Presentation | 2022

A New Engagement: Incorporating Newcomers into GTA Planning Processes

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) welcomes over a third of all immigrants and refugees within Canada. In response, local governments in the region are adapting their engagement processes to incorporate newcomers into municipal decision-making. While planning practitioners in the GTA are taking innovative steps to design more inclusive methods of engagement, they continue to confront significant barriers. Local governments need to extend additional resources to support planners as they seek to implement culturally-sensitive public participation and revitalize their governance structures to best serve the interests of their diverse communities.

On April 26, IMFG Graduate Fellow Shervin Ghaem-Maghami examined how selected municipalities in the GTA are engaging immigrants in planning decisions, and how such public participation activities can be improved to most meaningfully draw upon the strengths and adapt to the needs of newcomer communities.

Speaker: Shervin Ghaem-Maghami is the recipient of the 2021–22 Graduate Fellowship in Municipal Finance and Governance. He is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. Shervin holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University. His prior professional experience includes various positions with the Government of Ontario, as well as roles in municipal government and in the private and non-profit sectors. Shervin's research interests centre on public participation in urban planning practice and newcomer relocation and settlement in the Greater Toronto Area.

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