Five Good Ideas about building stronger and more resilient cities

Five Good Ideas about building stronger and more resilient cities


start us out thanks for having us here
we are here to talk about studies and urban resilience Jay and I wanted to
introduce this topic I telling you about a piece of art that changed the way that
I looked at and think about cities because I believe that what good art
does is it pushes us to expand the realm of possible it challenges us to question
the things that we take for granted compartments who used to organize our
world and it pushes us to stare to listen to pull apart our life and our
ways of life at the center of the margins so a few years ago South African
artist William Kentridge took over a stretch of the stone embankment along
the Tiber River in Rome it’s a pretty ball trafficked area of the city with
dust rain and Psychopaths either side of the river and on those walls who created
a large-scale procession of 18 figures stretching half kilometers three stories
high these figures represent important moments real and fictional big and small
which together narrate a story about the city across time the bust of Cicero the
widows of Roman soldiers remote killed by Ramola the firefighters after the
bombing of the city in world war ii the refugees a language in stone
the piece is called triumphs and laments because every urban triumph comes at the
cost of someone else’s limit power survives through the act of storytelling
through the process of history making which is often not objective not
accidental Kentridge imagines these figures taking a stroll along the river
together when the Italians called passage out what would they say to each
other to us let’s take a passage if our cities could
speak what would they say about us their transient inhabitants will walk four
cities is in some ways a walk through the past in Canada our cities are bound
by a structure of government written into the Constitution and the process of
Confederation those decisions made at a time when over percent of Canadians
lived on farms have profound and continued impacts now 150 years later
when over 80 percent of us live in cities today our cities are before a
friend and addressing a lot of the intractable challenges of our time yet
despite being a dominant political entity in this country some have argued
that our cities are facing 21st century challenges with 19th century tools as
Martha’s mentioned the recent conversation about the number of wards
in Toronto is one expression of bad question to what extent do our cities
have the ability to control their own destinies and to what extent should they
a walk through our cities is also a walk through the future here in Toronto
because we have more development happening than anywhere in North America
count the number of cranes of the sky you have more development happening than
New York Chicago and Los Angeles combined and when we see these new
buildings go up of which they are so baggy in this city these visions of the
future rendered on the hoarding around the construction sites and you wonder in
those visions of the future in our respective and collective visions of the
future whose lenses will reflect their stories whose stories will be told at
all whose triumphs whose limits but of course the locker room our students is
also a purse simone weil road to be routed is perhaps
the most important and least recognized need of the human soul to be routed our
lives our work is often about growing these fruits for ourselves and
stretching the middle towards each other so close your eyes imagine for yourself
with those roots look like what does your vision of urban resilience of work
do you see a physical expression of belonging the streets and sidewalks we
share with each other our public parks and squares the places that we gather as
community and sanctioned and unsanctioned ways do you see the icons
of your city if you’re on Tony and the CN Tower maybe or your own skyline or do
you imagine the city and its Ariel for its borders and boundaries drawn and
redrawn over time yet so recognizable that if you were to lift those lines off
page and put them on a keychain you would know that’s mine do you see your
neighborhood do you see the neighborhood’s you work in to see people
or do you not see anything at all do you just feel let me tell you about what I
see when I think about urban hezonia I close my eyes and I see Brunelleschi
strong moe he said maria del fiore cathedral and i’m not Italian obviously
and I’ve only been there once but when I saw it in person a few years ago it was
one of the most moving moments of my life and it’s not because of the
building it’s not because of a trip it’s because of a punji that I had when I was
a little girl remember has three three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles
architect pieces see when I was a little girl my
family knew immigrates we moved around a lot over the course of my childhood we
lived in so many different parts of Scarborough and North York and we
generally rented one room in someone else’s house so there was a lot of space
for us and there was a lot of space virtually so this was my one toy and it
was a good one because paws babies aren’t small and whatever in place I was
building and taking apart and rebuilding this gorgeous little thing I could claim
as my home you know the time you can Google things I didn’t know the name no
really the studio was in I would sit there day
after day and I would imagine the city all around it and I would imagine myself
and my family and my friends and their families inside this beautiful building
and inside this building there were a lot of things that we didn’t understand
that didn’t have to exist inside that building above all we weren’t scared
we didn’t though we weren’t scared of the things we didn’t understand about
what it means to be poor there wasn’t little illness or violence outside or
