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Deliberative land use planning

Hoi Kong, McGill University

Tue 6 May 2014

Fishbowl, Building 24, University of Canberra


Scholars have long argued that land use planning processes do not promote meaningful citizen engagement.  The project that I will discuss responds to this concern by creating an innovative design institution: the digitally-mediated community-based urban design studio.  The interdisciplinary design studio deploys electronic technology to facilitate deliberative democratic participation in land use planning processes, in a borough of Montreal.  A current large scale development project that has the potential to significantly affect the stock of affordable housing in the borough is the studio¹s current object of study.  Students in law, urban planning and architecture, under the supervision of professors, will generate computer-modelled proposals.  The studio will, on a dedicated website, invite comments about these proposals from the community and the resulting comments will be incorporated in subsequent draft proposals.  The final proposal that will result from this iterative process will be brought to the attention of the relevant planning authorities for their comments.  Towards the end of the project¹s three-year term, the team-members will consult with borough officials, city planners and local community organizations about whether and how procedures based on the studio¹s work might be incorporated into the official land use planning consultation process.  This project is being developed in collaboration with the Cornell e-Regulations Initiative, which has developed online consultations with federal agencies, and in the presentation, I will discuss what mutual lessons have been learned from the two projects¹ experiments with developing technological tools of deliberative citizen engagement.

About the speaker

Hoi Kong teaches and researches in the areas of Constitutional Law, Comparative Law, Administrative Law, and Municipal Law. From 2002 to 2003, he was law clerk to Justices Marie Deschamps and Claire L¹Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada. From 2003 to 2006, he was an Associate-in-Law at Columbia University, and from 2006 to 2009, he was an Assistant Professor of Law, cross-appointed with the School of Urban and Regional Planning, at Queen¹s University.

Hoi Kong joined the Faculty of Law of McGill University in August 2009 and he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He was named a Hydro-Québec Scholar in Sustainable Development Law in 2012.

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