Cities in the time of COVID-19: How will we ensure equitable access to parks and public spaces?

Featuring Dave Harvey, Executive Director, Park People; Carlos Moreno, Scientific Director, Chair ETI (Entrepreneurship – Territory – Innovation), Panthéon – Sorbonne University; Rena Soutar, Reconciliation Planner, City of Vancouver Parks & Recreation; and Cheyenne Sundance, Founder & Farmer, Sundance Harvest Farm.

5 Key
Takeaways

A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation

1. Shifting how we think about providing green space

One of the panelists argued that we need to shift from the notion of providing green space across the city to focusing on historically underserved areas of our cities. Through that lens, we often see a stark picture in the unevenness in the types of green spaces available across our urban landscapes, and the areas in which the most vulnerable among often do not have access to open space, which is so needed during COVID-19.

2. Making parks more welcoming

The design and governance of public spaces is not neutral, and there are signals (posted signs, the design of park infrastructure, park rules, etc.) that communicate who public spaces are for, and who feels comfortable in them. Intentional urban design that ensures public spaces are welcoming for everyone is needed—for example, working with rights holders to restore control over public space. In the case of Vancouver, for instance, there is work happening to designate parcels of land for Indigenous cultural practice.

3. Parks as a public good

One of our panelists brought up the need to define parks as a public good. Parks are centers for social inclusion where activities such as music, leisure, culture and sports co-exist. Paris was identified as having a progressive funding model where the local participatory budget process resulted in an improvement of public spaces.

4. Parks of hope

Parks are a place where change can happen. Our panelists explored many aspects of life which can be transformed by parks. Urban farming, for example, and enabling income generation through urban farming, could be a measure to help communities access opportunity and community connection.

5. Funding parks

Panelists argued that parks were already underfunded before COVID-19, and this has only been exacerbated by the crisis. Our panelists suggested reevaluating municipal budgets to provide more money to fund park spaces.

 

Full Panel
Transcript

Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software. Manual editing was undertaken in an effort to improve readability and clarity. Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to events@canurb.org with “transcription” in the subject line. 

Mary Rowe [00:04:37] So you four. Thank you very much for joining us. Really timely topic. You’re practitioners working in various ways around this issue of equitable access. And I want to thank you for coming on. And I think what we’ll do first is I’m going to go to Agenda Rena Soutar, who’s in Vancouver, and then we’ll go sort of across the country and we’ll eventually go across the Atlantic and we’ll find you, Carlos, because you’re in Paris. So Rena if you could start first, please, just a couple of minutes on what you’re seeing, what you think the seminal kinds of issues are. Our challenges are in your work and in the top and broadly around access to public space.  

Rena Soutar [00:05:13] Toure. Thank you very much. And I’m really happy to be here. Speaking from the ancestral territories of the Musqueam Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples. I just want to say the notion of public parks is foreign to this land. Settler colonialism means that governments took the land for the use of the settlers. And the design and governance of these bases is carefully curated and communicates who the spaces are for. So the language on the signs, the architecture, the landscape architecture, the permitted activities, the spaces designed for particular kinds of activity. All of those expressed the culture of the creators and the users. What we choose to support controls who feels comfortable in those spaces. In the times of covert decisions get distilled down to those who have always held the power. So there are a lot of quick decisions that need to be made about public space during this time. And those quick decisions filter out the opinions of those whose voices were considered optional. So let’s be clear, with overwhelmingly white leadership. Times of crisis shake out the people of color and enhance the power of white leadership. So from the top down and the bottom up we support settler colonial use of public space. We need to actively support other users and decolonize up and down and sideways throughout the governance of public space if we hope to create safe places for people of color.  

Mary Rowe [00:06:48] Thanks, Rena. Let’s keep going will come east and to Toronto Cheyenne, would you like to go next and dance in the last days? Go ahead, Brian.  

Cheyenne Sundance [00:06:55] Sure. Can you repeat the question, please?  

Mary Rowe [00:06:58] Just just an opening comment on what you’re seeing in your work in terms of what you think the challenge is? COID,  hass presented to equitable access for public spaces and for parks. And you can talk about your work because people probably don’t know much about that.  

Cheyenne Sundance [00:07:14] Sure. I would say starting off my name, Cheyenne Sundance, I run Sundance Harvest, which is a year round urban farm in Toronto. The second year I have a CSA and I sell at a farmer’s market, but I also do food, justice, education and anti-racist education regarding to public parks. And what I’m really seeing in probably the urban ag sector with that is lots of people are heading to public parks to chill, hang out, maybe hang out the families, but also to eat food. So lots of people that asking me to teach workshops or webinars on forging local nuts, berries, all of that. There’s been a drastic increase in people understanding the food around them and how to access that. For example, I live here, Christie Pits, which is a park on the west end of Toronto. I usually walk through that park that I recently saw fried and from a distance I said hello. And they said, Hey, by the way, do you know if there’s any nuts or acorns in this park? And then I showed them the trees that have acorns. More and more people are getting more imaginative about what their park can do beyond maybe just sitting on grass. So they’re service areas of parks. There’s acorns. There’s even mulberries and crab apples. So I’m seeing more people relating to parks in a different way, whether that be an urban orchard or just foraging for food.  

Mary Rowe [00:08:33] Do you have it? I mean, I we’re going to pick up on each thing. You’re each touching things. So I’ll come back to you and ask you to talk more about why you think that’s happening. Dave Harvey, can you just give us a kind of context for you and your working park people?  

Dave Harvey [00:08:43] And just before start, I just want to make a showdown. I mean, obviously, a great webinar yesterday. But Jay Pitter, who did the webinar yesterday, organize it, put out a call to Courage that was on the CUI website last night. And hopefully you can put it on the chat, a window there. But I really encourage people to to read that. It’s just it’s it’s great. So I just want to pick up to what Rena said about, you know, this challenging time around COVID and it’s it’s shown how essential Park’s are I mean parks are talked like we’ve never seen them before. And that’s such a core part of our urban infrastructure, as important as roads, water, sewers. And it’s showing such a light on that and never seen so many people parks. But at the same time, you know, the point being made about the signals that we send out, about whether you’re welcome or safe in a park, you’re twice as confused, like when people on underserviced neighborhoods and some challenged spaces that traditionally can feel unsafe or they’ve had some some crime issues, safety issues, and then they see warning tape around playgrounds when they see these signs about what you can do and can’t do when they all these rumors around about what’s acceptable, not acceptable. You know, we’re really setting up some spaces right now where we’ve never needed them, like we’ve needed them before. But there’s just all this uncertainty and confusion and really recognizing that there’s as we’re seeing so many people use parks. There’s a lot of people who aren’t using parks and why. And what can you do about.  

Mary Rowe [00:10:14] Yeah, I guess this is I mean, there’s a thread running through here in terms of what the three of you were talking about, about how are they designed, how are they used? How how are people paying different attention now? Because, again, I guess they have more time on their hands or they’re just so cooped up they want to get out. I mean, we’ll come back and all these things. Let’s let Carlos get in from Paris. Different experience that they’re having in Europe, obviously. Carlos, welcome to to us. Go ahead, Citytalk.  

Carlos Moreno [00:10:39] Hi, everyone, my name is Carlos Moreno. I am a scientist and I am the science director of the ETI chair at Sorbonne University and my work is oriented for quite a few years about the relationships between cities proximity and of course, public spaces. And I want to share with you my actual work call about today a city of proximities, the 15 minute city because of this. concept. And we they COVID-19. It’s one of the most key element today for developing cities, in particularly in these troubled a period. I have a very short video just so one minute and15 seconds for explain that we saw a different image just decide conflict. This is French with english subtitles.  

Carlos Moreno [00:12:56] OK. This is a concept today you implemented by The City of Paris in particular, the mayor of Paris and in the COVID-19 crisis the city of Milan, the mayor Giueseppe Sala announced that his decision for implementing this concept of the 15 minute city for developing the new urban plan for the next few years in the COVID new urban life.  

Mary Rowe [00:13:33] Thanks, Carlos. And thanks, everybody. You can see a bit of a juxtaposition just here on this panel about different kinds of approaches and where you’re coming from. I think that question I’d like to ask and I’ll start with Rena, if I may, because you work in the city arena, so you actually work through a municipality. And I’m interested about the extent to which Carlos is talking about a political commitment that was made by a mayor and by a council to provide amenities close to folks and that there was a public policy commitment to do that. And I’m interested in terms of someone like you who’s working for a municipality is that does that work or not. There was a question was raised in before the session began, someone wrote us and said that Minneapolis was before George Floyds met murder. Minneapolis was given an award by the Trust for Public Land, as having a very high park score. But the question is, does are are these spaces actually doing what what urbanists think they can do? So why don’t you start and just give us a sense from your your perspective if you could.  

Rena Soutar [00:14:38] Sure. Yeah, I know that the city of Vancouver has followed global trends and in trying to provide access to green space to the to the citizens of the city. And there have been a number of different metrics used over time. I believe that this is all laid out in Van Play, that 25 year playbook for Vancouver Parks and Recreation Services. And one of the things that my colleagues have proposed and got approved for, Vancouver, is shifting from the notion of just providing space that is close to everyone, to targeting historically underserved areas. So they talk about equity zones. And so looking at that, you actually start looking at the unevenness of the types of green space that are being provided as well as well. There’s a heavier reliance on on public green space in places where people don’t have access to backyards. No, they don’t. The places with the big houses and the big backyards, they’re not going to need those those green spaces as much. And yet they have the most urban tree canopy in public areas. So I think that that the city of Vancouver, at least and I I actually report to a separate elected board, which is a bit unique. But their focus now is turning to examining the inequitable distribution of park space.  

Mary Rowe [00:16:10] Dave, I see you nodding your head. You work in parks across the country. Can you comment a bit about what your work and your partner workers is doing around the issues that we use to identify?  