inside our homes our parents had good able jobs you didn’t have to watch the
way that other people look at them in the world the way that other people
treat them in the world we didn’t have to watch them get stripped of their work
and small ways and big weights every day for our kid resilience is about your
circumstances but not really in other ways resilience is really about what’s
around you it’s about that feeling of safety not having to worry about the
next thing around the corner because there are people to turn to their places
to go that will help you unconditionally see you not with your circumstance
but for what you could do for what you could be for what you can do for what we
were seeing where the adults around us just breaking one by one because those
supports didn’t exist you know where to go you know what to do other than to
just make do and so even though I couldn’t put it into words I was always
afraid of that moment in my life when I would bring two in this room in rooms
like this one we gathered to talk about how to build inclusion and resilience
into our cities today and tomorrow if our cities could speak what would they
say about us they’re transient acknowledges our
cities are reflection of a collective conversation that began long before us
and which will continue beyond the span of our lives a conversation about who we
are about what we value and about the lives that we wish to live and to give
to each other our cities are in a collaboration of public spaces but
they’re also deeply personal imbued with memory and with identity and of course
there’s the ease or something that we build together with people we will meet
and people we will never meet think about that Florence Cathedral the real
building was started in 1296 it took a hundred and forty years to finish in
fact if you take the exterior decoration into account it wasn’t actually
completed until 1887 imagine that generation after generation after
generation of laborers the literal city builders each working of single piece of
a whole each contributing to something that they might not be around to
experience that they might not be able to see completed with their own eyes but
which they could imagine their children grandchildren and all those future
communities sitting inside living out their lives imagining their own futures
and feeling safe and resilient if our cities could speak what would you want
them to say about us so what I want to do now is I’m going to
introduce my accomplished peers and then pass it over to them for their ideas
I understand you have their BIOS in your package but very briefly
it’s an entrepreneur and programs manager at the CED Center for young
black professionals he has worked for over 10 years and our primary
neighborhoods and neighborhood improvement areas to create sustainable
opportunities for youth facing multiple barriers
Janey’s Southwest and inspired is the executive director of the Sheridan Road
Cycling Coalition and provincial advocacy organization working to make
Ontario a safer place for those who bike and our Ibrahimi and the Public Interest
designer who for over a decade has built and led organizations that work across
sectors to come design toward other social outcomes most recently she built
and R in Jenna’s first corporate participatory design from dawdlin so
please welcome with me xavier Damian’s our so the advantages to share I can’t
it’s often a pretty broad one anything you gonna turn to you first what do you
have for the room all right so personal entity brothers one would say bye to
Johnny’s I love this job was a black man so that color a lot of my views
and I also see solar on TV phone comes from personal experience I also so I
will start by saying that person I wanted to talk about building for the
losers for building for the loss I think that I’d be shocked when sometimes backs
and losers are saying loss because I want to be able to grab attention or but
as I thought about other one that might as well see we go steeper than just
building for the loss we’re going through losers I think it really comes
down to moving the margins and being conscious about how we’re moving those
margins and also about macro solutions from micro inclusion so a lot of times
we live in organizations that are helping individuals but also only their
served in Niagara Falls is love food so how do we make macro changes so I will
start by saying that there’s three ways that I think seeks to actually help to
do some of this work and actually plan for those entities one of those ways is
by being a matchmaker another one of those ways is driver and so when I talk
about Matthew while I’m watching about things like policies investments and
also tech inclusion so I’ll talk about policies from personal experience level
I’ll update eternal community benefits network which was it was a secure
specific amount a specific percentage of work for our members of the community
within Toronto for construction projects that are that’s monumental for us and
that’s something that really helps to dry
economic indicators for folks as well too but that also comes from the city
being a matchmaker and helping to create those there’s also a report that one
recently designed for young professionals with one of the young
ladies in the room I saw earlier Gousha that’s hope about some of the work that
other organizations are doing is working to help holes in community were
sometimes furthest from the markets especially understand fun to get
actually involved in career building operates as well too
when I speak about invest time and grow things like already reduction the
different work that already girl she was hoping to do a prophecy and also even so
I never on small businesses small business supports as well as food and
how as a city we can invest into small businesses to create more opportunities
for folks as well too and then as a reversed a conclusion just
