It was great to be back at Ryerson University recently to do a presentation to the SURP Expo. The SURP Expo is an annual conference organized by students in the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) and the Ryerson Association of Planning Students (RAPS). I did a short presentation on my two most memorable planning experiences: the closure Gould Street campaign and the Jarvis bike lane debate.
I also invited my friend and City of Toronto Planner Al Rezoski to co-lead the session with me. Al is one of my planning mentors and an amazing resource for neighbourhoods. Here is a copy of the presentation he provided. Our overall goal for our SURP Expo session was to encourage planning students to get more involved in the planning world and move beyond just studying planning in the classroom. Al provided some fantastic examples of how students could contribute to planning issues, policies, and projects in their local neighbourhoods.
In addition to doing presentations, Al and I prepared a breakout group exercise. We asked the students to answer this question and then present back to the room:
Toronto is about to host two major international events – World Pride 2014 and the Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games in 2015. What neighbourhood improvements do you think need to be in place in order to host these major international events? How would you engage local residents & business owners in formulating improvements and taking ownership in the improvements?