Dave Harvey [00:16:19] Yeah, and I mean, we’re actually across Canada. It’s a big generalization, but we’re actually generally better than the U.S. in terms of amount of park space that people have access to. There’s a better distribution of of the number of park space and green spaces. But it’s exactly on Rena’s point about that. Is it the kind of parks that people actually need to meet their needs? Are they really good parks and are they safe parks? Are they’re welcoming parks? Are these just, you know, mounds of of basically dirt like that? You know, it’s not designed to meet the community’s needs. There’s nothing happening there. So I think those are far more fundamental questions than, you know, amount of spaces is helpful. But again, the classic Toronto example is that we have an incredible ravine system and it’s it’s gorgeous, this beautiful natural spaces. But a lot of it is very close to some undersurface neighborhoods that have extremely large challenges accessing that. You know, it’s very difficult to get down to them. Perhaps it’s not a very welcoming place. It feels safe. So you can have a lot of park space, but it’s actually not meeting the community’s needs.  

Mary Rowe [00:17:24] This is the I think this is the dilemma. This is what end. As Rena just suggested, too, and we saw this and it became, I think, a topic of great tension and urbanism that it sounded as if only affluent people wanted spaces opened up because they were kind of bored with being inside. And there wasn’t there was just a kind of blindness to the fact that there are people living in all sorts of neighborhoods in urban areas across the country that don’t have access to anything. So it became that equity piece became a very painful conversation.   

Dave Harvey [00:17:55] And how much more privileged neighborhoods? And I did bring out of that you that entitlement of that and then a parliament that can take to go into a space. And these have been complex spaces out there right now. Which are you do. And you’ve got to you know, and there are so many populations across Canada that you’re asking a lot of them of like just, yes, go down, take your kids into a space that is covered in warning tape and it has people looking at you funny of you’re doing something wrong. And, you know, we just take that into account.  

Mary Rowe [00:18:29] Yeah. Nick, we have to consider why I. Go ahead.   

Rena Soutar [00:18:31] Sorry. I just wanted to finish up on that topic. I think we also have to consider when we’re designing these spaces and we do talk about, you know, trying to provide access to these spaces, but we end up designing them and we do so with public input. But the people who talk to us are the people who are who expect to be heard. We have done no work in earning the trust of the communities who were never heard to begin with. So there are some real internal hurdles. And then when we do try, because we have a white supremacist baseline, that’s where we’re steeped in and everyone is, it’s really difficult to go out and get that information because we’re going about it in ways that we don’t even realize are problematic and causing further harm. So there’s a ton of work to be done as well with regard to just obtaining the kinds of information to to learn what. What difference in in public space stoop? Are people even interested in what would serve them better? They are the ones who have to answer that and we need to go get those answers.  

Mary Rowe [00:19:28] Yeah. And it better. And it’s going to vary. It’s going to vary what people want. Cheyenne, let’s let’s hear from you, because your focus is on. It sounds it’s on nature and food. It’s making that connection.  

Cheyenne Sundance [00:19:41] More in urban agriculture.  

Mary Rowe [00:19:43] Yeah. So let’s can we talk about that? Because it seems to me that might be one of the most important links we could make to people that parks and public space can be productive.  

Cheyenne Sundance [00:19:54] Yeah. So when we’re thinking about, for example, community gardens in Toronto where I live, there’s lots of community gardens that are situated in public parks. There’s also, like I said earlier, lots of urban food to be foragers, too. But we’re really worried about urban agriculture and parks. It’s a really nice thought because an open space we can really utilize get rid of that law and get in some vegetables, help the pollinators. But a key point that I’m noticing that is really kind of failing or lacking for urban ag and community parks is you actually cannot sell that produce. And this is a big, big, horrible point for folks who are low-income because really who has access to a backyard. Oftentimes, people who are affluent, people who have that extra space that don’t maybe live in high rise apartments, but some of that a community garden and let’s say they have a high rise apartment, they’re living on their balcony, really isn’t cutting it. They can’t really sell that food. And let’s say they’re low income, they’re food insecure. Food insecurity will not just be alleviated by four months of tomatoes. They’ll need to actually have income because food insecurity isn’t caused by lack of food, it’s the lack of income. So the big piece about public parks and community gardens, which is often brought up, is it’s missing that piece that people who are growing the food can sell it and have like the legality to sell it, because right now is against the bylaw. And a lot of the people who don’t come to me for advice for food growing in urban ag and farming, they always mention this point and they’re looking for spaces to grow in the city that they can sell their produce legally because let’s say someone’s also undocumented or they just don’t feel confident of navigating bureaucracy and laws. How will they be able to advocate for themselves to sell that food? Probably not. So it really puts low income people in a very tricky situation. So I would say regarding public parks, community gardens are a great thing. A lot more gardens are a great thing. But who has the ability to really be elevated and get out of that food insecure place with those places?   

Mary Rowe [00:21:51] You know, we had the mayor of Toronto on this week and he said he made this sort of joke. He said, you know, we thought it would take five years to get bike lanes passed in Toronto, but we did it in three weeks. COVID is providing an oppertunity to get things approved more quickly. Cheyenne do you think we might see that municipal governments across the country might say, OK, let’s change that law so that people could grow in parks?  

Cheyenne Sundance [00:22:16]  I would say that the first thing they need to change is having more allotment gardens over community gardens because a four by four space, you can’t really sell much from that. However, in an allotment garden that’s 10 by 10 or 20 by 20. You can sell lots of veg from that. And it would also allow people to get employable skills. Right. Agriculture, farming. That’s an employable hard skill that you can translate into working on an organic rural farm or even in a nonprofit in Toronto focused on food. So having someone, giving them the ability to really grow their own food and write that on the resumé, that they did it for two seasons, Four Seasons can also help them get out of poverty through employment. Yeah. Which is a big thing. So I would say blessed community gardens, more allotment gardens, because people can still grow food for their family allotment. They’re just given the added option to have space to sell it.  

Dave Harvey [00:23:07] And if I can just add to that to Mary that again, and we’re talking a large urban centers and there’s talk, but there’s lots of spaces in our cities and how can we find more room to grow food? You know, there’s two great projects of organic growth in Melbourne, in Flemington, on electricity corridors. There’s tons of these corners with so much space and trying to grow some food there, you know, the electricity systems and the hydro and make it extremely difficult. And so let’s let’s make some ground there, getting some more space, turning people’s gardens.  

Mary Rowe [00:23:41] And presumably we’re, go ahead Cheyenne.  

Cheyenne Sundance [00:23:45] Toronto Urban Growers were the group that really spearheaded that project like eight years ago. And when you think about how long have they been working on it, I think it was about eight years. Six years, as you also know, Dave. It really talks about what whou we can have as our allies for urban ag. So who is seeing urban ag as an actual part of a resilient food system? And it’s really good to see that future is growing. Allotment gardens near Flemington Park. So community residents actually can sell their food. So what I’m talking about having an allotment garden, being able to sell it is really an example right now. We share this project with Flemming’s and Park residents can grow food and sell it, which is the best of both worlds.  

Rena Soutar [00:24:24] Can I just provide to your shorthand you’re saying so many interesting things here about. About food systems. And I think that tied to colonizing food systems is so critical because because of the way that we support community gardens is deeply problematic from from the get go. But I just wanted to provide two points that I think historical points that I think are interesting to note in this light. One is that the park systems and the municipal governments have always controlled who gets to profit off public land. It’s not like we don’t let anybody profit off public land. We let all kinds of people profit. We can we we permit all kinds of commercial activities. And the other thing is that the federal government introduced the Aboriginal Food Fisheries Act, which Klint, which the spirit of that really made the assumption that the obtaining of food is simply for sustenance and that it isn’t part of a larger economic system for maintaining your your wellness. So I think that there’s a strong history in this country of really relegating the people who are the people who have to go try to get food, relegating that to “yes, just get food for your family and don’t make a business of it because you’re not actually allowed to profit”.   

Mary Rowe [00:25:47] Right. So there are layers, layers and layers and how this needs to get addressed. But we’re back to weather COVID that would give us a chance to force the change that you all would probably have been advocating for forever. Carlos, can we come to you in terms of your experience in Paris? Is is is food production on public land or in parks? Also part of the struggle in the Paris that you’re talking about?   

Carlos Moreno [00:26:10] Yes, we have similar experiences and the many projects for the future about the public spaces and the urban agriculture. I think that the most important point today is to share our project in order to develop the new kind of chart, to share it with they rural territories in the territory of Paris, because we have the city of PAris. One of the most high density population. And we have the other territories There are 30, 20. They’re eight partners, including their heredity in our project is to create a new Septime or Arcaro day, a new urban agriculture cooperative for developing a shot to share it between urban production, the food, the, for example, resilience and density in order for a increasing the brothers in city, for a market, for schools, for their own kind. So we need to, in fact, to transform the economic model for developing the new services. If you went to today to the new redish on ships, I think that even if we had been developing the urban, getting richer in individual fighters inside the parties, this is especially for developing the show Fleak. But it’s not possible to develop the red food actions. This is more done. Okay, so I need to develop a day of social inclusion for developing yet pedagogical actions for key to be a school so that the area a strategy for and you can act in the new economic schaikewitz based on food. Is this idea too build this great urban agri corporate at the name is agriparis. This is the name because this is the new economic model because I give you Paris will be a subsidiary of the city of parties with the agreements with the different local farmers, a product in particular. The zones are pretty good. The young farmers interrural areas Close to Paris. This is 20 minutes one hour in order to develop this idea did a great metrapolitics to to break the culture by the commercial production and to promoting the new citizen important. In fact, by the young farmers.  

