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Planning to Thrive: Engagingly Technical and Technically Engaging

Tim Barton is heading to Saskatoon to attend and present at the Canadian Institute of Planners 2015 Conference: ‘Thrive 2015’ taking place June 27th to June 30th. Tim will be part of a joint presentation outlining the innovative approach the City of Abbotsford took to it’s new OCP and his contribution will focus on the benefits of integrating transportation thinking early on in the planning process.


The project: The City of Abbotsford is a growing city of 140,000 people faced with budget and infrastructure challenges, neighbourhood discontent, and development uncertainty. “Abbotsforward” is the City’s OCP update to look to the future with clarity. The challenge: A tremendous amount of public input often goes into creating plans, culminating in a set of goals around which planning strategies are developed. Yet our plans frequently include visionary language in support of compact, complete, thriving communities, but our policies do not deliver the outcomes we desire. The approach: Begin with the end in mind and create a plan with the community. Early background work completed to date has deliberately compared existing conditions, desired outcomes, and proven thresholds to achieve them. Early work has also used a ‘reach-out’ rather than ‘in-drag’ engagement approach in order to hear from as many residents, businesses, and customers as possible. The result: Visit the session to engage in the technical research, learn the technical engagement, and find out how well it is working!


Presenters: Mark Neill MCIP, RPP, Director of Community Planning, City of Abbotsford, Abbotsford, BC; Reuben Koole MCIP, RPP, Senior Planner, City of Abbotsford, Abbotsford, BC; Jennifer Fix, Senior Planner, DIALOG, Vancouver, BC; Tim Barton, Senior Transportation Planner, Bunt & Associates, Vancouver, BC