really understand how like you said before we’re using the 19th century
ideas and solutions around 21st century growth
I mean you have technology available to us it’s just about language or group
into what we’re doing when I talk about the driver the collusion not only take
up to when I die without an inclusion I’m sneaking above space in terms of
housing and childcare which are two other issues that really keep people in
humor that’s who from the margins which is that a lot of our work as well to I
see senator young professionals more talk about social inclusion we’re
talking about some person with make some talking about parks markets even very
very cool things like moving water which happened this weekend which you saw
great as well to our marginalize with some of the things that I stated about
this works here and actually just hanka providing ongoing support so a
little less of the pilot projects we’ve learned as well – so now anchoring some
of those learnings and making the best practices that we’re doing I’m saying
comes from also the idea of winner and loser countries it’s something that you
can look up as well – and how they actually plan for those who you know
might not be able to actually engage in society as much as well – so those are places that it’s part of what I think
can help – seems to be in terms of how do you think because one of the things
that we notice is that sometimes when we live different industries so the work
with black youth between ages of 18 to 29 they’re facing multiple barriers
that’s how they target us is by the industry specific career opportunity
that we have for the so that we notice is that folks who
gravitate towards certain industries also display in a very different way and
some of those things are about their resilience and that nature so one of the
things that we use our empathy mapping tools needs assessments to really
understand who it is we’re actually looking at a little bit more and now one
of the things that we do is actually try to go out into community and speak with
members from community our solutions though that I would say around
communicating with community and that’s any solution you have to look at the
pros and the cons of that solution so their relative time on the front end I
do you think actually yields a lot of benefits on the back end and provides a
lot more sustainability on the back end more consultation with community and
also inform consultation at the different levels of community so there’s
different levels of community members I’m seeing on social media not just at
the moment of intervention where there’s a project or service or program intelligence think about the challenge
wisdom which we can’t orthodoxies the things that are not actually that we
just accept the idea that we’ve convened people for is always presented first I
don’t really understand why that is taxes and just to find them what I would
say is if someone says well that’s just the way we do things the thing they said
before with the alleged oxy so just think about conversations today and then
just quickly the other thing I would say I really liked your point you don’t need
to like really understand people and that takes time and it reminded me of a
story research on community and trust just
happy edge of the poverty line in in Toronto and we do design research and so
we’re in this woman’s home for three hours after testing with a remote
research and we walked her home and she was a grad student she was just
around 30 years old making just around 27 sides maybe 27,500
and she’s like you know I’m new to the city I don’t have community and we have
you know we’ve been talking engaging helpful conversation and I can’t seem to
elicit masking tape but something I can’t understand asking to the community
I joined the campus synagogue when I came to do my master’s degree and that’s
my community and so and when she started talking about being part of a synagogue
and I think it’s so interesting to me because it’s like we ask people what
they see their belonging that makes you feel community but we don’t immerse
ourselves in people’s lives and to see like she would have never known to tell
me about her campus synagogue had I not been just kind of hanging over there and
having a good conversation in her environment and so we end up talking for
two hours the signals of community within this campus synagogue
and using that to go to programming service that we were trying to get to
but you have to think of these adjacencies and you can only do that and
then you’re not just doing direct questioning in a consultation examining
the ways that we do consultation you framed the idea of anchoring and the
role that our cities can say especially in helping organizations like ours move
beyond pilot projects the good fortune of working across Ontario so we see City
after City piloting the same project and testing the same ideas one after the
other because it’s often so much more accessible to get funding for a pilot
project but then three years later none of those cities have that project moving
forward but in so many cases we know that’s what it works so what can we do
to actually help fund and keep that ongoing even if it’s not as exciting from government but again from
matchmaking and also cities economically function I think one of the things that
we do a lot is we rely on things like land transfer tax which I think
contribute like seven percent of our budget so those are things that I think
we could do a little bit better in terms of engaging corporations and also
looking at the structures that we put around even our taxing structures and
those type of things as well – I think that’s the perfect segue to your big
idea about unlikely partnerships thank you
so my name is Jamie and my idea is around finding opportunities to work
with unlikely partners and kind of an example of how we would be not