Mary Rowe [00:29:25] Thanks, Carlos. And it’s really valuable, I think, for Canadian urbanists and urban practitioners to hear experiences from other places. And we also just I was one knowledge. We have probably had at least three people here that where English is not their first language or certainly maybe two. So it’s good for us to listen carefully to one another. Carlos, we appreciate you working your second language. Thank you. Can I go back to Cheyenne for a sec? In terms of the point that Carlos just made, we have cities in Canada, also like Paris, that have large within their boundaries have large rural spaces. And we had the mayor of Ottawa on last week and he had an assistant come into the frame and showed the map of Ottawa and how the square kilometers that are covered are enormous. And Halifax’s the same. They have a lot of rural areas within their municipal boundary, unlike Vancouver. I don’t think you read the words tight. And so I’m curious about from your point of view, Cheyenne, do you think that we could get to a place where, for instance, you work Toronto where the 905, the communities around Toronto, could there be some kind of collaboration? Like Carlos just fine with the outdoor part of the region around urban ag. Have you had that conversation with colleagues yet in other places?  

Cheyenne Sundance [00:30:45] Yes, that’s a really good question. So I have lots of colleagues of mine are constantly thinking about ways to connect rural farming to urban farming because both are needed for a resilient food system. But the biggest piece regarding rural farming is it’s simply not that accessible. It’s much, much easier to grow lots of food, obviously, in a rural space when you have acres and acres. But really, who gets the privilege and opportunity to be able to farm that land? Black And Indigenous people are statistically the most oppressed in the food system. We’re talking about food insecurity all across Canada. There’s many studies that recently came out about this. So those youth that I primarily work out with at Sundance Harvest don’t have a car. They don’t have intergenerational wealth. They don’t have grandparents who are settlers who own land so they can go out into these rural areas. So oftentimes the connections that are being made are simply connections that are only, I would say, baseline around food growing. So there’s not a lot of talk currently, and I think that would be a really good opportunity to have a talk and maybe even a conference or something about rural farming and urban farming and seeing which way the rural farmers can actually share these resources. And a lot of these resources that they’ve gained through the privilege and intergenerational wealth with Indigenous youth in Toronto, with Indigenous youth nearby, the nations that they are at, with black youth, etc, etc.. So I do think that that conversation needs to be there. But the key piece about who has the privilege to farm ruraly and who simply has to just stick to urban strata like myself, it really needs to come into play. And I do think that, for example, one of the big things for urban farmers in Toronto is when they’re selling at a farmer’s market or even a wholesaler, CSA, not having a producer, you can really only grow so much in a small cplot of land  and you can really try, but you can really only grow so much. For me, I have a 40 person CSA, which is a pretty wild thing when you’re thinking about how big my greenhouses go for rural farmers. They usually have one hundred and twenty people. So figure out ways to even make a co-operative, a co-operative model where rural farmers can sell produce with urban farmers and making maybe making that green belt initiative. That’s another example. So I feel like finding ways to connect youth who are dispossessed or youth were oppressed, that within the system to rural land, having an experience that really, really rooted in nature and maybe heal from the legacy of colonialism with their elders in nearby nations, and also maybe a way that rural farmers and urban farmers can figure out the selling cooperative or a way to sell food together to really heighten what the local food system can do.  

Mary Rowe [00:33:18] Rena, do you see it just as active right now? Do you see it as a question in a chapter about someone asking you, who is Jesse best? Thanks. Thanks, Jesse. Anybody with experience around indigenous protected areas and any similar work in urban areas? And could this be a model for a decolonized governance model for urban parks? Anybody thinking like that your way?  

Rena Soutar [00:33:38] A bit of a different context here. Well, possibly not. Actually, I don’t know about other city, but there are areas that are not officially protected. But that the park board has come, become aware, are incredibly archeologically sensitive. And and the continued use by people who aren’t aware of that can really impact the archeological remains there. And with so little left of the evidence of the thousands of years of occupation here, for the for the ancestors or for the descendants who are still living here. This is a real problem. So there are some areas that we’re looking at protecting, but for a bit of a different reason than ecological sensitivity. And we are hoping to move towards a. We’re trying to work with the local nations on stewardship because they’re their approach to stewardship is, you know, they’ve they’ve been doing stewardship work for forever. But that’s also just a starting point for for honoring their their unseeded territory, honoring their rights to have decision making power in these lands. They should be able to weigh in on who gets to profit off of selling food, who gets to profit off of the public lands. They should have decisions about all of these things. So discussions about Indigenous stewardship are important, but that is really basic. And that’s that’s kind of an entry point for including the local indigenous peoples and their knowledge and expertize. We need to recognize that they know this land better than anybody. And there are a whole host of decisions aside from just stewardship and environmental protection that they need to weigh in on.  

Mary Rowe [00:35:16] Chat’s getting lots of energy here for the number of things you get. As a raising and including this call that shine, that Cheyenne initially around, can’t we get more allotment gardens and the piece that you raise, Rena. Don’t we have to completely rethink the governance pad model? Did you want to weigh in on either of those things? You do work across our country and them together that’s.   

Dave Harvey [00:35:37] Bringing them together. Well, I think there’s some interesting opportunities, you know, to two examples with Rouche Park on your trolling. It’s includes Ansan City, Toronto. But it’s you know, it’s on twenty thousand acres. And so I know Parks candidate, you know, is is trying on, um, Indigenous like to make it a real opportunity for a showcase, but like to try things differently in something that’s so close to an urban center, you know, so close to Toronto and think about governance differently. I know it’s early days, but then also on the agricultural side, traditionally, a lot of that land, I’m not sure more extremely recently was farmland. And so part of the vision for the park is to keep that land farmland. And how could that land be used more creatively than just, you know, one hundred acre allotments for it for growing industrial corn? So thinking about that and the same with Montreal, the grand park to the west, again, part of the vision there of this very large green space that, you know, it’s a 20 year vision to how to create this park in Montreal is for know long term agricultural opportunities there. So, you know, it’s how we can think about it. It’s not a, you know, a little allotment gardener community garden. But this can be large scale agriculture with that and, you know, and getting our park system as part of that.  

 Mary Rowe [00:37:09] And somehow I could just can I just remind the participants that the lots of really great things going into the chat. Could you direct them, please? Like Rhonda, you just put something in. But just to Panelist’s. Can you redirect it to reposting, again, all panelists and everyone so that everybody sees these things that gets recorded? Carlos, I’m wondering if we if we can go back to you. You presented a off the top with a kind of aspiration and reflecting a commitment that was made from the top down about a goal that you obviously feels an instrument to get change. I’m assuming you can, but you feel like you can get a city government to make a commitment to change, to to make. It’s almost like you’re suggesting it’s an entitlement. People should have an accessible park fifteen minutes from their house. Right. Or their home. I guess the question that we struggle with here in Canada is,  is that enough? Is that actually just the provision of that going to be adequate to actually giving people what they need? If it just comes from the top down, you know?  

Carlos Moreno [00:38:16] Yeah, yeah, of course. Today, again, in the City of Paris, we wanted to develop this concept of proximity for, you know, he does in order to access the six essential urban conscience and to to leave show, to care to supplying it naturally and not to enjoy this. So a new paradigm because we wanted to reduce the massive importation. We want to to develop the peaceful streets. We wanted to buy those days and cocks the heart some 20, 24. We went to to develop the urban park  

Mary Rowe [00:39:03] Carlos, we should just tell you that there are lots of urban activists in in Canada that have Paris envy for how bold Paris is being about cars and not making room for cars. So we appreciate the efforts you’re making. We haven’t been I don’t think it’s successful in Canada yet at reducing cars in cities. But you carry on, so carry on with what you’re suggesting.   

Carlos Moreno [00:39:25] Is very important for us, because if they day the key element for transforming the city today, we are all kind of car owners too far. And if you can put it into the car, we need to have the Christopher Street for developing the garden for his car sanitation to develop that water for benefit. Keep say this called for open discourse on the street. We need to develop the markets in the proximity to develop the . This is a new approach, in fact. In fact, if we went to to it up day in a very strong, socially crucial to enter to develop the new economic model, she wanted to develop the chart to separate the circular economy. And she saw it necessary today for us to including the urban parls, the arsenal for green activities. This is the case. So when they and their partners decided to ban it, they said cars of the motor anyway along this and rigor for transforming a nice urban park. And today, this day, you’ll run. But at the heart of PAris. We need today it transformed your urban park by the proximity with the possibility to include it in the park other kinds of new services. We want to develop day cities in just in the park. This is just in fact. This is the new style for the local administration. The people today must go to a town hall. If you have the that we started, for example, in the green asking, did you run park the city? Think just with the look, the local governments, we could develop a new relationship with the citizens and the local authority. We could develop, for example, a project with the participatory bridges in order to increase the green areas for people. They possibly to use the temporary urbanist, the tactical d’orbigny for transforming places for stuff, obviously during a six month, for example, or one year. And because this is only temporary, but this is the possibility for promoting the civic empowerment, the civic commitment. This is the concept of the topophilia, the possibility for allowing, the possibility for each one of citizens to to propose the new project with the condition for improving the quality of life into proximity in the 15 minutes around the.  

Mary Rowe [00:42:43] What happens in the park, then this leads out. What was the word? You use something philia. I heard the filia the topic for you.  

[00:42:51] Topophilia. This is the concept of for the love of the place. Topophilia. Yes. This is a very important concept, born, in Latin America, because a day is slum. This is a way for people to develop urbanist.  Love my place. Love my street. Love my garden. This is very important for people to be proud of this place.  

Mary Rowe [00:43:23] I wonder if we can get to loving our place so it doesn’t have to just be like my place, you know? And Rena. Can I just ask you about this notion of democratizing parks or public spaces and econo decock? I can’t say decolonize. And I think you decolonizing. Do you have models in Vancouver? You know, Congress is talking about a big, ambitious plan. Paris is has a long history of this kind of approach to planning and spaces. Do you think that in in Vancouver. Have you been able to I mean, I’ve been in the Strathcona Park and I know that the various users of that Strathcona Park have navigated with the Carnegie Library, Community Center and various stewards, and they sort of found a way to share different things. Do you have further thoughts on that? About. Is there an opportunity for us to do this, do this differently?  

