Working Together to Move the GTHA
By Mary Pickering, Vice-President, Programs and Partnerships, Toronto Atmospheric Fund
With regional transportation emerging as a key topic for 2013, community groups are working hard to help citizens understand the issues and weigh in on this important topic. Traffic congestion in the region is worsening, eroding commuters’ personal time and the region’s economic competitiveness. More infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians is needed to make these transportation options more viable for more people, and public transportation needs serious expansion to serve all the region’s citizens. The issue is critical and will affect our quality of life for the next century.
Building on the success of MOVE, Evergreen CityWorks is partnering with organizations across the region to address this complex, but crucial, issue. To get the public actively engaged in decision-making on an integrated transportation strategy and funding plan, several groups have banded together to form Move the GTHA—a collaborative effort designed to pool resources and draw attention to key public consultation campaigns underway from Metrolinx (The Big Move) and the City of Toronto (Feeling Congested).
So far, Move the GTHA includes Civic Action, Code Red, Evergreen CityWorks, the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, Move Me, Pembina Institute, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Toronto Region Board of Trade, Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, and Toronto Environmental Alliance. Representing a diversity of perspectives, the partnership has fostered a culture of cooperation and dialogue required to solve our region’s transportation issues.
The effort is a pilot of Evergreen’s City Lab program, focused on engaging multi-sector groups in urban environmental problem-solving. The City Lab idea was developed in partnership with the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, who provided initial funding to support the exciting project. While regional transportation is the first City Lab endeavor, Evergreen plans to use the lessons from this initiative to launch new labs exploring creative ways to get the public engaged in the decisions that make their cities greener.
As momentum builds on the region’s transportation conversation, Move the GTHA is creating a dedicated website promoting the latest public input opportunities and information, and creating opportunities for public dialogue through the upcoming Innovation Talks.
For more information on Move the GTHA or the City Lab program, contact Taylor Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.