3 years ago

The Grandview‐Woodland Citizens’ Assembly: An experiment in municipal planning

Edana Beauvais



After public opposition shut down the City of Vancouver’s first planning proposal for the Grandview‐Woodland neighbourhood, the City engaged residents in drafting a new plan in a novel way: Canada’s first “citizens’ assembly” for urban planning. The Grandview‐Woodland Citizens’ Assembly (GWCA) was novel because it relied largely on a single consultation instrument—the assembly—to draft policy proposals on a diverse range of planning issues. This begs the questions: can a single consultative instrument such as a citizens’ assembly provide a useful forum for high‐quality deliberation about a wide scope of policy issues? Was the citizens’ assembly more cost effective than typical, megaconsultation processes? Did the GWCA re‐instill faith in the planning process and municipal government? This study answers these questions by triangulating data from a novel, natural survey experiment, government reports, the author’s observations from participating in the process, and conversations with elites involved with the process.

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