Rena Soutar [00:44:17] Yeah, I definitely think so. I think that I think we don’t have an alternative. Actually, we have to figure out how to do this. But I think there’s a huge range and I don’t think that there’s a one size fits all solution to any one space. All of Canada, all of the U.S., all of North America is unseated Indigenous territory. It was all taken without the free prior and informed consent. I don’t think any indigenous person said, yeah. No, I’ll. I’ll sell it all over to you and and go live on this little spot. That’s cool. So I want to start from that point. It is all unseeded. And in Vancouver, we’ve officially said that it’s unseeded territory. So whenever we’re do dealing with space planning and trying to figure out how to allocate specific uses. So how do we support food sovereignty? How do we support sports users? How do we support all of these different things in in parks? There’s a huge range of possibilities for any given piece of land. On the one hand, we’ve got give the land back. That’s always a possibility. We govern the land, we hold it in most cases, there’s some weird jurisdictional things. Sometimes we lease it, but there’s always a possibility to give it back. And at the other end, it’s go ahead and just serve the the inhabitants without any consideration of Indigenous, use. and the long history of that of the rights holders, Indigenous rights holders. Just go ahead and plan as we always used to. And somewhere in between, there’s there’s a lot of other options. And so in places like Strathcona, we’re looking at, you know, designating parcels of land for Indigenous cultural practice, whatever that looks like, because our silos don’t actually fit most Indigenous cultural practice anyway. If you’re gonna be doing Indigenous food sovereignty work, that also probably includes a lot of wellness work, a lot of artistic practice, a lot of traditional practice. You know, all of those things, they don’t fit into our silos. So we’re looking at ways of figuring out how to designate. Pieces of land for Indigenous cultural use. And tried, you know, at the same time is trying to encourage and develop the relationships with indigenous cultural practice practitioners and then center those people for their knowledge and expertize and allow them to lead that work. So basically provide our resources and space and get out of the way. We’re also looking at, you know, other in other places trying to figure out how to honor and acknowledge the fact that, you know, these were old village sites and the narrative has been completely erased. So how do we work with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh rights holders to restore some control over that place or, you know, all kinds of issues? How do we how do we communicate to the public that that this is unseated Indigenous territory? How do that how does the public even know when they’re standing on an old village site? We’ve erased it. Parks has raised it. We have jurisdiction over those lands. We’re responsible for the fact that there’s no narrative there. So we also have to deal with that. So there’s a huge range of possibilities for all of these different spaces. And I think that what we’re trying to do and I don’t want to position us as being, you know, really exceptional at doing the very best job at any of these things. We’re trying to ask the questions and probably doing it badly. But, you know, by starting to ask the questions, hopefully we can build the trust and relationships and continue to do better. So hopefully in that range of not consulting and giving the land back, we shift over this way somewhere.  

Mary Rowe [00:47:45] And a question in a chat asking if you would just provide a bit more detail, if you could, briefly on the point gray process. Does that mean something to you? Something comes a development point gray. Could you speak a bit more to your knowledge about that process, if you could? Do you know the process?  

Rena Soutar [00:48:06] Oh, sorry, I missed the question.  

Mary Rowe [00:48:08] OK. It’s someone in the chat has asked a question about detail for about the point gray process. Does that mean something to point gray?  

Rena Soutar [00:48:17] No.  

Mary Rowe [00:48:18] Well, I thought it was in Vancouver. Sorry, Becca Byers.  

Rena Soutar [00:48:20]  Point Gray is in Vancouver. I’m just not quite sure what they’re talking about. The Jerico Locarno.  

Mary Rowe [00:48:25] First thing comes to mind when. Could you speak a bit more to your knowledge about that process, if you could?  

Rena Soutar [00:48:31] Oh, is this the Jeriko Lands development? We’ll see if that’s what. Yes, it is. OK. The Jeriko lands development is there’s some really, really fascinating things going on in Vancouver right now. And this is this is very much the Indigenous people, the local local indigenous people got. This is this is my perspective. This is my opinion. I’m not speaking for the local nations at all, but as a Heida person, not from these territories, I’m looking at it going. They waited forever for some acknowledgment that this is their territory. And they finally said, fine, we’ll do it your way. Got pooled sll of their resources created Masquim, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Development Corporation. That’s MSD Corp. and purchased the land back, did it in the settler Colonial Way, just bought it back. And they’re developing. It’s resulted in some really interesting relationships where the city of Vancouver would usually make all kinds of demands from developers to say, put this on there. This on there. That’s on there. But realizing that they’ve had just just purchased their own territory back from and from the feds, we’re, you know, hesitant to just put all of those out. So it’s like at the governance of of these and they and their usual regulations are having to be reconsidered. It’s I don’t know what more I can say on that, because they’re not park spaces. But from a parks perspective, I will say that, you know, we are perfectly aware that going to a developer in a local indigenous rights holder developer and saying you must have this amount of parks for the new residents is not really the way to go. I can get into all of that into more detail, but I don’t think this is a forum for that.  

Mary Rowe [00:50:10] I mean, this is the dilemma we’ve got, is that we’re trying to we’re we’re advocating I think all of us advocate for public space, want publicly shared and accessible space. But, David, go ahead.  

Dave Harvey [00:50:20] Well, but an element around that remains to pick up on that is that I think we’d all agree that the combat experience and then and, you know, so much demand for public spaces and great public spaces in public spaces that the community needs really shows that we need to do a better job of that in our cities, of providing all those things and very worried that, you know, municipal governments are really going to hit a crunch financially and be committed to. And what’s that going to mean for our park budgets and what’s that going to mean for park acquisition and programing and all the good things that we care about? So very concerned about that. And so and gets these questions of, you know, how much are developers paying for parks? How much, you know, how are we creating new neighborhoods? Are we are we doing enough for the parks that that should be part of that. Can we find new and creative ideas to meet people’s park needs from developers, from others? You know, can we segment electricity corridors before or for for growing food? Can we use more of that for linear parks, like in trouble with the motorway project? You know, so how can we you know, we’ve got to do better. And in a time when government’s going to have less money of meeting our park needs.  

Rena Soutar [00:51:33] I would be really remiss, actually, if I didn’t raise the subject right now that there a there is a broader public discussion about municipal budgets and where that money might come from. I don’t think that this is the forum to be weighing in on that. But having just recently seen the Vancouver budget and the proportion of police funding versus parks funding versus everything else, I think that there are other factors that determine parks funding than just the amount that we’ve already allocated and how some of the revenue streams have gone down because of COVID.   

Mary Rowe [00:52:09] And is it and is you know, there’s obviously we’ve had a number of city talks raising the fact that municipal revenues are Cygnet in Canada. Carlos, for your benefit, municipalities here, their only source of revenue is property tax and user fees. And those have been drastically cut by the budget by COVID. But now Reena’s raising the point to that even within the envelope, the municipal governments have the money they do spend. And as someone said, if you want to see someone’s values, go look at the budget. And when you look at our budget, you’ll see that it is tilted very much in favor of a particular kind of style of organizing society. And that’s all under question in the Chatbox is exploding, Rena, since you raised this point. So is this back to is this one of these COVID moments where we’re gonna have to have a serious reconsideration of how we prioritize our public funds? And as Dave suggested, probably you could argue parks were underfunded beforehand, even from a maintenance funding to let alone what you want to do in parks.  

 Dave Harvey [00:53:04] No, probably you can you can’t argue that.  

Mary Rowe [00:53:07] They’ve been on chronically underfunded for a number of years. So do we have a monument now after everyone has been besieged with we need our parks, we need our public space. And then, Cheyenne, you’ve been adding a whole new piece to it that it’s about it could be about economic livelihood. It’s about survival. Does that mean we come out of COVID with a with a renewed commitment to quality of life and budgeting for quality of life time? But we’ve only got a few minutes, so I’m going to go around the room once once more and just ask for closing comments. But Cheyenne let’s go to you first. You’ve been making a passionate case here for food and the role of food production. Do you want to add anything more to that at about the moment we’ve got here after COVID?  

Cheyenne Sundance [00:53:48] I think the moment we got here after COVID. Really? Display how we view humanity and those who don’t have access to privileges such as being affluent, race privilege and have those who are often overpoliced. I truly think that parks are a place where a lot of change can happen. From what I spoke about earlier, economic development, people actually getting these hard skills to get in playable jobs, food, access to self-employed income. Right. There’s a bunch of things that I think that part can provide. I truly think that proper funding in part is very important and also part can be a preventative measure. Right. I believe in defunding the police and really putting those funds toward parks could allow folks who are overly policed, then face police brutality so largely black Indigenous people to have a place to go, have a place to go. I believe to grow food, sell food and really get themselves out of poverty if they can. And that’s a very hard thing to do coming from someone who lived in poverty as a child. So I would say that parks can be a place where you can really bring people together. But it’s also a place of division. Parks are heavily policed. Where I grew up, there’s always a police officer walking around that park and also thinking about who feel safe that apart. So I feel like going forward. I think urban agriculture needs to have a permanent stake in parks. I feel like with the lack of land space to grow, food parks are an obvious solution. But I also think that thinking about how parks can be more than leisure is a very important thing, because people who think parks are just a place that I know have a beer, at Trinity Bellwoods on a Sunday are people who aren’t often and aren’t affected by systemic issues such as racism or poverty. Those type of issues. So seeing a parks in a different light, I feel like it really catalyzed change in Toronto and also internationally.  

Mary Rowe [00:55:33] Yeah, it’s a it’s a trade. It could be a transformer, can’t it. A new imagining of what Parks could be. Carlos. One minute to you and then we’ll keep going round. One minute in closing.  

