Invitation to a research symposium on the implications of COVID-19 for the Regional Official Plan (ROP) - August 18, 2020
We'd like to invite you to participate in a virtual research symposium on the potential effects of COVID-19 on the Regional Official Planning Process. Please join the Region of Waterloo, in partnership with the University of Waterloo's Faculty of Environment, on August 18, 2020 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in light of the ROP review process currently underway, the Region wanted to re-examine our assumptions regarding the appropriate policy response for development in Waterloo Region: How has the pandemic changed things in our community, and how could we shift our development policies to address this change? More specifically, we are asking:
- If our public infrastructure can weather the COVID-19 storm?
- How could we adapt our region to ensure that we plan for vibrant, compact centres with a re-envisioned public environment for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders?
- What are the implications in Waterloo Region for housing?
- How do we ensure resilient food systems in the region?
- What do lessons from the COVID-19 lockdown teach us about tackling the climate and biodiversity crises?
To further explore these ideas and questions, the Region of Waterloo has partnered with the University of Waterloo to commission a series of papers that attempt to link the effects of the pandemic relative to some theme areas in the ROP, including:
- The economy and the way we work;
- Infrastructure, including water/wastewater, roads and transportation;
- Density and housing; and,
- Social and environmental implications.
The papers will consider the current policy objectives relating to their area of research and aim to design a logical, thoughtful response to the implications of the pandemic for the ROP. With the initial research now complete, we are hosting a virtual research symposium to review the findings and recommendations. We are eager to hear feedback from the community on the research and how it could inform the ROP policies.