Social Good

Engaging the Community: Stakeholder management in complex urban planning developments in the Downtown Eastside

We all know that the benefits of projects are realised through its stakeholders and that project impact is sustained through their ongoing efforts and engagement. However, what is not clear is how stakeholder commitment can be achieved in project situations that are both passionate and acrimonious? The City of Vancouver has developed a couple of approaches to early stage project engagement that attempt to embrace the passion, diversity, and commitment of even the most polarised of stakeholders. Their pragmatic, facilitated and democratic approach opens up a world of stakeholder engagement that many project managers will find useful, empowering and enlightening. You will come away from this presentation with a new-found enthusiasm and understanding of stakeholder engagement that is inspired by the expertise, experiences and stories of Tom and Wes.

Tom Wanklin is Senior Planner for the DTES Planning Group with the Community Planning Division, in the Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability Department at City of Vancouver. He holds a degree in Planning from the University of Witwatersrand, and is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. He has worked for many years in senior level planning positions in municipal and provincial government where he has grappled with complex planning and development issues related to housing affordability for low-income citizens and community economic development. Tom also has extensive experience in private sector planning environments as a consultant and a part time lecturer in tourism development planning and events management.
Wes Regan is the City of Vancouver's Social Planner Responsible for Community Economic Development (CED) and Poverty Reduction Initiatives and Director Emeritus of Simon Fraser University's Community Economic Development Program. Wes has worked in CED, communications, and community engagement since 2009 in the private sector and in various non-profit and government roles. Wes holds a Masters in Urban Studies (M.Urb) from SFU where he also completed his undergraduate degree in Human Geography. Keeping a foot in academia Wes is a current Faculty Member in the Department of Geography and Geology at Langara College and an Instructor at SFU’s CED Program specializing in public policy and social enterprise. Wes has served on the executive and advisory boards of several organizations including Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED BC), LOCO BC (Past Chair), and the BC Partners for Social Impact, a Provincial policy think tank examining ways to support and enable social innovation in communities and regions in British Columbia. In 2015 he was appointed Critic for Urban Affairs and Housing for the Green Party of Canada by Elizabeth May and continues to serve in this role developing urban policy at the federal level. When not working or volunteering or ruminating on policy Wes enjoys trail running, hiking, and cycling and is a devoted Whitecaps season ticket holder with the RainCity Brigade Supporter Group.
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