Carlos Moreno [00:55:43] Now I want to share with you this a point of view public spaces. In Paris this is public service is very important because this is the space for or this is a very important point of place of the city for fighting against the inequities, for promoting social inclusion, for promoting and developing the new projects for a new economic, some more for new services. And this is a very strategic action of the local governance of our budget, the budget of the city of Paris, including your very intensive action for increasing activity in the public space. And this is new today one of the access you went to to develop the inclusive city, which we we kind of have inclusive city without the public spaces, free for all and the possibility for developing kind of activity activities that public spaces not only to have a freedoms the public space. It’s right when we have the possibility to develop day activities in these places a music cultural activities to teach it to a playground  for kids, so to all kinds of sport, activities, etc. For that, we want to to foster people to use the participatory budget for improving the a public space because it’s the possibility for increasing activities inside the public space. I think at a public space, is one of the most important point for mix of people for promoting democracy, for promoting the equity, for a develop the new pedagogy. I think it’s it for the school and for the education. This is one of the strategic points of cities. This is not only the green ideas. We need to have, of course, to do this. But the most important point is to do in a discreet, honest discussion, activities for developing the socially crucial new economic modern for. This is a concept the city for all.  

Mary Rowe [00:58:17] Thank you. Just a minute to you. Dave Harvey. And then we’ll go to Rena to take us home.   

Dave Harvey [00:58:23] Well, I just keep a really short time. I just want to Cheyenne you you hit it so well. And I think this is just it’s we mentioned earlier it’s a time like parks have never been in the spotlight more and it’s a great thing. And so it shows so much critical parks. And we just talked about resources and we need more and better resource for parks. But fundamentally, to going back to your comment, Rena, earlier about voices and who’s being heard and who’s not being heard. We need new voices and we need to hear those voices. And this is a time for that. So I’ll shut up.  

Mary Rowe [00:58:58] Rena, last words for you.  

Rena Soutar [00:59:01] Thank you. I appreciate that. I think that the most urgent thing we have to deal with right now is racism. It is at the core of all of the problems. And in park space, it isn’t just the governance. It is the users. So I think that we need to really consider how we’re communicating, who is welcome in these public spaces, how do we use those public spaces? How do we. One of the ways that we could communicate that is by supporting Indigenous food sovereignty, in part in parks more. I think that people could really learn from the presence of that and witnessing it, even if they’re not participating. So I think that we really need to in the same way that, you know, trans people welcome signs on a on a bathroom, don’t actually ensure that trans people aren’t going to experience bigotry in those bathrooms. But it does communicate to the bigots that their management does not have their back. How do we do that in parks? How do we tell the entire public that we are protecting these spaces for people of color, for indigenous people, for black people? Your bigotry isn’t welcome in these spaces. How do we do that?  

Mary Rowe [01:00:06] Yes, on that very, very crucial and profound challenge. Thank you, everyone, for joining us on this and giving us so much to think about it. You can see in the chat people are expressing their appreciation for all the issues you’ve raised. And it’s a very effective follow up to the conversation we had yesterday where we’re just as as we suggested. This is an ongoing conversation about what are the challenges that COVID is presenting to us that we need to take seriously and fix. And you just all of you made that very clear around how we need to double down on how do we make sure the public spaces and parks work for everyone. Thanks, everybody, for joining us as they talk. Thank you, Rena. Thank you, Carlos, for coming in from Paris. Thank you, Cheyenne from beautiful downtown Toronto and Dave Harvey, also from downtown Toronto. It’s the beginning of several conversations, including these. I continue the chat guys on the hash tag city talk. We’ll post this later today. And also just to remind people that tomorrow we’re back for another one more city talk this week with Marinaded Nenshi from Calgary, who’s raising Jur and respond to a lot of the issues that you’ve raised today. And then a week tomorrow COVID 100. Mark your calendars now. Thanks again for joining us. Everybody, really very appreciative participation. Thank you.  

Carlos Moreno [01:01:16] All right. Thank you.  

 

Full Audience
Chatroom Transcript

Note to reader: Chat comments have been edited for ease of readability. The text has not been edited for spelling or grammar. For questions or concerns, please contact events@canurb.org with “Chat Comments” in the subject line.

13:01:48          From Canadian Urban Institute: Folks, please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

13:03:39          From Cheryl Cohen: Thank you!

13:03:57          From Canadian Urban Institute: Keep the conversation going #citytalk @canurb

13:04:23          From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at https://www.canurb.org/citytalk

13:04:36          From Kayla Ginter to All panelists: “Hello” from Ptbo, happy to be joining this Webinar today!

13:04:59          From Casuncad Niko: Hello from Tkaronto! Looking forward to the discussions today

13:05:07          From Kayla Ginter: “Hello” from Ptbo, happy to be joining this Webinar today!

 

13:05:09          From Emily Wall, CUI Staff: Today’s panel:

Dave Harvey

@dharve1

Carlos Moreno

@CarlosMorenoFR

Cha’an Dtut Rena Soutar

@unsettling_us

Cheyenne Sundance

https://www.sundanceharvestfarm.com

13:05:20          From Kellie Grant: Kellie from Saskatoon

13:05:21          From Lorraine Johnson: Tangible actions! Yes! And thanks! Looking forward to hearing from these great panelists.

13:05:44          From Ryan Senechal: hello from Victoria urban forestry, thanks to panelists for sharing today

13:06:13          From Surita Dey: Hello from Brampton Library

13:06:15          From Jeny Mathews-Thusoo: Hi Everyone. Jeny from Calgary here.

13:06:30          From Leigh Stickle: Hello from Vancouver, all!

13:06:31          From Ava Creasy: Hello from Vancouver! Pleased to be here today – I’m a sociology major and use she/they/he pronouns. Thank y’all for hosting this!

13:06:32          From Jodi Lastman to All panelists: Hello everyone, Jodi from Park People. Welcome to the webinar

13:06:36          From Mary Neary to All panelists: Mary Ann from Toronto

13:06:49          From Canadian Urban Institute: Folks, please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

13:07:11          From Cheryll Case: Hearing much realness

13:07:14          From Abby S: Thank you Cha’an…this is such an important perspective…I am continuing to learn.

13:07:14          From Clara Kwon: thank you for laying the terms and foundation for this conversation! yes! ✊🏽

13:07:21          From Jodie Church: Jodie from Toronto – can’t wait to learn from this panel and the discussions that will continue

13:08:01          From Jeff Silcox-Childs to All panelists: Hello from City of Waterloo

13:09:35          From Emily Wall, CUI Staff: Jay Pitter’s Call to Courage: https://www.canurb.org/citytalk-posts/2020/6/10/a-call-to-courage-an-open-letter-to-canadian-urbanists

13:09:38          From Jodi Lastman to All panelists: https://www.canurb.org/citytalk-posts/2020/6/10/a-call-to-courage-an-open-letter-to-canadian-urbanists

13:09:46          From Jodi Lastman to All panelists: Jay Pitter’s open letter

13:11:30          From Paula Gallo: this is also a great resource for exploring historical inequities and climate change: https://groundworkusa.org/climate-safe-neighborhoods/

13:13:02          From Jodi Lastman: https://www.canurb.org/citytalk-posts/2020/6/10/a-call-to-courage-an-open-letter-to-canadian-urbanists
Jay Pitter’s open letter

13:16:42          From Andrew Pask to All panelists: https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/vanplay-parks-and-recreation-strategy.aspx#redirect

13:16:57          From Andrew Pask: VanPlay: https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/vanplay-parks-and-recreation-strategy.aspx#redirect

 

13:17:19          From Abby S: In Toronto, I have seen massive redevelopment of parks and playgrounds in very wealthy neighbourhoods…and wonder who is paying for this? Whether it is the residents or the City, the gross inequities are very obvious. I have no idea why these playgrounds are prioritized. (Ramsden Park for example at Rosedale Subway station)

13:17:35          From Lester Brown: In Toronto, there is a need to expand patios to help restaurants survive. Some public space has been used for these patios, including Parks in some cases. Is this a good idea?

13:18:50          From Mary Tasi, mcip to All panelists: Great timing on how to truly make public spaces equitable, interesting and welcoming and dismantle the colonial settler process which has excluded many. Powerful learning from this panel! www.skyspiritconsulting.ca

13:19:56          From Jennifer Roth: Rena – so respect the direct approach to the systemic failings of design. Thank you!

13:20:26          From Zoi de la Peña: The history of Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto is a perfect example of what David is speaking to right now. There is a journal article by York U prof Jennifer Foster about this called “Whose Restoration”

13:20:30          From Ava Creasy: Lester, New Westminster (Vancouver) is working on public patios and parklets – it’s been pretty well supported, definitely an option

13:20:33          From Sharon Lovett to All panelists: A really great idea for an international park in Copenhagen https://www.archdaily.com/286223/superkilen-topotek-1-big-architects-superflex

13:20:37          From Canadian Urban Institute: Reminding attendees to please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

13:20:44          From Clara Kwon: thank you ms. soutar! this has been my experience in atlanta during my time as director of parks design in dept of parks & rec.

13:21:03          From Sharon Lovett: A really great idea for an international park in Copenhagen https://www.archdaily.com/286223/superkilen-topotek-1-big-architects-superflex

 

13:22:12          From Abby S: @Zoi is it possible to post a link to this article? Does not seem accessible.

13:22:27          From Cheryl Cohen: In Toronto, can you sell food that you grow in your backyard?

13:22:35          From Cheyenne Sundance: Yes Cheryl.

13:22:44          From Zoi de la Peña: Lemme see if I can find a public version. If not, I can email to anyone that would like a copy.

13:22:55          From Abby S: @Zoi thank you.

13:23:04          From Cheryl Cohen: Thank you.

