Growing Conversations, is a process meant to improve the relationship between the City of Toronto and its residents and stakeholders through a better community engagement process.
There are five key objectives of the Growing Conversations process:
- Better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current community planning process in Toronto
- Explore new engagement models and tools, particularly those that are intended to help build capacity, inform participation, and build stronger relationships between the community, stakeholders and the City of Toronto
- Explore opportunities and best practices related to implementing Community Planning Advisory Groups in each Ward
- Explore opportunities to broaden participation by engaging new audiences
- Identify other opportunities to improve the quality of feedback received through the community planning process
Growing Conversations begins with a vision of making Toronto the most engaged city in North America. How do we get there? We will begin by identifying a series of Opportunities for Change (Opportunities & Constraints). These will form the foundation that all future conversations, as well as the final Engagement Action Plan, will be built upon. The Opportunities for Change will, in turn, inform the Pillars of Effective Engagement that all City Planning staff will uphold whenever they undertake a future engagement initiative. We will then begin to identify the Strategic Directions, or big moves, that will help us to achieve our vision. These will be supported by Actions, the specific initiatives that will help us to improve the engagement process. All of this will be supported by an implementation plan.
The Ethnic Media Strategy is intended to build capacity within the newcomer community to better understand local planning issues and be better equipped to engage in planning processes.
UPDATED! The Youth Engagement Strategy identifies new ways to engage youth 18-30 in the planning process.
The Stakeholder Partnership Strategy aims to develop partnerships with organizations that represent hard-to-reach audiences including youth, new immigrants, and low-income residents.