Understand the policy context in your community and tie project goals to policy opportunities
Conduct background research on the policy context in your community, including familiarizing yourself with provincial planning policies, your municipal official plan, and other local policies and plans (e.g. community improvement plans, transportation master plans, accessibility plans or others). Try to find areas where your project goals can align with policy and use policy goals to support and reinforce resident visions for their neighbourhood.
Policy can be a valuable tool to advance your project. Often, you can leverage your municipality’s policy goals to support the visions that residents lay out. You can also use the policy scan early on to understand if there are areas of alignment between the project and upcoming opportunities in your city. For example, are there any upcoming capital projects scheduled in the neighbourhood? Is the neighbourhood part of a special planning area in your official plan? The policy scan can also be valuable background research for advocacy or policy change work.
To see examples of policy scans, read the vision documents from our pilot projects!
- This can be a great opportunity to engage post-secondary student researchers.
- Depending on your context, you can also engage decision-makers, like municipal councillors, in the Policy Scan.