This advanced studio is exploring contemporary themes in planning and professional planning practice. Centers on a real-world problem or client project; involves analysis, synthesis, and formulation of a planning or urban design solution. The primary tool is a digital public participation platform. In combination with community presentations and workshops, we aim to foster collaborative and co-created planning efforts. The project culminates in a professional report.2020 is the year everything changed. Not just here in Calgary, but across Canada and the rest of the world too. The continuing disruption the COVID-19 virus has brought to individuals, families, communities, businesses, schools, workplaces, pretty much every aspect of our lives has transformed everyday life.How are we coping, what are the immediate effects and struggles, what has changed, how can we rebuild and strengthen community connections? Beyond government policy and individual health concerns, the communities are at the core of what makes a city. The collective got disconnected through physical distancing, isolation at home, lockdowns, remote work, and online learning. Gatherings were banned or limited to minimal groups, spaces remained empty, and facilities unused.After months of improvised organization and individual struggle, how can we come together to shape the impact this pandemic has on our community collectively. What are strategies and adaptations in everyday life, organization, services, and the built environment to safely claim back public life, healthy, and happy?
With PLAN 630 in 2021, we are working in partnership with communities designing a collaborative online participation process. The pandemic has us working exclusively online.While challenging, this is a fantastic opportunity to explore the application of online participation tools. While they have been around for a couple of years, these virtual options to co-create are more prominent currently, with the COVID-19 virus forcing special measures. The primary platform will be Bang the Table, a tool widely used by municipalities and private practices across North America, Australia, and other regions.We are working with five different Calgary communities. These are Beddington Heights, Dalhousie, Evergreen, Kingsland, and Northern Hills. In allocated teams, you will be working with a community for the term. Your task includes actively facilitate the collaboration process on the platform over the term. You will have to develop the process and maintain the platform, moderate the day-to-day interaction, and manage the targeted workshops while aiming for a proposal as a final result. However, a proposal might not emerge as one large chunk of a vision but is pieced together from small little things. You will liaise closely with the individual Community Association representative, who will promote participation amongst the residents, businesses, and special interest groups.Your activity's core focus is the impact of the pandemic on planning in general and the community you are working with in particular. A collective has been ripped apart by the pandemic. While you respond to the local circumstances and take the community's long term perspective into account, the main goal is to re-establish a sense of community. COVID and subsequent measures such as physical distancing, isolating at home, the prohibition of gatherings and restriction on meeting people outside the household, as well as the closing of community facilities and services such as leisure centers, community halls, and libraries, has led to a disconnect from the community for many residents.
One year On - OYO - how can we as planners begin to knit the community back together?Profound changes manifested over the past year with dramatic consequences for planning. Not just how we do it, but what exactly we are doing. It is as much about density and public transport as it is about the elderly isolated in their own homes, families struggling to juggle one or several jobs with a household, and homeschooling. Planning starts with taking care of the local collective enabling opportunities to support each other safely.How can we make sure people once more feel they belong, they matter, they are safe in their neighborhood? What can be done with physical interventions and beyond looking at programs and services to support the community right now and through this winter into a hopefully more relaxed Summer and Fall 2021?You find resources on the current discussion, COVID facts, and updates to prepare for the course and your interaction with the community. With the situation developing rapidly and circumstances changing weekly, we have to remain flexible throughout this project and adapt as necessary. This applies to local health and safety as well as policy guidelines. Critical reflection is the core of this endeavor. We are not interested in general basket suggestions but select and tailored responses to local circumstances and needs.This term, we work hands-on in a virtual way. The project is led by you and guided by your ambition, while the method focuses on collaboration. Any solution, any proposal is co-created together with local stakeholders. Are you ready to take on the challenge to innovate planning for what makes cities places to be proud of?