specifically in our work at the show the Road Cycling coalition to say that my
job is actually pretty incredible I spend my days advocating for basically
in Ontario and I don’t do this out of a particular way and I really experienced
my community in a completely different way than I was years that I was just
driving around it and so and making it easier for people to choose cycling can
really help us build more resilient communities community can really create
local connections to the environment and to businesses can build affordable
communities that people can move around in a way that is actually accessible it
can change the accessibility of your community of your school of your job
particularly for youth and people who don’t have driver’s licenses and I think
at the end of the day there’s also something really special to be said
about moving through your community at a human speed as opposed to through a car
you just you just really see it differently we’re working on cycling for
people who have maintenance and collecting fancy bikes it’s not just me
that’s really excited about cycling and we found that 32 percent of residents
want to ride their bikes for the everyday mode of transportation to work
and 74 percent of residents want to ride their bike more for recreation so
there’s demand this should be easy right we also know that 63% of residents think
that getting more people on bikes actually benefits the whole community
and not only the people who cycle so this demand
in this sense that cycling is great let’s do this but unfortunately I don’t
think we actually see 32 percent of residents riding their bikes I’m so why
is this happening it’s because people don’t feel safe and stay largely don’t
feel safe riding their bike in municipalities because we don’t provide
space for them to be on the roads all roads are still dominated by cars and
there is a noticeable opposition to changing our roads and maybe taking some
of that space and shifting it from people in cars to people on bikes I
think it would be very easy for the cycling community then to see the
driving community as our enemies and certainly there are some people trying
to frame the debate that way you’ve probably all heard of the war on the car
or pigs versus cars and actually this summer there was unfortunately
front-page story in the Toronto Star about the apparent bike war in
Collingwood just north of Toronto are so needlessly divisive because what we
actually know is people who make Drive and people who drive pick we’re actually
all the same people and we’re just trying to get home safely at the end of
the day without conflict we started hearing from people who drive is they
don’t actually hate cyclists they’re scared that they’re going to hit one and
they’re scared because we’re building our communities in a way that the bike
lane ends or we’re expecting people who walk bike and drive to share the same
space at vastly different speeds so we’re creating this environment for
failure and we’re not creating resilient streets that accommodate everyone or
account for mistakes that might be made so all just a segue into the idea that
luckily for us there’s actually another organization out there that feels the
same way about this is us and it’s the Canadian Automobile Association so one
of the most important conversations that our organization has ever had was with
the CIA you might think that in a box versus
cars environment this would be a very contentious lunch that we would spit at
each other and then storm away and that’s actually the opposite of what
happened and I think it’s been about eight years now that the CIA has been
the longest standing partner of our organization and not only are they the
lead funder of our bicycle friendly communities program that are so really
important and unlikely advocacy partner because when elected officials hear
about the importance of cycling from the CIA do it differently and when residents
and drivers hear information about the one meter safe passing law or leaving
room for bikes and they hear that from the CIA they do that differently and the
involvement of this year has also helps to bring other unexpected voices to the
conversation like the trucking companies and tripping associations and it also
says it’s broadened the scope of our cycling work to be more broadly about
road safety in general depositors say of course we don’t agree on everything with
the CAA but I think the most important factor here is that the doors open for a
conversation and it’s open between two organizations that have a relationship
of mutual respect so it’s a much more productive conversation and I think in
the long run that’s what’s really helping us make change is being able to
have those conversations about trade-offs and what’s important to us as
a society so interestingly the CEO is separate
from us I serve in some really cool bike programs so if you’re CIA member and
your bike breaks down you can actually call them and they will come with their
tow truck and tow you home so that’s a very cool feature with them education
campaigns about doing and earlier this summer the national CIA office released
a report about eight things that communities could do to reduce traffic
congestion so you might expect from the CIA that’ll be big my roads and build my
highways but actually their first point was build more space for people on banks
to help get our communities moving and that’s really exciting and that has
impact and they’re sharing that message with wounds that we’re not necessarily
in and they’re opening that door for cycling and conversations that maybe to
show the Road Cycling Coalition wasn’t initially invited to but now you are and
so it close by saying that I think in the same way that I think banks help
build more resilient communities with the CAA has built a more resilient
cycling conversation there’s more voices at the table and that’s always helpful
