Sunday, December 27, 2015

What's Old is New Again - Progressive Planning Approach

There have been many influences on my work over the years.  I had the benefit of one of my first positions in a planning department working for Larry Beasley in the Major Developments Group of Central Area Planning for the City of Vancouver.  Since those early days I have worked with, been mentored, and developed friendships with many other truly outstanding people in my chosen profession.

Below I am listing some of these individuals as a way of recognizing their contribution to my work:  Krista Voigt, Stanley King, Dan Burden, Mark Holland, Adam Bienenstock, Chuck Marohn, Dr. Harold Nelson, Roger Brooks, Rob Spanier, Andrew Angus, Kim Wingrove, Peter Kenyon, and John O'Cal.   I started this blog post three years ago, and it sat in my draft box since then.  I finally have come to complete it today.

From the influences of these wonderful people and my own experimentation and experiences I have developed my own personal structure for community planning and economic development.  It is an integrated approach that can most easily be presented in the illustration below.  I have had many different drawings of this, but this is the most recent.  I will post more about the various components of this hierarchy in the future:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

12 Strategies for Re-Energizing Your Community

Recently Municipal World published an excellent book for people working on community building and revitalization, 12 Strategies

This book features a carefully-selected collection of strategies, case studies and best practices.  Each section was written by experts in a variety of fields and brings together diverse perspectives. 

The book will help leaders identify potential opportunities and to inspire new ways of thinking about local challenges.  I'm pleased to have been included in this collection and look forward to bringing these concepts to the communities I work with.

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.