Engaging Developers

UDII had a grand time today as a panelist at a meeting of the Urban Design Institute’s Under-40 branch.

We had a splendid buffet lunch on the 34th floor of the Hyatt Regency (with views that you don;t often get of downtown) and a good long time to meet people I know, people that I had previously only “spoken” with on social media, and people I didn’t know at all. There were more than 200 there, I believe.

Bob Ransford was an excellent moderator and the other panelists were Jonathan Baker, Sandy Garrasino and Wayne Fougere. The topic of the discussion was how to engage with neighbourhoods during planning.

We had a fascinating discussion but generally there seemed to be agreement that the current engagement process isn’t working.  No definitive answers were established, but some ideas were mentioned over again:  early engagement with the community, the submission of options by planners rather than a single take-it-leave-it design, more information and context behind decisions of planning requirements.

I got the distinct impression that the developers were as upset with Planning as are the residents, though no doubt for different reasons.

I enjoyed it.

Update:   The Vancouver Sun gave the meeting some coverage.

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