especially when there’s new stakeholders complex conversations or something like
new governments we have a lot more stakeholders to rely on and go into the
room with us to talk about why cycling matters for community and not just the
people who ride bikes because I’ll return to that point it’s not just about
bikes this is about moving people and it really doesn’t matter to me if you want
to drive or take transit or walk that’s fantastic I want you to be able to do
that I want people to move around their communities in a way that works for them
the fundamental principle that I wake up every morning thinking about is there’s
also people who want to cycle and we want to help make that possible so we’re
doing that and I would want to but I hope more effectively because we’re
working with unlikely partners like this year and as the introduction to this
session says there’s no single actor who can tackle this all on their own
in working with groups like CAA makes me really glad that we’re not trying to do
it alone thanks what great example of partnership and I am interested to hear
you elaborate a little bit you talked about common interest that also things
that you don’t have in common and getting past those things so when you
are partnering with unlikely allies even when you have common interests what are
those ways that you get past those things that you disagree a bit fun des
mentally that’s a really good question and I think the number one answer is
just communication and being really open clear and you know I don’t think that we
approach our relationship in a way that we all have to agree on and sign on to
every single policy initiative of each organization but just providing that
communication and upfront information about anything that we want to do that
might conflict I think you know if we look at some of the ways that we agree
we want to move people and get people home safely and we know from studies
from across North America that you can move more bikes as well then you can’t
cars so if we’re about moving people and getting them home safely than having a
space for bikes and cars it helps everybody and then I think there’s other
things like when you know you might want to push for a law that prioritizes
cycling or something like the Idaho stop that people may have heard of where by
cyclists legally don’t have to stop at stop signs that’s something that is a
bit conflictual but it doesn’t mean that we’re not talking about it and it’s kind
of a years-long conversation looking at research having that conversation not
necessarily having that conversation in public or in the media and attacking the
Opposition in the media but having that conversation behind the scenes and
hopefully when we do come out and talk about it we’re on the same page because
we’ve given each other that space to consider each other’s differences and
maybe at the end of the day we have a different opinion but if you’ve built a
strong relationship it doesn’t mean the relationships over because you disagree
on that point I turn to the other panelists to see if you have any
responses and also maybe just a broader question for the panel really
interesting example of a case where collaboration works are there
circumstances in which collaboration is not or might weaken the impact of your
work and how do you tell the difference between those two kinds of circumstances
I turn you over to you guys maybe I’ll just jump in one of the
things that like you’re five minutes we’re just so evocative for me and so being deeply curious about those
whose agenda seemed very far departed from you has been incredibly successful
I could you know after like share like 20 examples I’ve really started to find
alignment between massive institutions that we’ve
they were the counter-narrative to what we were trying to do and we’re just
trying to make Canadians wealthier and didn’t have great changemakers within
their midst – so here’s how you deeply reach people to understand what
prosperity means for them and so I just and and we do it so happen you’ll hear
it today I just catch yourself because I think should be challenged I do wonder a
little bit around power dynamics and how you manage power dynamics potentially
you know dealing with CAA a name that is probably recognized throughout the room
and then managing an organization that has to work between what’s happening
with bikes which to me would almost be like a form
of transportation and also you know the different tiers of society so upper
middle and lower in terms of class structure as well – so do you see any
players with what’s happening there with bikes and also what potentially is
happening with folks in society as well – first because it was actually kind of
the crux of the Toronto Star article it wasn’t even about the bicyclist on the
front page who was getting arrested the article was about class warfare and how
cycling was representative of that in Kollywood
and that people were feeling like it was a lot of wealthy people from Toronto
coming up for the weekend to bike in Collingwood
and disobey last and just wreak havoc on the local
community and to a certain degree that there is a demographic wealthy people
who buy bikes on the weekend but it was also digging into the the stats and
information and looking that column it actually has one of the highest modal
split so the most percentage of their populations cycling to work in Ontario
so it wasn’t it shouldn’t just be a story that on a Saturday this group of
people come to our community and buy bikes and and that’s divisive but you’re
coming because you’ve built such a great community for cycling because your
residents are biking to work and they’re biking to school and they’re doing it
more than other communities are so it was kind of I think basically does get
it can be representative of some of those conversations and a lot of what
you know you were talking about in in that way is reflected in the way that
