Facilitating conversations about road reconstruction

In April 2021, I was invited to facilitate a stakeholder consultation hosted by the Barton Village BIA. The BIA had recently been notified about a multi-year construction project along their main street (Barton St), and they wanted to connect with their network about it as soon as possible.

The purpose of the virtual meeting was to (1) provide information on the project scope and timeline, and (2) hear from stakeholders about their vision for the street. The meeting had excellent engagement from City of Hamilton staff and the local Councillor, and it was wonderful to see the BIA be so proactive in reaching out early in the project.

As part of the meeting, I tried to provide various ways for participants to share feedback. This included collecting information through polls and open-ended questions using Mentimeter, facilitating a verbal Q&A session, and actively monitoring the chat box for written input. Participants were also invited to use Streetmix to try redesigning the street as they'd like to see it. Street widths and recommended lane widths were provided as guidance.

The word cloud image shared above summarizes participant responses to the question "What features would you like to see on Barton St"? Participants highlighted the need for more space to walk and cycle, as well as a desire for more trees, seating, and art along the street.

Overall, it was an engaging meeting and all participants received a report summarizing the discussion.

I enjoy being able to take on projects such as this one. Facilitating discussions is one of my favourite things to do.