Civic engagement - Timbits style. Bold indeed!

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 12th, 2018



The city goes to great lengths to engage its citizens – the are using social media much more and reporting significant reach into the community.

That reach isn’t reflected in the level of public awareness of just what the city has planned for the various neighborhoods in the downtown core.
If you are a Timbits type you may have noticed the public message that scrolls across the screens in some of the locations.

Grpw Bold - community engagement

Civic engagement – Timbits style.

Intriguing – not sure if the city pays for the space on the screen or if the franchise owner runs the video as a public service message.

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3 comments to Civic engagement – Timbits style. Bold indeed!

  • Tom Muir

    Great idea William – but that would require the city and planners to explain the consequences of what they are doing, and provide a tool for citizens to see for themselves and be informed.

    I would bet that there is zero chance for this ever happening. The city and planners already have the propaganda tools they want.

    It’s mind control tactics straight out of the totalitarian playbook running the city drive to approve their dream plan as fast as they can.

    Have a better look at how the street and housing examples are portrayed in this video, telling the viewer that established neighborhoods and green-space, and our wonderful city will be protected. Not so.

    And oh how wonderful things will be. Just don’t prick the dream-scape being shown, cause then you will see the actual nightmare that folks will wake up to.

    The city is pushing a dream, a paper and pencil fantasy utopia, not a plan detailing how we will manage the details and needs and costs of reality.

    They don’t know how we are going to get there from here, and to let the residents simulate in their own imagination, the real story, and maybe wake up and ask more questions, is not on the agenda.

  • William

    One-way advertising is not engagement. The video itself – that planning staff is very proud of – doesn’t provide substantive information on the proposed changes, and why giving away massive height increases are necessary to achieve our growth goals.

    The video simply says: our population is growing and we’ve reached build out. We already know that.

    Beyond a clear rationale for the plan, city hall needs to develop one simple tool: An interactive map – where each of us can select a neighbourhood to see what the current height and density limits are, and what the proposed heights and density will be. If there is a substantial change, the map should outline the community benefits we’re receiving to justify the increase.


    • Stephen White

      You’re right William! This is an utter, frivolous waste of money and a meaningless gesture at engagement.

      Grow Bold planners and the City’s Planning Department have failed repeatedly throughout this entire process both in communicating their vision and gathering feedback in a meaningful, coordinated manner. This entire process is awash in confusing, duplicative and convoluted information. Throughout the consultation sessions they kept repeating this mantra about intensification in the hope that they’ll somehow convince residents of the brilliance of their arguments. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t swallowing the Kool Aid!

      There is enough simulation technology available that they could build a realistic model of the City as it is today. They could then superimpose different building designs to reflect what the City would look like with 4, 12 or 20 storey developments in different locations, including Mobility Hubs. Citizens could then get an accurate visual representation of what the city would look like under different scenarios, and then we could make informed decisions based on real-life simulations. Feedback could then be provided which could help planners and developers in designing developments that were aesthetically pleasing, environmentally sound, and commercially viable.

      Instead, attendees at consultation forums received pages of colour coded maps with confusing arrays of information, and were left to guess what various designs would look like. Like many people, I’m a visual learner. Telling me what it looks like doesn’t give me a sense of perspective or a real-life visual representation. 3-D simulations allow someone to visualize how something will look in a real-life setting.

      The technology is available, so damn well leverage it meaningfully for a constructive purpose!