cycling can be divisive as well and even within the cycling community there’s
divisions between people who ride to work every day and only do two
kilometres and people that think that anything less than 100 kilometres is not
a bike trap important one and it’s something that and I would say it made
me think what you’re saying is like organizations are full of people and
that’s how we work with the CA is that it’s full of people who are actually
really progressive and ride bikes themselves and want to be part of this
change and I think a lot of the power dynamic is managed between the two of us
that manage that relationship I’m not gonna pretend that there isn’t
sometimes a challenging power dynamic with an organization in any funder right
but I think it’s just about that relationship and it’s been eight years
of relationship building between the two organizations and five years of
relationship building between me and the the woman who’s on the other side so
it’s really just kind of communication and seeing each other as people and not
as these like manulis well organizations with these mandates is
like no more a collection of people how can we work together and internally
influence also what we’re doing next to this because I’ve noticed myself
becoming more impatient in the spaces the neighborhood’s the communities that
I work with only because I think we are doing ourselves a disservice I’ve worked
in every sector now public private charitable and the philanthropic sector
and I’m sure there’s lots of others but those for one of the things I notice is
that we make we make strides towards great
things we see examples of making the future the past by that with actually
realizing these programs being realized in the world and why they don’t endure
is because when they go to be scaled we don’t share the same language so in
leading up to this election the election in Toronto engaged in order to engage in
the understand and I just kind of stand in I’m like yeah so an example is I hear
constantly how do we inspire sense of belonging ownership and stewardship in
neighborhoods of policies and infrastructure and programs so that we
can start to share power and recently organization did a piece of
research for sidewalk labs organization if you don’t know who they are
developing a major site on Toronto’s waterfront and there’s a coalition of
great people in the city trying to make sure that it’s we get some things right
and so one of the things we push back on them about was the idea of belonging
they keep talking about belonging belonging and blogging on this site it’s
a piece of design research I’m like shared in my earlier response now we
talked to Torontonians who were geographically disenfranchised from
accessing the water to get to the waterfront it took them a long time it
cost them a lot of money you know you name it
we went all over the city we talked to 40 people and we spent a lot of time
with each of those 40 people on the key side site which is a site that they’re
developing and every group every single demographic the public space where
people felt the most belonging you know she’s middle-income cartoonian
has a partner and she went to HomeSense to furnish her home and when she was
done she was starving her cousin was across the street any better is smack in
the head the parking lot for an hour and so the profiles are the kinds of people
who find a sense of belonging in a parking lot is really diverse and
interesting and so instead of going to great precedents like great public
spaces let me go talk to people and ask them about like what is the place that
you feel like no one government and you can just hang out and do whatever you
want whenever now not saying that we should build more
parking lots I’m saying that we should learn from the signals in parking lots
that are indicating to people that I belong and this is a space for someone
can’t kick me out so if you talk to a lot of kids who remember working with
kids with addiction who were saying that their days broken into 20 minute
increments I when they get kicked out of the different buildings across the
financial district it’s like 20 minutes in this building and attainments in this
building 20 minutes in this building so you know I recently I’ve been getting
announced a lot about smart cities and I’m like I’m notice my cities person I’m
just a cities person and but the question I’ve been asking is how are we
making our cities smarter and if you to follow me on Twitter but if you want to
there’s a great thread on my Twitter from last week when I was doing a panel
on smart cities and I asked people to say what is a smart city and only one
person responded with a technological response like it’s the opportunity for
us to resolve some of the big human problems in our city that we haven’t
been able to solve smarter city takes care of citizens responds to citizens
brings them together to collaborate a smart city does all of these things to
advance interactable problems because it’s intelligent and it can sense a
problem and bring the right people together to solve it and so I just think
that the lack of specificity in our discourse as social change makers is
going to harm only us because people don’t understand just my comments by
just sharing one more one more story which is a lot maybe like a fordable
housing affordable transit affordable everything and we get to be here for the
day different contexts so if you now take a
minute and closed your eyes and thought about affordable housing like put a
number in your head it affordable be for you imagine we have a pretty broad range
just in this room and so why don’t we get these sort of like galvanizing
groups that are advocating for specific elements of passive platforms that we
all kind of get can rally behind we don’t really push for a fight so it’s
because we all have a different number in our head and I just think things like