13:23:38          From Jennifer van Popta to All panelists: also learning the business side of selling that food is also a great employable skill

13:24:05          From Abby S: Right now there are such long lists for allotment gardens. How do we rectify this?

13:24:07          From Paula Gallo: i keep thinking of the spaces owned by the TTC

13:24:31          From Abby S: Foodshare is also working on hydro lands

13:24:45          From Netami Stuart to All panelists: How do you equitably provide access to income-generating allotments?

13:25:11          From Cheyenne Sundance to Abby S and all panelists: Yes!

13:25:31          From Minaz Asani: Starting a community garden in park especially in underserved communities is a long, complicated process for many people. It would be great to see cities making this easier.

13:25:43          From Jill Lance to All panelists: City of Seattle’s Dept of Neighborhoods-P-Patch Program is a great resource for how to create market gardens in community garden spaces…https://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/p-patch-community-gardening/market-gardens

13:26:01          From Netami Stuart to All panelists: Yes! How do we equitably govern access to income-generation in parks?

13:26:07          From Zoi de la Peña: @Abby S: it doesn’t seem to be accessible for free online:/ is there a way for us to exchange email addresses privately for me to send you a copy?

13:26:17          From Joyce M Drohan to All panelists: Corridors a real opportunity to create district wide networks for open space that connect all citizens

13:26:22          From Anne Huizinga: Edmonton has recently started installing and watering them in public parks, very little process involved, and it was very exciting!

13:26:34          From Cathy Tuttle: One of the most visible new uses of our shared public space is houseless people. Cities own a third or more of urban land 10% in parks, 20% or more in streets. How can parks and streets — our public land — be more welcoming to people without homes? Is it time for streets, golf courses, and other public land to be repurposed for temporary and permanent housing?

13:26:37          From Abby S: @Zoi I will go through CUI if that works for you…(or LinkedIn?)

13:26:53          From Lorraine Johnson: Here’s a link to the document A Guide to Growing and Selling Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Toronto, published by the City of Toronto. https://sustainontario.com/greenhouse/custom/uploads/2019/03/A-Guide-to-Growing-and-Selling-Fruits-and-Vegetables-in-Toronto.pdf

13:27:11          From Zoi de la Peña: @Abby S: yes, either of those work. Same for anyone else that would like a copy

13:27:39          From Mary Tasi, mcip to All panelists: There are so many green corridors in the Lower Mainland that are mainly lawns that could easily be converted to allotment and community gardens if the political will is there.

13:27:44          From Roy Menagh to All panelists: can

13:27:52          From Canadian Urban Institute: Reminding attendees to please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

13:28:31          From Lester Brown: visited the community garden in Strathcona Vancouver. It is< I believe 3 1/2 acres. Would like this for other cities.

13:28:49          From Sharon Lovett: Urban agriculture is really needed and needs to be expanded but if you care about biodiversity, foraging in ravines and ESAs (Environmentally Sensitive Areas) is really destructive and doesn’t support helping wildlife. The vast majority of parks in Toronto are not ESAs but a distinction needs to be made and the ESAs need to be primarily for nature, not people or there won’t be anything left for birds etc.

13:29:43          From Cheyenne Sundance: @Sharon, this is true! and this is why people and elders I respect do not harvest more than 1/4 of the plant:)

13:30:00          From Netami Stuart: What does a decolonized and equitable parks governance model look like in Toronto?

13:30:19          From Jessie Best: Jessie from Saskatoon here. Thanks so much panelists for the discussion. Here is a wonderful report that a group from Saskatoon recently published: https://foodmattersmanitoba.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Urban-Indigenous-Food-Access-Final-Report-March2020.pdf

13:31:02          From Kate Cockburn: Hamilton, ON is like this as well!

13:31:03          From Lorraine Johnson: To Cheynne

13:31:11          From Cheryll Case: Hi Lorraine!

13:31:28          From Selina Bull: One of the impacts of covid in Vancouver was the shut down of the Downtown Eastside market. Not food, but selling market wares for basic income. The City has historically not permitted or has been very restrictive basic vending for low income folks in public spaces.

13:31:38          From Lisa Cavicchia, CUI Staff: what about rooftops?

13:31:40          From Jessie Best: Does anyone have experience with Indigenous Protected Areas, or know of similar work happening in urban areas? E.g.: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/01/canada-working-towards-new-future-for-indigenous-led-conservation/. Could this be a model for a decolonized governance model for urban parks?

13:32:00          From Lorraine Johnson: To Cheyenne’s point that food grown in parks cannot be sold, are any groups such as Park People working to change this? Would love to support!

13:32:21          From Sharon Lovett: Unfortunately most people who go to parks don’t know or respect foraging rules unless it is explained to them and they don’t know what other people have harvested already. ESAs are really special but most people don’t know about them.

13:32:28          From Susan Chin: For urban farmers and gardeners, please check out Farming Concrete that helps them measure their value, not just food. https://farmingconcrete.org/barn/

13:33:14          From Mary Tasi, mcip: We need to bring Tourism Board leadership along with this conversation. They are often the first point of education/contact for anyone visiting the area.

13:33:29          From stephanie gonos: Guerrilla gardening- thoughts?

13:33:56          From Ava Creasy: @Selina Bull – I had no idea that existed and was so restrictive, do we know why they’re so restrictive? It could be really helpful to work towards lifting those restrictions, especially with the current COVID situation and the lack of income for many people

13:34:16          From Becca Mayers to All panelists: Cheyenne is incredible and touching on so many great points. thank you🙏

13:34:25          From Jodie Church: Would love to see establishing of more co-ops, also with store/brick& mortar spaces to sell food in food desert areas

13:34:40          From Susan Chin: Another resource for making the case for Urban Ag to policy makers—health, social and economic benefits, not just economic value is Design Trust for Public Space’s Five Borough Farm, http://www.designtrust.org/projects/five-borough-farm/.

13:35:00          From Cheyenne Sundance: Thank you @Becca Mayers!

13:35:08          From Gil Penalosa: Cheyenne is right on the need for more allotment gardens. As example in Toronto, High Park has a 10 year wait list! The current ones have priority; why??? In addition, it is just one hectare in a 160 hectare park. Fantastic as community builders, great for immigrant families and all minorities to integrate, sense of belonging.

13:35:13          From Cheyenne Sundance: Agreed @Jodie Church!

13:35:18          From Roy Menagh to All panelists: Is it possible to create a public space by closing a Main Street in a small city in Ontario by banning all cars on the street? This would allow restaurants and other business to open up in a socially acceptable way during this difficult time for businesses. This would create an urban mall atmosphere similar to many European cities.

13:35:35          From Rhonda Teitel-Payne to All panelists: https://taiaiakon.wordpress.com/

13:35:39          From Rhonda Teitel-Payne to All panelists: https://indigenouslandstewardshipto.wordpress.com/

13:35:40          From Oriana Nanoa: Agree with @Sharon Lovett, most people don’t know about ESA’s and they are really biologically significant in certain areas in the GTA. I have seen some signs posted indicating an ESA while out on hikes in the York region.

13:36:20          From Selina Bull: @Ava Creasy. I don’t have a concrete answer but my guess is subsistence vending is a pain for businesses and business improvement associations, and the City is more likely to listen to those entities. The Covid shut down was due to concerns around physical distancing but realistically the City should have been supporting the market to take place with additional distancing measures. I’m not sure if the market has been allowed to re-open yet.

13:36:40          From Doug Bennet: I understand Parks Canada is doing work on Indigenous governance in national parks. Would like to learn more.

13:37:11          From Rhonda Teitel-Payne to All panelists: https://www.evergreen.ca/blog/entry/walking-through-the-indigenous-urban-agriculture-garden/

13:37:56          From Jodie Church: Areas like Caledonia park/eglinton flats have huge areas dedicated to sports fields – would be ideal of larger scale agricultural initiatives

13:38:02          From Gillian Kranias: Another question to Rena: how did Vancouver end up creating your dedicated position, and what would you recommend to those thinking about the need for parallel positions within other Canadian cities?

13:38:03          From Rhonda Teitel-Payne: https://www.evergreen.ca/blog/entry/walking-through-the-indigenous-urban-agriculture-garden/

13:38:32          From Cheyenne Sundance: @Jodie Church, yes great idea! The next step is figuring out who holds the power and zoning!

13:38:40          From Rhonda Teitel-Payne: https://taiaiakon.wordpress.com/

Restoring Indigenous stewardship to Tkaronto's ancient oak savannahs

 

13:40:25          From Patricia Main to All panelists: Patricia.main@sympatica.ca

13:40:34          From Casuncad Niko: Thank you for sharing Rhonda!

13:40:46          From Abby S: @Sharon Lovett there is a worry about over foraging or damaging not only ESA, but flora and fauna in our parks.

13:41:15          From Jodie Church: @Cheyenne Sundance – same with other spaces along the York Beltline and hydro corridors, would love to see more opportunity in the York area for residents

13:41:30          From Ava Creasy: @Abby S that is a great point, I think with the provision of more parks of all sizes, we’d have more flora and fauna in general

13:41:55          From Abby S: The waitlist for allotment is ridiculous and I would like to see what the breakdown of current allotment holders is…does it reflect the diversity of our City?

13:42:13          From Jonathan Deshman: Foraging and stewardship are not mutually exclusive. I think those ideas are not linked strongly enough

13:42:35          From Joyce M Drohan to All panelists: Vancouver a good test for reimagining limited open space – how can Council’s recent decision to close 11% of roads play a role in this? – eg: including urban ag, micro parks and green infrastructure?

13:42:40          From Cheyenne Sundance: @Sharon and Sbby. And that’s where education can come in regarding foraging protocols and knowledge. I do not believe to police people from public food, esp. Black n Indigenous people who are seeking to re-connect/connect with land.

