56th IMCL Conference Workshops Summary

The Final Friday Workshop reviewed participants’ priorities as to how we should best take into account the needs of children, elders, and the poor as we make decisions about the built environment. This is the summary of the Final Workshop findings:


1.  How does the local government engage with the public? – we need public creation of planning priorities, not just public buy in. “We do engage the public” needs to be more deliberate on the part of cities and this needs to be meaningful engagement.

2. Asset mapping. Understanding the best of what we have. Build on assets of the neighborhood.  Look at each neighborhood and ask: do they have safe public spaces for all – children, elders, the poor – everyone! Also, change the idea of what streets are used for – they should be complete streets.

3. Children are key. They should be able to play in their city – free range children.

4. Transportation – consider how budgets are used. A lot is spent on cars, therefore it is time to start thinking about making transportation accessible to everyone. For example, reallocate highway/roadway funds to expand transit, make it free, bike networks (ex. San Jose Good Karma Bikes), etc. Multi-modal transportation networks (leave cars behind). Money needs to be spent on trains (ex. Amtrak). We need to spend more money on transit infrastructure.

5. Grant program – Choice neighborhood program focuses on transforming not only housing, but also neighborhoods. People and neighborhoods are a key focus. Improve streets, parks, neighborhoods to improve crime prevention, health, recreation, etc.

6. Good urban form. City should be beautiful, livable, clean, equitable and healthy for everyone. Multi-use, assets, etc.

7. Fulfill basic human needs. Issues that detract, Look at things that are stopping people from fulfilling their basic needs, for example the car, etc.

8. The need to create financial resources for projects that meet peoples’ needs by tapping into the future value – monetizing the externalities.

9. Relationship between public and private form. Public realm connects private spaces. Enhance the public realm.

10. Climate action – protect natural resources. Climate lens. Need this for the future. Create low carbon neighbourhoods.