A role for visual communication in participatory planning

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Tackaberry, Andrea
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It is apparent that the inability of language to accurately describe what the mind's eye sees is a key dilemma in the art of communication. This is a challenge that is commonly experienced when allowing citizen participation in the process of urban design. The initial stages of an urban design process comprises the exchange of highly abstract information, not always understood by the common layperson. This challenge was experienced by an advisory group, The Forks Aboriginal Planning Committee, who were charged with the responsibility of determining how a specific site should be developed. The site in question was South Point, a jut of land situated at the fork in the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Historically, South Point was the site of Aboriginal trading encampments, and had accordingly be n dedicated for some type of Aboriginal development. The committee had experienced difficulty creating a common vision for South Point due to a lack of participation among committee members and a problem communicating potential development ideas. The primary purpose of this study was to solve this problem by incorporating a graphic visualization component into the participation process. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)