13:42:46          From Catherine Soplet: Great information / solutions / insights / promising practice – thank you CUI for bringing voice for hope during pandemic times

13:42:50          From Alan McNair: Can we hear comments about resolving the conflict between protecting natural areas in and near cities from overuse and the conflicts with users who want play with space for their motorized toys? This is just a part of the wider problem of destroying such natural areas by “loving them to death” from too much human use.

13:43:18          From Catherine Soplet: How will we ensure equitable access to parks and public spaces?

ACER Canada, www.acer-acre.ca is an environmental education charity. Since 1987 ACER has developed programs including planting and geotagging of tree specimens for school yards, conservation areas, and private landowners of residential and commercial land.

Sites are publicly accessed, although land ownership can be public or private. Sites are planted with a view to engage local stewardship to collect annual data for international climate change research.

In 2019, ACER bundled its Planting for Change school yard planting program into a proposal for Peel Region – Project Crossroads: Planting for Change. The tagline is “Climate justice science, for trees and for people”. Read the proposal profile: https://bit.ly/ProjectCrossroads_Profile_Jan-2020

 

Project Crossroads targets efforts to work with communities in identified low tree canopy “heat islands” where residents experience lower well-being and higher policing events. The areas coincide wi

13:43:25          From Susan Chin: How did Paris’ mayor become so enlightened or was it citizens’ outcry for more public space?

13:43:43          From Abby S: @Cheyenne yes…but I would not want to create “enforcement” officers…and education is so important, but also a longer term strategy.

13:44:00          From Cheyenne Sundance: @Abby. Sure, it can be:)

13:44:10          From Claire Francesca Mills: To advocate inclusivity it is very important to have alternative access routes and facilities with those with disabilities

13:44:13          From Becca Mayers to All panelists: I wonder if Paris is so different party because of their governance structure, but also the amount of property ownership compared to places in Canada

13:44:50          From Canadian Urban Institute: Reminding attendees to please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

13:45:53          From Ava Creasy: Susan, I agree! Fabulous ideas

13:46:23          From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at https://www.canurb.org/citytalk

13:46:25          From Abby S: I still find it hard to understand golf courses…which apart from water use, also tend to use massive pesticides to keep the greens clean. Why in this day and age does the city continue to support golf courses, which serve a teeny tiny fraction of the population.

13:46:36          From Abby S: ?

13:46:52          From Emily Wall, CUI Staff: Please help CUI improve its CityTalk programming with a short survey – https://bit.ly/3cQdQyi

13:46:55          From DALIA GEBRAN to All panelists: Well I wish we can learn from Paris… Toronto is far behind in this respect…

13:46:55          From Giuseppe Tolfo: @Abby I think about that every day

13:47:39          From Becca Mayers to All panelists: Thanks for making those points Rena. First thing that comes to mind is the development in Point Grey. Could you speak a bit more to your knowledge about that process if you could?

13:47:43          From Cheyenne Sundance: @Abby who have power to wealth and resources within the city? Do the golf users intersect? Probably yes- it’s not low income BIPOC people golfing every weekend, its people who know and have the resources to move through the channels t get what they want.

13:47:53          From Joyce M Drohan to All panelists: Northeast False Creek Park should be an opportunity to demonstrate how a destination park can also be a place for the surrounding underserved neighbourhoods – downtown Eastside, Chinatown, Strathcona – to feel they also have access to ‘open space of their own’

13:47:56          From Abby S: @cheyenne 100%

13:48:23          From Tecla Van Bussel: For Rena: along that spectrum you mentioned, how is the Vancouver Parks Board actually planning to give land back to Musqueam, Squamish, or Tsleil-Waututh Nations?

13:48:35          From eliana macdonald: is that Jericho lands?

13:48:37          From Julia Hulbert: Jericho Lands?

13:48:37          From Joyce M Drohan to All panelists: Point Grey is Jericho lands

13:48:38          From Andrew Pask: Jericho Lands

13:48:38          From Cheyenne Sundance: It’s very important everyone to understand and think about intersectionality when we are thinking about “public” land and who gets to do what. People with class and race privilege have a much easier time historically and present.

13:48:52          From Brittany Morris: Maybe they mean Jericho?

13:48:53          From Maria Stanborough to All panelists: Jericho Lands

13:48:54          From Andrew Pask: It is! Jericho Lands

13:49:01          From Becca Mayers to All panelists: Yes! Jericho!

13:49:05          From Abby S: yes

13:49:13          From Ava Creasy: Rena, as a Sociology major I really appreciate the inclusion of the historical and invisibilized presence of Indigenous populations and land seizure. I wonder if we could make our Parks & Rec boards more representative and include relevant Indigenous groups in development projects?

13:49:15          From Lorraine Hopkins: @Abby @Guiseppe I do too. If we can’t reduce the # of golfcourses – which I’d love to see happen – I’d want to know they are paying proper property taxes, that could fund equitable access initiatives

13:49:22          From Andrew Pask: https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/jericho-lands.aspx

13:50:30          From Jeanhy Shim: In Toronto, parks are the “cottage” for the majority of residents (myself included) who don’t have the privilege of a backyard or a cottage or even friends who have cottages. Some “low hanging fruit” that should be addressed immediately is basic parks maintenance & repair, including removing overflowing garbage and recycling bins more often on weekends, providing access to public washroom facilities (currently sorely lacking), ensuring playground equipment and parks furniture is in good repair especially before weekends and long weekends, and other “basic functional items” like this that impact enjoyment of our parks. All other issues can be addressed in parallel, but taking care of these basic maintenance/repair issues would improve enjoyment and accessibility of our parks immediately.

13:50:44          From Lenka Holubec to All panelists: My Q.:

How we can re-focus our debate on being always inclusive of biodiversity and climate crisis? How to bring these biggest challenges or our times into focus of all and any debate?

How to put nature first?

 

On what was discussed so far:

 

  1. A lots of aspect we are referring to as inequalities in distribution of green spaces relates to the way the city. e.g. Toronto has intensified.

 

It should be no secret that development in Toronto was increasingly market driven, as opposed of pro-active planning. Developers are building at “desirable” locations which describes well potential reasons for not equitable distribution of green space.

 

  1. Agriculture

 

Apparently, public demand for growing their own food is on rise in urban centres. At the same time, we need to keep in mind that big cities also play a crucial role in fighting biodiversity crisis by protecting and enhancing urban natural heritage and ecosystems. These biodiversity hop spots are vital for fauna and flora. We also need connectivity.

13:50:52          From Canadian Urban Institute: Keep the conversation going #citytalk @canurb

13:50:55          From Zoi de la Peña: And also how is “public” defined and practiced? Are “public” parks and spaces actually for all people as the dictionary definition of “public” would suggest? Who is included in the definition of “the public” and who is not?

13:51:22          From Becca Mayers to All panelists: Thanks so much for talking about that project Rena.

13:51:25          From Claire Francesca Mills: Sorry ‘cottage’? That has a whole different meaning in England i.e. small country house

13:51:47          From Rosalyn Endlich: Parks are also highly policed spaces, especially during Covid-19, how do we address not just providing park spaces, but making them safe and accessible for all people?

13:51:54          From Giuseppe Tolfo: @ Abby I’ve read quite a bit about the American context, particularly in LA, and they definitely aren’t paying the appropriate taxes. It’s especially tragic in LA, because the City is starved for any form of park space, but you’re often walking (or I should say driving) by golf courses: they literally litter the city with golf courses, and fence them off from the public.

13:52:07          From Jennifer van Popta to All panelists: can someone tell me the name of the project/development companty Cha’an Dtut Rena Soutar was just speaking about? I would like to read more about that

13:52:07          From Jennifer Roth: What about the new Community Benefit Charge/Section 37 changes to the Ontario Planning Act to meet local park needs.

13:52:15          From Angela Moores: What about using the funds to defund the police to reallocate to public spaces

13:52:19          From Abby S: The police?

13:52:21          From Gillian Kranias: In Cedravale Park, Toronto, graffitti artists are asking for defunding the police…

13:52:26          From Zoi de la Peña: Parks are highly policed, but it is important to notice which parks are being policed and which bodies in parks are being policed?

13:52:38          From Jodi Lastman: YES. Thank you Rena

13:52:41          From Becca Mayers to All panelists: @abby I second that

13:52:43          From Cheryl Cohen: Yes!!!!

13:52:49          From Giuseppe Tolfo: !!!!!

13:52:51          From Kate Cockburn: @jennifer good point for the Ontario context.

13:52:51          From Catherine Soplet: wrt post-pandemic distancing, health and safety protocols – ACER is field testing its pandemic planting protocol with urban forestry experts later this month.

 

ACER will do a demonstration site in September, for the larger planting in October in Bramalea SNAP areas of Brampton.

13:52:56          From Cheyenne Sundance: @Gillian Yay!

13:53:12          From Rosalyn Endlich: Yes, that is going to be a huge issue

13:53:24          From Ava Creasy: @ Zoi, I love this thought! I think privileged people often fail to see (myself included) the exclusivity of some definitions of ‘public’ or ‘accessible’ and I think evaluating those structures to make them more inclusive, which is what I think we’re doing here

13:54:04          From Zoi de la Peña: In Riverdale Park East and Withrow Park, both in highly affluent, white areas of Toronto people have been gathering in large numbers, and using exercise equipment since Covid restrictions have been in place, but there is zero enforcement here

13:54:06          From Susan Chin: We should also look as parks and open space as infrastructure.

13:54:14          From Michael Wiebe: This is a critical time for parks acquisition across the country to protect our waterways and sacred indigenous spaces. How is Parks Canada supporting these initiatives?

13:54:17          From Becca Mayers to All panelists: Has anyone here thought about congestion pricing as a method of funding?

13:54:20          From Cheryl Cohen: Along with parks and public spaces comes the need for public washrooms.

13:54:26          From Doug Bennet: City of Toronto is losing $65 million per week in lost revenue/higher costs.