that sorta day like you know my asked to my fellow panelists hosting a workshop
people get squeaky chickens so every time someone says something you don’t
understand you squeak the chicken make sure that we’re having a conversation
that everyone understands I saying if you show up at the table we are going to
work in the spirit of reciprocity and then I thank you for your time we are
going to give you an education on what your community believes this terminology
this language to be so that you can operate and change from a shared
platform not from sort of disparate which we don’t even know we exist on so
I just I I would put that out as an idea to think about ok I like to think about
in terms of how to get to that specificity I wonder given that you are
the queen of designing these participatory processes in the process
of getting to that specificity right to you or the hallmarks of that
participatory process or a process in which you know that you’re getting at
that specificity that you’re referring to you know I think we who’s not at the
table you probably heard that already yesterday you probably know today and I
think that is because people are not at the table because
we’re not late and and this is a rhetoric you’ve heard all the time when
you say get to get to where people are I don’t mean like just go to their
neighborhoods and host a consultation I mean even let them text a response to
you in the middle of their day like all I was reading this thing about about
transportation this is exactly the thing I was thinking about so the kind of
practice that I use is called human centered design some of you might be
familiar with it I know Tamarack has published a bunch of stuff about it and
you should read it and ask me questions if you have any but the premise is that
I understand people’s entire lived experience not just the moment you want
to engage with them and to understand that and to engage them in the way that
is fair to them to set them up for success sometimes you just have to ask
people a question say whenever you’re ready send us a text so a lot of my
research has done over whatsapp with communal sorts of content so if you want
to ask specific questions about that I’m happy to happy to share but I think it’s
interesting because people I remember when this research on belonging this one
young gentleman is 18 years old who lives at Jade and Finch
in the middle of the day we got a text message it was a picture of a chair at a
mall and we were like so Damon what’s that about that’s not his feeling and so
I take my book and I go to this man and there was a chair I don’t know why but
it’s a cross in the Cinnabon it smells really really good that was a public
space you didn’t think that was where he belonged it was just a place he really
liked and in the middle of the day sent us this text message and that’s all we
really need it because then we could prompt a later conversation with him to
unpack it in more detail so I really liked the idea of like in people’s lives
let them elect into when they want to tell you information that’s related but
they find related even if it doesn’t use the language even if it doesn’t use the
right framework like you know it’s not contained in a 20
minute exercise let them tell you and then use that to prompt a deeper
conversation and some of the most successful organizations I think at
doing that that sort of elicit that like ongoing stewardship behavior it can be
one minute but it can be more powerful than three hours I’m cognizant of the
time we’ve given you four ideas and we have to give you a clip idea so maybe I
will pose the question for the panel for the fifth group idea and then you guys
can either respond to those great comments or give us some thoughts on
that idea and our fifth idea is picking up on this question of the parking lot
it’s picking up in that question of the bench as much as we may think and feel
sometimes in our individual spaces that we’re going about these things alone
there’s a lot of collective energy pushing forward on some of these topics
and some of these energies and so the question that I posed to the panel for
the fifth idea is what are those spaces in the city physically digitally
mentally that we can engage with each other build on each other’s ideas learn
from each other challenge each other let’s go first and I’ll just beg that we
will take our break in ten minutes and then we’ll just shorten the second half
of this session so that we still end on time hope that’s okay can I say that a
great place to do that would be a biking and cycling and just kind of like being
around people instead of ensconced in a vehicle where you’re not engaging but I
would think more about that after this initial response I find it very
difficult to answer this question and you probably know so I can say that this is a question
that we talked about on our conversation before we they actually came to do this
panel and I think the question was posed from a place of not frustration but just
want to understand language organizations I started spaces for those
organizations and if you don’t have integrable permits or things like that
you’re actually gonna be able to even get your your idea off the ground to be
able to service those members of community that you want a service or
we’re asking you specifically for these things and you can’t do it so where are
those spaces if I were to give you a typical not-for-profit answer I would
say si si I would say Tonto Public Library’s I would say structured spaces and as mentioned before on a
conversation as well – and why even brought up markets here I come from
Jamaica originally and I see how important it is to have spaces that
aren’t really governed protected and secured so this way you
can have the conversations that you need to have the interactions that you need
to have and people can ID eight people can shape that space I’ve seen some cool
