At an event today at Queen’s Park, the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) awarded the City of London with Excellence in Planning Awards for the ReThink London public engagement initiative and The London Plan. The City is also the recipient of the OPPI and Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Healthy Communities Award for both of these projects, which is a special award that recognizes excellence in creating healthy communities.
OPPI recognizes professional planners and outstanding projects annually through Excellence in Planning Awards. These are widely regarded as among the most prestigious awards given for planning achievement in Ontario. OPPI celebrates the role of Registered Professional Planners (RPPs) in Ontario’s planning process.
The ReThink London process invited Londoners to come together to create a new plan for their city in new and innovative ways. The process was launched by an event featuring Peter Mansbridge, with 1,300 Londoners in attendance. Over the course of the ReThink London process, almost 17,000 Londoners engaged in the city building conversation, with exposure to over 240,000 people. The process included a workshop-in-a-box tool to help people talk about city building, a visual preference survey involving using phones to vote on preferred streetscapes and community design, and online feedback tools. It has been called the largest community engagement effort around an Official Plan process in Canada.
The awards also recognize The London Plan – the Official Plan that resulted from the ReThink London process. Backed by provincial legislation, Official Plans in Ontario set the framework and rules for growth, development, public works and city-building. The London Plan is truly unique and sets a new standard for Official Plans in the province.
“ReThink London brought thousands of Londoners together to talk about the kind of city that they want to live in, start a business in and raise a family in,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “The result is an amazing plan, a guide for how we will grow and prosper in the coming 20 years. We are building the London we want for our children and grandchildren. These four awards confirm what we already know – that the London Plan represents innovation and excellence in the field of Canadian planning. A huge congratulations and thank you to our planning team. We should all be proud.”
“The London Plan is a different kind of plan. It is chocked full of new ideas and planning innovation”, said John Fleming, City Planner. “It uses plain language, establishes a strong vision for city building in London and explains how we’re going to achieve that vision over time. I’m very grateful to OPPI for recognizing this plan that was developed by Londoners, for Londoners. I’m also thankful to our Council for their leadership in creating the Plan and for the extra efforts of many people from across the entire Corporation who developed the London Plan. Countless hours, careful thought, and a passion for making London great by City staff made this plan what it is.”
Londoners can learn more about The London Plan at www.thelondonplan.ca.