Learning from a City Built for Mice

This past week our Directors of Urban Planning Education, Alexander Furneaux and Marcia Garnes (above), attended the Ontario Professional Planners Institute Conference to share what they’ve discovered working on Mouse City, our model city-building program, with fellow urban planners from across the province.

Aligning with the conference’s focus on sustainable city-building, Alexander and Marcia told the story of Mouse City Valley – a six-week program we ran last year in partnership with Evergreen Brick Works. It gave kids a chance to explore how storybook mice might build themselves a city that respects the environmental significance of valley landscapes in urban centres such as Toronto (photos below).

Through the presentation, planners learned about the importance of engaging children in city-building, and tools to consult them in ways that are fun, creative, and accessible. Attendees were captivated by the stories and structures children created at Mouse City Valley. Alexander and Marcia showed the crowd how to transform such program materials into feedback that can be used to inform the policy and design that shapes cities.

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