ACTION 22 | DEVELOP A CITY PLANNING PRESENTATION TOOLKIT
Develop a communication toolkit for use over at least the next two years. The toolkit should identify key audiences and messages and provide stock materials tailored for each group. These must be graphically innovative and at a minimum should include:
• Presentation materials (script, PowerPoint, etc.) on the Official Plan and the Division’s role in fulfilling the Official Plan’s Vision (aimed at audiences inside the Division, within other Divisions, Council and the public);
• A series of easy to understand key diagrams that help explain the main concepts of the Official Plan;
• Presentation materials on the Strategic Plan and Charter (aimed at audiences inside the Division, within other Divisions and Council); and
• A short video featuring the Chief Planner delivering the same material as the above noted presentations (aimed at all audiences with an emphasis on the public). This can be made available online in its entirety and segments used as part of presentations.
ACTION 23 | PRESENT THE STRATEGIC PLAN TO THE PLANNING AND GROWTH MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Using the tools noted above, present the Strategic Plan to the Planning and Growth Management Committee. The presentation should highlight key actions and next steps that will improve the Division’s effectiveness.
ACTION 24 | DEVELOP A MOTIONS REPORT
An annual report from the Chief Planner to the Planning and Growth Management Committee, along with the frequent reports back on individual work requests, will keep Councillors apprised of the Division’s current and future priorities and workloads, as well as resource implications.
ACTION 25 | GIVE REGULAR STATE-OF-THE-DIVISION UPDATES
On a semi-annual basis there should be a State of the Division update in each District that is led by designated staff. The purpose of these meetings is to provide a meaningful time to assess divisional progress and discuss the quarter ahead. The results of these meetings should be forwarded to the Chief Planner’s Office and incorporated into the next year’s Division Workshop. This feedback is also one additional opportunity for staff to provide candid opinions to the Chief Planner, Directors and Managers. Consideration should be given to providing the opportunity for the staff from other Divisions to participate in these update sessions. Tools such as staff surveys and e-updates should be utilized.
ACTION 26 | ORGANIZE INFORMATION SHARING EVENTS
Implement regular information sharing events for staff (inter- and intra-Divisional) with an emphasis on sharing development management and policy initiatives, as well as specific project information. As the technology to do so is readily available, these could also become podcasts. These events become ways to highlight and celebrate staff achievements and allow for recognition by managers and peers. Consideration should be given to extending invitations for City Planning “Brunch and Learn” series to other Divisions.
ACTION 27 | ESTABLISH LEARNING PROGRAMS
Institute learning programs through staff orientation and professional development to generate a broader familiarity with the Official Plan and other planning issues and trends. This should form a basic part of the annual objective setting for staff.
ACTION 28 | UNDERTAKE JOINT PROJECTS AND POLICY IN SUPPORT OF THE OFFICIAL PLAN
Through regular inter-Divisional meetings, communication and ongoing relationships, identify opportunities with other Divisions to partner on project reviews and develop new joint policy that supports the Official Plan and other city building objectives. This includes identifying and resolving areas of policy overlap such as transportation and housing. This should be an ongoing item at the regular Directors meeting.
ACTION 29 | IDENTIFY PLANNING LEADS
There are already several productive inter-Divisional relationships in place that provide a basis for regular, responsive and consistent communication to support organizational development, best practices, and the desired city building outcomes. However, these relationships are not consistent. It is recommended that the Chief Planner designate specific senior staff to engage with other Divisions in a liaison or ‘lead’ role. The goal of this interaction – both casual and formal – is to establish and nurture the relationships needed for efficient and effective work between the Divisions.
ACTION 30 | TAKE THE OFFICIAL PLAN TO THE COMMUNITY:
Make the Official Plan the foundation of community meetings as often as possible. Additional information-sharing opportunities should be undertaken to provide platforms for raising the awareness about the Official Plan and its link to the local community interest. Over time the Official Plan subsequently becomes the construct within which the community is able to discuss and analyze city building issues and proposals.
ACTION 31 | DEVELOP CLEAR MESSAGING FOR THE CITY PLANNING DIVISION
Consistently use the tools from the communications toolkit to provide clear messaging for the City Planning Division at public meetings by making the Division’s role in city building known in a consistent and straightforward manner. For example, start all presentations with the Official Plan Vision.
ACTION 32 | DEVELOP INFORMAL PLANNING DIVISION OUTREACH PROGRAMS
Identify opportunities for communicating the Official Plan and the role of the City Planning Division in the community as part of ongoing work planning in the Districts. The aim of this should be a more informal engagement with City Planning staff, ideally not tied to a particular policy initiative or application. This could include District office open houses (“My Community Planner Afternoons”), school outreach programs or “Holding Public Office” initiatives that put planners in public spaces (through the creation of a ‘virtual’ office at community events).
ACTION 33 | DEVELOP A PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT RESOURCE PAGE
Develop a public involvement resource page that staff and the public can use when undertaking public engagement activities, referencing best practices while vesting activities within the requirements of the planning legislation.
ACTION 34 | CONTINUE CHIEF PLANNER ROUNDTABLES
Continue the Chief Planner Roundtable series with key outside interests to understand issues and to provide updates on substantive projects from the Division. Outcomes can be communicated to promote two-way engagement and provide an opportunity to promote key messages from the City Planning Division.