Thinking about Master’s Research while in Toronto

I’m only now starting to remember that great ideas go to e-mail to die, so for once I’m going to blog what started off as an e-mail.

I’m in Toronto until Tuesday evening, and it only occurred to me now, after some great conversations with the ever-awesome Sacha, that there are some excellent folks in Toronto who could give me some great insight into how best to take advantage of the opportunity presented by my Master’s research project at the School of Community and Regional Planning.

I’ve been slowly gestating the ideas as I’ve been watching and participating in things like

  • the Vancouver City Council’s motion on Open Data,
  • David Eaves and Shari Wallace’s presentations at Open Web Vancouver and at Vancouver ChangeCamp (as well as the first one in Toronto in January 2009),
  • ParticipationCamp 2009 in New York last week,
  • TransitCamps in Vancouver and Toronto,
  • Hanging out with the awesome people at the Vancouver Public Space Network

I’m especially curious about how best these new ways of organizing can be harnessed by citizens alongside the current existing urban planning context. I imagine this means that the public will participate in many more steps other than public consultation/engagement (when planners are thinking about building something), and in the maintenance/feedback stages after things have been built.

Anyway, I’m free most of the day on Tuesday and would love to talk to people in Toronto about what they might want to see coming out of a research project on open data, urban planning and citizen-government collaborations. If you are working this space, I would love to what:

  • what gaps do you see that research could solve
  • what work would you want done that could yield interesting anecdotes and analysis, that would be helpful to those pursuing open data policies further down the line (say, in the next two years?)

This is what I’ll be thinking about for at least the next two months, and I’d love to hear your thoughts, either in person or in the comments. Thanks!

One Comment

  1. Lindsay Hindle

    Thought u would be interested in this. My hometown btw!
    U of R professor creates a City of Regina Survival Guide and Map http://www.leaderpost.com/news/professor+creates+City+Regina+Survival+Guide/1775620/story.html

    Posted July 10, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

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