How can we come together to create spaces, places, and cities that reflect our past, acknowledge our present, and plan for our future? How can we integrate divergent views and complex cultural histories into a collaborative and productive dialogue? What are the stories and voices that shape and guide the process of modern and mindful city-building? Participatory Design is a key tool in the process of inclusive planning. It is a focused approach where project stakeholders are actively involved, thus differing from traditional forms of planning that often miss all but the loudest voices. It is through this iterative, often complex, and participant-driven dialogue that authentic and meaningful conversation can be cultivated and truly inclusive planning occurs. 

This concurrent session will focus on the theory of participatory design, with specific application to current Canadian planning. Learning outcomes will emphasize the value of practicing meaningful, culturally sensitive, and inclusive engagement and project dialogue, particularly emphasizing elements of reconciliation and decolonization. The presenter will share real-life examples from practice so that participants leave feeling inspired, empowered, and ready to create safe, inclusive, and authentic conversations in their communities.