STRATEGIES FOR MORE INCLUSIVE MUNICIPAL PARTICIPATORY GOVERNANCE AND IMPLEMENTING UN-HABITAT’S NEW URBAN AGENDA:
IMPROVING CONSULTATION AND PARTICIPATION IN URBAN PLANNING DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES THROUGH RAPID ETHNOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES
Based on the findings of an urban legal anthropology project in Toronto, Canada that tracked municipal decision-making practices in relation to development, redevelopment, and heritage preservation in the city and the often unforeseen and unacknowledged effects these can have on marginal, transgressive, and subaltern (subcultural) communities and their community cultural spaces and practices, this article will first turn to a few neighbourhood examples of public consultation processes underway in Toronto and observations of visual (vocal) resistance to faulty consultation practices. These examples reveal some of the realities of public consultation design in Toronto and how it is experienced on the ground where not all segments of a neighbourhood, community, or those who use a space targeted for (re)development are effectively included or accessed. This article will also examine an example of urban artistic protest to current consultation and development practices before turning to existing sustainable (re)development frameworks, theory, and best practices. Finally, the paper will engage with Sherry Arnstein’s ladder of citizen participation to move towards an argument for the application of Rapid Ethnographic Assessment Procedures to municipal public and community consultation practices as a means of effective citizen engagement in municipal (re)development and local cultural heritage preservation decision-making processes that are in line with the principles of the New Urban Agenda.