of guerilla, or tactical urbanism and how people are using it to improve their communities.

The challenge is for professional planners who need to find their “place” in this changing world of DIY community improvements and activism. There is huge potential for communities that decide to focus on this more progressive and interactive direction for their planning, urban design, and economic development; however, not many planning practitioners have direct experience in taking these ideas from theory and move them through policy development, programming, and implementation.

I have had the opportunity to be involved in a number of tactical urbanism projects, and also in advising communities on how to harness this approach for their benefit.  It is always a pleasure when working with communities that chose to take action to direct their future in partnership with their citizens and with “hands-on” approaches.  As more people participate and see the positive effects of their actions tactical urbanism will have to become part of the repertoires of professional planners if they want to keep up with the citizens they are planning for.

You can listen to the broadcast HERE.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Serious Game of Tactical Urbanism

It is a great honour to be published again in Municipal World.  MW has been in print for 125 years (since 1891).  Here is a copy of my article "The Serious Game of Tactical Urbanism".  It provides a good overview of the subject and some excellent examples from across North America.