Community Building in a Post-Trust World

Community Building in a Post-Trust World

Image Courtesy of New Jersey Health Initiative

While there are leaders within the community with whom they trust whether they are part of neighbourhood associations or from diverse leadership groups, most of the time they lack the resources or knowledge to improve their areas. Similarly, those community leaders have the institutional or local knowledge to provide to input. They lean heavily on politicians, who then turn to staff to build those bridges. They are the gatekeepers and intermediaries between a city’s vision and mission and the community’s interests. Having the leadership and trust between these parties is necessary. Servant and thought leadership approaches intersect in order to bring transformational change to a community. What they have in common is centered around building trust.

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Developing Strategies Through Lived Experiences

We all have stories to tell in our lives, including our careers. Our lived experiences shape our careers, whether they equate to something fruitful or you’re destined to be somewhere else. I’ve noticed over the last year that I enjoy storytelling. So much so, I am thinking about writing a book. I digress.

My stories have come out through blog posts and public speaking engagements. From growing up in social housing to taking transit for most of my life, my story is being told and I would use those lived experiences to influence policy changes and strategies.

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A City is Decked Out in Red, White, and Black. Purple, Gold and Brown Too.

June 13th Approximately 11:30 pm

I am sitting in my room watching the last 0.9 seconds on the clock which seemed like an eternity for the inevitable to happen. Draymond Green in pure Michigander style dumbfoundedly attempts to call a time out when the team didn’t have one. A technical foul was called. Kawhi Leonard sinks the 2 baskets with the Raptors up by 4. Stephen Curry heaves the ball 3/4 up the court. Kyle Lowry grabs it. Game over. The Raptors are NBA Champions. #Rapsin6ix.

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Eliminating privilege towards the pursuit of social equity and justice

There is a renewed engagement with the role planners should take in the pursuit of social justice and social equity. Planners are privileged compared to marginalized communities. On the one hand, they can decide to use their privilege to their benefit by wielding power, status and knowledge and yet on the other hand assume positions of superiority during struggles for equality, Furthermore, they potentially sideline segments of marginalized communities with different concepts of social justice or how it should be achieved. Planners therefore hold power over theoretical and substantive knowledge that enables them to see what others cannot. Planners are privileged compared to marginalized communities.

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Adding Social Equity to Transit Metrics and Programs

Image via Toronto Transport Guy Flickr

Social equity was not taught in urban planning school back in day and has not been reflected in the planning, and let alone in the transit profession. All the while, I began to observe through readings and lived experiences. It is something that has frustrated me for quite some time.

Shin-pei Tsay was on the latest TransLoc Movement podcast episode where she recanted her lived experience growing up and what she visualized within the transportation world and in public spaces. One point with the podcast triggered my thoughts. While social metrics have not been part of the discussion regarding metrics, I look to the evaluation of transit projects and moreover performance metrics. In the transit world, these are service standards and guidelines.

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Shared Mobility in the Suburbs: An Opportunity Lies Ahead

While waiting for the bus last week, I noticed a man and his scooter is south on Chingaucousy.  It gave me the impetus to write this post.

They’re popular in Europe, but could they flourish in North American cities and suburbs?

Ridehailing and single occupancy vehicles dominate in my neighbourhood as opposed to transit, walking and cycling. It begs the question of whether micromobility can add to the transportation equation and succeed in the suburbs?

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The transformation of conventional transit is coming

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Image courtesy of the City of Santa Monica

David Pickeral, a consultant, posted a LinkedIn message that caught my attention. Within his message was a link to American Public Transportation Association (APTA) statistics which showed a 2% decline from the previous year in United States transit system ridership. There was a 6% increase for Canadian systems, but should still ring some alarm bells on both sides of the border.

Why the difference? More people are using new mobility options in American cities because there are quite a few more options. Dan Sperling predicts that new mobility will have more ridership than conventional transit.

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Transportation Equity Solutions in a Future Shared Mobility World

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Plenty of shared mobility options exist and have yet to arrive in Canadian cities.

As I sit here deep in thought while in suburbia during the Easter long weekend, I contemplate the opportunities and challenges brought about by the future of shared mobility.

New mobility in the form of transportation network companies (Uber, Lyft and autosharing) and micromobility (Dropbike, Lime) are disrupting the transportation world to address the first and last mile problem.

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Reason for Optimism?

government

Watching the social media commentary during and after the announcement of the $28.5 billion provincially-funded portion of the Toronto transit plan, there was plenty of pessimism and skepticism all around. 

I am going to try to be a bit of an optimist. There is plenty to discuss regarding the “Ontario Line” and the subway and Eglinton Crosstown LRT extensions.  I’m just tired of talking about the extensions because that has been debated to death.

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Where are our priorities?

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Image courtesy of nasa.gov

The Ottawa media bubble has had it all wrong. They are deflecting from the real issues that Canadians want to hear about.  The bullying and opining that took place over the last two months on social and mainstream media regarding Jody Wilson-Raybould and SNC-Lavalin affair, and by extension, Jane Philpott and Celina Caesar Chavannes were unheard of.  Amateurish at best.

Simply put, this was a human resources issue, tied into race and gender.  More so, an investigation of the centralized power of the Prime Minister’s Office and the separation of duties between the Attorney General and Minister of Justice are required.  Now that the bullies got their wish, the focus of a real crisis should be addressed.

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