Design Workshop

Convene residents and built-environment professionals to propose design solutions for key neighbourhood sites

Activity Type : Vision, Design
Participant Audience : Residents, Organizational Partners, Built Environment Professionals, Decision-Makers

This activity is a facilitated co-design workshop, where participants work together to propose design interventions for key neighbourhood sites. It typically occurs as a half-day or full-day workshop, and it brings together residents and built environment professionals. The facilitation guide in the resources section provides information on how to structure and facilitate your workshop.

What makes this tool valuable?

The design workshop is a key moment in the participatory planning process. Since combining citizen and professional knowledge is a core principle of participatory planning, this activity is an essential opportunity to bring these knowledge systems together. Building from themes identified in the Neighbourhood Portrait, the workshop results in collaboratively produced design solutions for key sites of interest, and serves as the foundation for the neighbourhood plan going forward.

Images of a design workshop and its outcome.
Tips & tricks
  1. Remind professionals to keep their language accessible! This is essential to the success of this tool. Professionalized language can feel alienating to resident participants.
  2. If possible, start the workshop with a resident-led walking tour or a resident-led presentation of the Portrait. This positions residents as leaders and knowledge holders, which can empower them to contribute their expertise later on in the workshop.
  3.  Ensure your facilitators are experienced and trained in the facilitation approach (see the Facilitation Guide in the Resources section!)
  4. Think strategically about inviting specific stakeholders and decision-makers, and aligning design ideas with upcoming capital projects or plans in the area.