Here’s a lovely example of community enagement, courtesy of my partner’s recent trip to his Toronto hometown.
The posters inform the community that the neighbourhood is undergoing an “extreme makeover” – no doubt involving construction noise, traffic impacts and disruption in their “favourite neighbourhood.”
But the tone is happy and upbeat in its warm appeal: “Let’s get through this together.”
It shows how community consultation can be a positive experience – if approached with creativity and sensitivity.
Too often, stakeholder engagement is seen as a risk or unnecessary expense in development planning processes: “We just don’t want to open up a can of worms” being a common refrain.
But genuine and open engagement can bring real benefits, enabling positive new connections between clients and communities which may endure well beyond the formal engagement process.