Petra Prichici Posted almost 3 years ago Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy LET THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO LIVE WITH WHAT YOU BUILD HELP GUIDE YOUR HAND (Paul Downtown, 1994) Thank you, thank you, thank you Dave! A great and timely talk that addresses one of the big elephants in our "democratic" society's living room - namely where is the citizen participation and what's purposely blocking it. This talk applies not just to Canada but to most developed countries where reclaiming public space and engaging citizens to make the decisions that ultimately shape their daily lives is crucial to a building any semblance of sustainability. As an environmental planner and student of urban ecosystems I've studied the scientific literature of citizen participation is planning and development extensively - the results conclusively show that citizens who are involved in planning from beginning to end are happier with the physical results, care for their spaces better, and create smarter collaborative design ideas... so why don't we apply these 'best practices'? Dave was spot on in pointing out the barriers to participation and the large ray of hope that these can ALL be overcome. Do we want to live in a top-down socio-political system or one where all affected actors can engage - I say we DEMAND the latter!