Equitable Community Engagement: Moving Beyond Community Buy-In and Top-Down Consultation

August 10, 2022

12:00-1:30p.m. EST

Free virtual event - ASL interpreters available

Meet Jay Pitter, the award-winning placemaker whose practice mitigates growing divides in cities across North America.

Predicated on the belief that there is enough space, joy and justice for all of us, this 1.5-hour participatory talk will unpack the definition, principles and precedents related to equitable community engagement. All participants will be provided with a worksheet inclusive of key participatory talk ideas, prompts for reflection and resources for continued professional development beyond the participatory talk.

This session will not be recorded.

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About the Speaker

Jay Pitter, MES, is an award-winning placemaker whose practice mitigates growing divides in cities across North America. She spearheads institutional city-building projects specializing in public space design and policy, forgotten densities, mobility equity, gender-responsive design, inclusive public engagement and healing fraught sites. What distinguishes Ms. Pitter is her multidisciplinary approach, located at the nexus of urban design and social equity, which translates community insights and aspirations into the built environment. Ms. Pitter has used this urgent, evidence-based expertise to shape numerous projects in over 25 cities including; working with Westbank to preserve intangible cultural heritage and expand engagement during the Honest Ed’s redevelopment project in Toronto; leading the (RE)IMAGINING Cheapside Confederate monument placemaking process in Lexington; and applying a gender-responsive design lens to the redevelopment of Granville Bridge in Vancouver. She has developed an equitable planning certificate course with the University of Detroit’s Mercy School of Architecture, a women in city-building course with the University of Toronto, and an Engaging Black People and Power course spurred by the murder of George Floyd. Ms. Pitter has also presented at MIT, Harvard and Princeton universities, among many others. She was recently the John Bousfield Distinguished Visitor in Planning at the University of Toronto and shortlisted for the Margolese National Design for Living Prize. Among a diverse practice portfolio, Ms. Pitter is honoured to be leading the development of The Cultural Districts Program Proposal and The Little Jamaica Master Plan for the City of Toronto—two precedent setting projects within her home city. Her forthcoming books, Black Public Joy and Where We Live, will be published by McClelland & Stewart, Penguin Random House Canada. To learn more, please read Jay Pitter's biography.

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Thank you to everyone who joined us for this five-part speaker series in 2022/2023. Together, we explored topics related to how we can make city infrastructure and services more equitable and accessible for all residents. The speaker series has now concluded. If you have any questions, please contact the Planning division at planning@kitchener.ca

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