By Sarah Martin, Planner, Community Planning
What better way to celebrate World Town Planning Day than with the next generation of Planners!
In early November 2014 Norfolk County Community Planning staff ventured out to local elementary schools to talk to students about land use planning. This year we focused on grades 2, 3, 4 and one grade 8 class. Students were very curious about the environment, role of wetlands, water access, and neighbourhood design. After a brief discussion about living in a rural community versus an urban community, each class broke into teams and participated in a design charette to create their own communities. Students creatively grouped like land uses, added roads, stop signs, ponds, trees and sidewalks, and even discussed the need for accessible parking. One grade three class created a final version integrating all aspects they liked from the group, and named their town “Wouterford” after their teacher.
Planning staff also talked to a post-secondary rural geography class at Brock University discussing Planning as a potential career choice. Sample case studies were used to provide an overview of recent developments in Norfolk County including Burning Kiln Winery, Rambling Road Brewery and The Combine Restaurant, as well as a brief summary of the related planning approval process.
This is Community Planning’s second year venturing out for World Town Planning Day, with a successful time at eight classrooms in six schools across our community. A day in the community is a great way to share knowledge and have fun with kids, but importantly rejuvenate staff and remind us that planning is about the places we live, people and communities we love, and planning for the places and people of the future.