Toronto , Canada

People’s Planning Panel

Toronto Planning Review Panel, City Of Toronto

May 31, 2018

Equity-based planning brings people into the centre of city-building

The Toronto Planning Review Panel aims to improve public engagement by capturing input from a broader segment of the population that can help the City Planning Division guide growth and change in Toronto. Created to complement, not replace, other methods of public consultation, the city was nevertheless aware that traditional methods don’t always ensure Toronto’s many diverse communities are equally represented.

The Panel began in 2015 with 28 members selected via Civic Lottery to serve a 2-year voluntary term. The selection process seeks a balance of gender, age, visible minority, home renters vs. homeowners, geographic location, and always ensures at least one member of Aboriginal descent. Designed to introduce new voices into the planning process, members gain access to city planners, independent experts, and stakeholders over the course of sixteen day-long meetings during which they learn about the planning process and improve public engagement by offering their perspectives to the Planning Department. Planning issues discussed at the panel include a wide range of city-building topics including transportation, housing, density, heritage, public art, and community amenities.

In the spirit of validating their contributions, the panel is referenced in official staff reports to city council, and the panel’s reports are publicly accessible online. This equity-based civic engagement approach brings people into the centre of city-building, which is an important component of shaping a more inclusive city.

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