"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Multi-generational consultation

Concept sketch, from Coquitlam.ca
There aren't many times when a city gets to design an entire new neighbourhood from scratch, especially one that could end being home to 20,000 new residents. But that's the opportunity Coquitlam now has with the Partington Creek neighbourhood, which is being planned for the eastern slopes of Burke Mountain.
With neighbourhoods along the western slopes already well underway (and experiencing some growing pains too, I might add), it's important that the city gets Partington Creek, a good chunk of which the city itself owns, done right.
When the draft Neighbourhood Plan was unveiled late last fall, planners told Council they would present the plan to various stakeholder groups. But the thought struck me that all the usual suspects, including builders and residents' associations, weren't actually going to be the people living in Partington Creek; those folks are now in their teen or early 20s.
I therefore suggested that our planning department engage local high school and college students; let's hear what they have to say about shaping the future of Coquitlam.
With all this in mind, I was pleased that a list of upcoming public open houses, released this week, includes consultation meetings with both high school and college students, including a meeting at Douglas College. It will be very interesting to hear what they have to say.
Here is a list of some of the upcoming consultation events regarding the draft Partington Creek Neighbourhood Plan:

  • Tonight (7 pm-9 pm, Council Committee Room): staff meeting with the PCNP Neighbourhood Working Group (staff will present the draft PCNP for feedback, similar to the presentation to the Dec. 10 2012 Council-in-Committee meeting). 
  • Thursday, January 17 (7 pm-8 pm, Victoria Hall): North-East Coquitlam Ratepayers Association meeting - staff have been invited to present the draft PCNP. 
  • Tuesday, February 19 (4 pm to 8 pm, Victoria Hall): Public Open House #1 
  • Thursday, February 21 (11 am to 3 pm, Douglas College atrium): youth/student-focused Public Open House #2 (emphasis on engaging Douglas and Pinetree Secondary students) 
  • Thursday, March 7 (4:15 pm-5:15pm): staff meeting with Coquitlam Youth Council.

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