How to Lose Trust

This could be the City Shaping process in the CNV.  Honest dialogue needed. An example in the City of Vancouver, partial quote:



At the outset of the process, there should have been an honest dialogue about how the neighbourhood will respond to changing realities – realities like climate change, demographic change, economic change and global change. Residents should have had a frank discussion about one reality – specifically, as my grandmother used to say, that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. That’s what trade-offs are about. If you want neighbourhood amenities, you need growth. If you want superior transit infrastructure, you need density. If you want to preserve old buildings, you need to offer incentives. If you want affordable housing, you need to provide housing supply.

The city hall planners aren’t good at managing a process that focuses on these realities. They try hard, but are fearful of the backlash that comes from asking difficult questions first. They are fearful they will lose the trust of citizens participating.

Well, as this experience has demonstrated, in leaving these difficult issues until the end of the process, they have lost the trust of the citizens. To their credit, city staff have admitted that some of the land-use ideas pushed too far and others need reworking. I hope it’s not too late. I also hope the city learns from this and realizes that there are better ways to plan for managing neighbourhood change.

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