13:54:31          From Abby S: This was shared in a prior City Talk…

13:54:33          From Abby S: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/budget-finances/city-budget/basic-basics/how-your-tax-dollars-work/

13:54:46          From Jeff Silcox-Childs to All panelists: As director of environment and parks, I really struggle with the % of our operating and capital budgets allocated to things like organized sport in comparison to community vegetable gardens. One of the areas I continue to struggle with is balancing the park needs of all groups when some are extremely well organized and have loud voices that Councils hear, and others just as deserving have little or no voice at all.

13:54:57          From Zoi de la Peña: @Ava Creasy absolutely

13:55:01          From Jane Stensson: Toronto is considering defunding the police.. that funding can be reconsidered for parks

13:55:06          From Paula Gallo: @Doug Bennet that is really sobering

13:55:07          From Allison Best: I am curious on post pandemic how people will use the space. When people have more options for time, will they still want the parks and realize the value, or will it back to “status quo”

13:55:10          From Kate Cockburn: @Zoi – in place of public ownership of parks — ie. local government. Are we suggesting that “public” parks are owned and managed by a community represented board? Should tax dollars be diverted to keep them sustained?

13:55:38          From Jodie Church: Not the case here in Walter Saunders Park – west end, Eglinton/Dufferin – much policing, fines and even altercations

13:55:43          From Abby S: The upgrading of parks (as mentioned at the top) are upgraded in very strange ways…

13:55:49          From Abby S: Does not seem equitable to me.

13:55:50          From Mary Tasi, mcip: Healing, wellness and indigenous cultural practice spaces need to be embedded into public spaces. Not just the tokenistic piece of public art which has been the practice across Canada in the past. With Covid, there has been a huge emphasis placed on actually learning and celebrating outdoors and in parks… so the timing is very good to move forward with progressive ideas. www.skyspiritconsulting.ca

13:55:53          From Emily Wall, CUI Staff: Please help CUI improve its CityTalk programming with a short survey – https://bit.ly/3cQdQyi

13:56:28          From Paula Gallo: so important to be including children in these conversations.

13:56:35          From Doug Bennet: Doomsday scenario painted by Mayor includes shutting down some subway lines. Parks will need to compete.

13:56:35          From Venczel Gloria: With density, there always has to be amenities like a streetscape based vibrant public realm plus green spaces, no matter who is developing. We have done “dirty density” in the 1960’s in the failed “urban renewal” modernist experiment , warehousing people that very quickly became dangerous ghettos. People are hardwired social beings. For long term equity, parks and public spaces are vital for social resiliency.

13:56:38          From Catherine Soplet: Partners in Project Green gave a May 26, 2020 webinar “The Business Case for Natural #Infrastructure” https://partnersinprojectgreen.com/resources/the-business-case-for-natural-infrastructure/

 

The information was brought to the attention of Pee Region Poverty Reduction Strategy Committee – which links to the COVID 19 Response Table in Peel Region.

13:56:40          From Abby S: Thank you for another thought provoking and great learning and listening opporutnity

13:56:59          From Alan McNair: To Claire Mills:

13:57:03          From Rhonda Teitel-Payne: “safety” means different things to different people, often based on identity.

13:57:16          From Abby S: @zoi thank you!

13:57:23          From Gillian Kranias: Thank you Cheyenne and Rena! Your expertise on this panel is helping me deepen my ability to “re-frame” park issues. If anything, re-framing is the most fundamental impact that the Covid pandemic (as a complex moment) can bring us.

13:57:53          From Kellie Grant: Traditional parks tend to be overly oriented toward programmable recreation which seriously ignores passive recreation – this has led to many people not feeling welcome in parks unless they are part of a scheduled recreational activity. Any thoughts on rectifying that?

13:57:56          From Doug Bennet: Thanks again CUI and panelists. Inspiring and thought-provoking conversation.

13:58:02          From Jessie Cowe: FoodShare have long established positions within their org known as food animators / community food animators; who take on listening to the ideas of, and working with community groups and people and places where opportunities exist for incorporating spaces for food -growing, eating and convivial gathering. I wonder about the great value and potential of these animator roles – could it be a strategy to encourage organizations who are broadly working to advance community cohesion, equitable access to outdoor spaces and to urban ag, to create these positions and ensure a diverse representation. City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry and Rec division would be a good start!

13:58:12          From Leigh Stickle: Thinking of how parks need to be acquired, designed and managed based on the needs of those who really use them, including those experiencing homelessness

13:58:19          From Zoi de la Peña: @Kellie Grant: yes!

13:58:24          From Rosalyn Endlich: Yes, we need to talk more about how policing our parks and public spaces makes some people unsafe in those spaces

13:58:34          From Catherine Soplet: Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy – Advocacy and Awareness Table is aware of the linkage of COVIC morbidity and mortality arisin in low tree canopy areas. The #COVIDontario Jobs and Recovery Table does not include Environment at the table https://twitter.com/Soplet/status/1270333549338595328

13:58:47          From Jordan Monez to All panelists: Interesting things happening in Seattle now… the police left their precinct (station) near a public park and one of the first things people did was to plant a garden in the park.

13:59:12          From Alan McNair: To Claire Mills: A cottage in Canada is a usually a smaller recreational dwelling/property in or near a recreational area like a lake or river shoreline, forests, etc.

13:59:18          From Cheyenne Sundance: @Jordan wooooo!

13:59:26          From Christine Kerrigan: Quote from Erion Velia J (Mayor of Tirana, Albania) recently in an Urban Futures webinar: “I think that grannies meeting and watching their grand kids play are the best high definition cameras that anyone can have.” This was said in the context of developing more play areas for kids in public spaces. When it comes to security, safety, and inclusion, this is an important point to consider.

13:59:35          From Sara Street: Thank you all for a wonderfully thought provoking CityTalk! Amazing.

14:00:00          From Zoi de la Peña: @Rena yessssssss

14:00:11          From Allison Best: Thank you! Very fascinating.

14:00:17          From Rhonda Teitel-Payne: Yes!!!!

14:00:36          From Tecla Van Bussel: Yes Rena!!!

14:00:37          From Lorraine Johnson: @Rena “supporting Indigenous food sovereignty in parks” yes!!

14:00:45          From Jodie Church: Thank you all for your sharing your knowledge, insights and experiences – look forward to continuing these conversations in other spaces!

14:00:46          From Abby S: Thank you Mary!

14:00:47          From Heather Hewitt to All panelists: thank you

14:00:49          From Sean David Carter: Thank you all for a thoughtful hour. Stay safe!

14:00:49          From Gil Penalosa: Parks are not ‘an obvious place for urban gardening’ at large scale. Must be for everyone, all ages, gender, socio economic, ethnic background. I love allotment garden but each lot is for one person a full year. In 10 of those lots you can have multiple uses for many different people, as children playground which can be for many different children every day. General interest must prevail. Balance.

14:00:51          From Becca Mayers: Thank you so much for a great talk!

14:00:54          From Maria Stanborough: Awesome. Thank you.

14:00:55          From Venczel Gloria: @Rena- perhaps through design?

14:00:56          From James McCallan: thank you!

14:00:57          From Miranda Burton: Thank you so much for your time and thoughts!

14:00:59          From Rebecca Till: Yes Rena!!

14:00:59          From Leela Viswanathan: Thank you!

14:00:59          From Ava Creasy: Thank you everyone! I feel so inspired I’m overwhelmed

14:01:00          From Lorne Cappe: Thanks so much – such an important conversation!

14:01:02          From Netami Stuart: Hoooooraaay! Thanks for this

14:01:03          From Paula Gallo: thank you so much for a fantastic and challenging conversation

14:01:03          From Amy Calder: Thanks for the thought provoking conversation and your reflections from lived experiences!

14:01:04          From Lam Tran: Thank you so much!!

14:01:04          From Jackson Foster to All panelists: Thank you all! Really appreciated this.

14:01:05          From Casuncad Niko: Thank you!!!

14:01:07          From Catherine Soplet: ACER Canada wants to demonstrate that Project Crossroads: Planting for Change will remedy anti-Black racism in Peel Region wants https://twitter.com/Soplet/status/1204461897111740419

 

14:01:09          From Mariyan Boychev: Thank you very much!

14:01:09          From Tikki Yuen to All panelists: thank you

14:01:10          From Jeff Silcox-Childs to All panelists: excellent discussion. thank you so much.

14:01:11          From Sajid Sifat: Thank you so much!

14:01:15          From Jordan McAuley: Thank you for this!

14:01:15          From Leigh Stickle: Thank you to all the panelists and commenters!

14:01:16          From DeeDee Nelson to All panelists: Thank you all so much!

14:01:17          From Lorraine Johnson: Fabulous! Thank you for this panel!

14:01:19          From Susan Chin: Thank you for speaking truth!

14:01:19          From Sue Arndt: Thank you!!

14:01:22          From Mick Malowany: We tell people with public art installations like this one: https://donrivervalleypark.ca/events/will-kwan-a-park-for-all/

14:01:23          From Kim Napier: Wow so great! Thank you EVERYONE!

14:01:23          From Ava Creasy: I also really appreciate the diversity of this panel!! Big love

14:01:24          From Emily Beaton: Thank you for an amazing panel!

14:01:25          From Kristy Jackson: Thank you to the panelists

14:01:26          From Annie Yang to All panelists: thank you!

14:01:28          From Kevin Fraser: Thanks all!

14:01:30          From Hannah Miller: Thank you all for your thoughts and insight.

14:01:31          From Lorraine Hopkins: Great session, thank-you all.

14:01:32          From Sharon Lovett: Thank you everyone. Great discussion.

14:01:35          From Becca Mayers: #citytalkrock

14:01:38          From Caroline Hawson: Thank you, awesome

14:01:39          From Kellie Grant: Cheyenne do you have a website?

14:01:40          From Rosalyn Endlich: Thank you!