things done in a parking lot before I’ve seen some really cool things done in a
part before but those spaces and wants the accessibility
to those spaces I know use language that is not accessible it’s our ability to
actually get to those places and be in those places and over there we do a lot
of like bringing people to the same table but I think things like language I
think things like class dynamics like for the workshop starts now I noticed
people are talking about going up to 400 to their cottage on the weekend dynamics
are we need to invest that’s like I really like your language as a place but
I think sort of like the energy of like power and class dynamics that we don’t
even notice can be really really fascinating to design in you know I’m
someone who identifies as an introvert even though most people don’t believe
that but I am yeah leaders are and we’re just really
gonna be extroverts and so I was away at a conference last two days and I were to
really design my own psychological safety it was it with a bunch of it was
with nine people but I had to design a psychological safety sort of framework
for myself so that I would be engage and provide value with you folks here on the
stage the second place I just want to share that I think it’s really
interesting in the tester because I’m a transit geek this is the subway case because I believe the best and worst of
us comes out on the track on transit so we fight for social justice but then
someone on the bus listen to a podcast like I think that it’s so fascinating
transit is the expression and and Kofi he used to be executive director of the
organization Xavier works at Kofi – tells the story about how a lot of
people go to East Africa on volunteering trips and bring back shows of working
with black children but then won’t supply person on the subway so just I
really do think that transit is such a fascinating place to observe if we at
how committed we are to standing up for a stranger for a neighbor and I’m not
saying that I am the you know expression of it all I sometimes just that and I think it’s an interesting experiment to
sort of think about how you’re creating a space where it’s representing your
values in the way they are engaging with strangers so I’m just on the topic of
space something that I’m definitely going to take away from the panel and
from your presentation was the idea of going to people and allowing people to
text you a solution and that community engagement isn’t just going to a
particular so I really appreciated that idea
because I think that that could happen in our field as well I think I’ll show
you how to get consent in something that you mentioned before around being
specific and also being smart as well too and I
think one of the workshops that we we deliver to our young people at sea is
around SMART goals and understanding that smart when we talk about goals is
an acronym to help you to build a better goal so smart being specific measurable
attainable realistic and time-bound and when you started to mention things
around city development and being smart around city development it actually
keeping me in to something and what it keep me into is sometimes when you’re
smart and especially if you use that acronym too specific and now you hold
yourself to measures that others can hold you to one of the things that we
talk about when we talk about failure changes you know if you want a change to
happen and you’re worried you know feeling like you’re at that place
because they’re gonna hold you accountable to it so when I think about
you know the things that I get about and again this comes from community that I
come from and my biases though when I hear things
about politics and politicians and not trusting politics or trusting
politicians because they give you very moving targets and be very specific
about things and those type of things I wonder if actually we were being
intentionally very smart about not doing those things and not being specific
because then they would force people to hold us to some type of a human is I
think about what is acceptable and the ability to bounce back as well too so
those are some of the things that I think about is you know the smart side
of it and then also the resiliency side of it not only measure those things think about spaces in the city that we
convene my mind immediately jumps to the spaces that are new the spaces that the
next generation are building that we have to be cognizant of so previously
talked about and 120,000 teenagers and it stands for new urbanist means for
transit oriented teams and it’s a group of twenty thousand
teenagers who post on a daily basis means that they share with each other
about yes in my backyard about building transit in their cities about making
their cities a better place and we see examples of this kind of organizing with
teenagers nowadays organizing rock outs from TDSB protesting curriculum changes
or down in the states with March for our lives and so for me it’s really
important to think about what are the coming places and spaces that people are
using to organize and how do we stay cognizant of those spaces how do we
adapt to those things how do we make sure that we’re not getting left behind
by those new tools in addition to the tools that we’re currently using we’re
gonna do is take a 15 minute break you can grab some coffee I think they’re
snacks take a bathroom break and then we’ll
come back and at your tables please talk about the ideas that you’ve heard this
morning is there anything that you’d like to challenge anything you’d like to
build upon from your lived and work experiences because there’s so much
expertise in this room and then we’ll come back after about 15-20 minutes and
just ask for some volunteers to share key thoughts from their conversations
thanks for your attention

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