A key component of Municipal & Planning processes is public participation. For our third assignment, you will attend a Community Council meeting (online) and, based on this meeting, you will produce a report on a particular item considered in this meeting.
The municipal planning process is one of the most important activities determining land use outcomes. These meetings are legally required in the planning process and regardless of how well or poorly it may be executed, public meetings are a short period of time in which major changes in the Toronto landscape can occur. These meetings also play a role in grass roots democracy, allowing local citizens to determine their surroundings through the decision-making structure of their municipal government.
Municipal planners are required throughout their careers to participate in this process. More importantly, as a future responsible member of your community who is educated about the planning process, you should be engaged in guiding your community to appropriate planning outcomes.
To get a first-hand understanding of this process you will attend an online Community Council meeting in Toronto. The Community Council meetings are being held on July 14, 15, 16 and 17, for Etobicoke-York CC, North York CC, Toronto and East York CC, and Scarborough CC, respectively.
You can find links to the Community Councils here:
http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/meetingCalendarView.do (Links to an external site.)
You can access recordings of the meetings through Youtube (use Google to find them).
THE REPORT: After viewing the meeting, you should write a 4-page double-spaced analysis of an item considered at the meeting. The analysis should provide a brief description of the setting: who, what, where, when, etc. You should be very clear on the matter being considered. Your analysis should describe the conflicts that were dealt with at the meeting, explain both sides of those issues that are discussed, and describe if you felt other issues should have been considered and why (or, explain why they were not considered).
For your analysis to be complete, you should apply what we have learned in class to add depth and context. The analysis may include some of your personal opinion. This is your chance to SYNTHESIZE what you have learned over the semester.
WRITING: The writing should be reasonably formal and display an informed grasp of the policy. Avoid the use of slang and be careful about using jargon and technical terms that you may not fully understand. Do not use abbreviations. The ability to communicate clearly, effectively and succinctly is one of the most important skills to have as a planner.
IMPORTANT: An analysis of a meeting is NOT just a summary of the events that took place. You will do poorly if you just hand in a summary of events. If you cite a source, you will insert a (source) in the text and include a bibliography at the end of the report (the bibliography will be in addition to the expected report length).
NOTE: You MUST attach a copy of the agenda for the meeting with the item you are writing about highlighted.
If you do not attach a copy of the agenda, a penalty will be applied to your mark.