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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Public participation in comprehensive municipal parks and recreation planning Freed, Linda Lee 1980

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, / P U B L I C P A R T I C I P A T I O N I N C O M P R E H E N S I V E M U N I C I P A L P A R K S A N D R E C R E A T I O N P L A N N I N G b y L I N D A L E E F R E E D ( B . A . , M i c h i g a n S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 7 5 . B . S . , M i c h i g a n S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 7 5 . A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S i n T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S T H E D E P A R T M E N T O F C O M M U N I T Y A N D R E G I O N A L P L A N N I N G W e a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A S e p t e m b e r 1 9 8 0 Cc) L i n d a L e e F r e e d , 1 9 8 0 . In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be gr a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . S c h o o l o f C o m m u n i t y a n d R e g i o n a l P l a n n i n g The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 ABSTRACT The purpose of t h i s study was to determine the nature and the adequacy of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n methods used i n the process of developing municipal parks and recreation plans. The work i s based largely on l i b r a r y research and participant-observation of one case study. It i s evident from the l i t e r a t u r e that the comprehensive or master plan approach i s t y p i c a l of good, current parks and recreation planning practice. As well, there i s v i r t u a l l y unanimous agreement on the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the plan making process. The stated purposes of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n plan preparation forms the basis of a set of goals and targets which have been used to assess the adequacy of the p a r t i c i p -ation methods currently used i n parks and recreation planning. These methods were i d e n t i f i e d through a review of plan documents auth o r i t a t i v e l y regarded as examples of good practice. The three major methodological types i d e n t i f i e d are surveys, select committees, and s t a f f contacts. Results of assessing these methods against the stated c r i t e r i a indicate that no method i s s u f f i c i e n t alone to ensure adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the planning process. The survey method should be used i n combination with a select committee or s t a f f contact, because the inherent weaknesses of the f i r s t are strong points of the others. T h i s c o n c l u s i o n i s e x p l o r e d and a m p l i f i e d by examining a case study i n which a l l t h r e e methods were employed. S t a t i s t i c a l d a t a i n d i c a t e s t h a t w h i l e a l l t h r e e methods were used, t h e r e remained s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n b a s i c p a r k s and r e c r e a t i o n p r i o r i t i e s among the g e n e r a l p u b l i c , the p l a n makers and the p o l i t i c a l d e c i s i o n makers. T h i s r e s u l t i s a t t r i b u t e d t o problems i n the i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f the m e t h o d o l o g i e s and i n the u t i l i z a t i o n o f d a t a and f i n d i n g s t h a t r e s u l t e d from t h e i r use. Recommendations based on t h i s r e s e a r c h suggest improve-ment i n the conduct o f p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n and i n the i n t e g r a t i o n o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i t h o t h e r elements o f the p l a n n i n g p r o c e s s : - m e t h o d o l o g i e s s h o u l d be used t o complement each o t h e r , -each method s h o u l d be implemented f u l l y and c a r e f u l l y , so t h a t the q u a l i t y o f the r e s u l t s approaches the p o t e n t i a l i d e a l l y a v a i l a b l e w i t h i n each method, - i n h e r e n t s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses o f p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n s h o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d i n the p l a n n i n g p r o c e s s and i n the u t i l i z a t i o n and feedback o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e s u l t s t h r o u g h o u t the p r o c e s s . i v Table of Contents T i t l e Page i Abstract i i L i s t of Figures v Acknowledgements v i Chapter 1 Introduction and Study Methods 1 Chapter 2 H i s t o r i c a l Development of Parks and Recreation Planning and the Current Municipal Parks and Recreation Planning Process 8 Chapter 3 The Importance of Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the Municipal Parks and Recreation Planning Process 16 Chapter 4 Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n Methods Currently Used i n Municipal Parks and Recreation Planning 22 Chapter 5 Assessing Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n Methods for Municipal Parks and Recreation Planning 3 3 Chapter 6 Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the Municipal Parks and Recreation 44 Planning Process: Case Study Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions 60 Plans Reviewed 65 Works Consulted 68 V L i s t of Figures Figure 1 Comparative Assessment of Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n Methods 4 4 Figure 2 Case Study Questionnaire Tabulation 54 v i Acknowledgements I would l i k e to es p e c i a l l y thank my advisors Dr. Henry Hightower and Dr. Robert C o l l i e r for th e i r patience, understanding and guidance throughout the course of th i s project. I would also l i k e to thank my parents, Maria Weston, and Doug Al l a n for th e i r encouragement and support while I was involved i n t h i s study. 1 INTRODUCTION AND STUDY METHODS Introduction This study deals with two areas of concern to municipal planners; the parks and recreation planning process and the role of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n that process. Each of these has been the subject of much thought and discussion and together, they represent an important issue for municipal planners. As Wright, Braithwaite and Forster state The r e a l success of urban recreational open space planning depends largely on the extent to which the c i t i z e n s p a r t i c i p a t e i n the major decisions a f f e c t i n g the eventual course of action, or strategy, proposed by the study committee. (1976, 61) Parks and recreation planning and public p a r t i c i p a t i o n are a concern to municipal planners for a variety of reasons. Over the years our society has experienced an increase not only i n the time individuals have available for the pursuit of l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s , but i n the d i v e r s i t y of l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s as well. (HUD, 1972; Jubenville, 1976; Lutzin, 1973; Newmeyer and Newmeyer, 1958) People are demanding f a c i l i t i e s and programs to occupy -their l e i s u r e time, with municipal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the provision of these f a c i l i t i e s and programs increasing. Planners on a municipal l e v e l are faced with planning a l o c a l parks and recreation system that w i l l meet the needs of residents, while recognizing the limited a v a i l a b i l i t y of resources to meet these needs. (Greueling, 1973; 2 Hjelte and Shivers, 1972; Lemonides and Young, 1978; Reynolds, 1976) Concurrently, there has been a movement to increase public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and input i n a l l areas of government. Planners are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of involving the people they are planning for, i n the planning process. E l l i s and Homenuck note Also important, i f not c r u c i a l , to the success of the planning e f f o r t i n the climate of the 1970's, i s the issue of who participates i n the process. (1976, 17) The concern of planners has been how and when to involve the public i n the planning process and numerous theories and models of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the comprehensive planning process have been developed to try and answer th i s concern. Recently, some.effort has been made to i d e n t i f y appropriate methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and input i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. (Bannon, 1976; Burton, E l l i s and Homenuck, 1977; Gold, 1973; Jubenville, 1976; Wright, Braithwaite, and Forster, 1976) Although, the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process has been i d e n t i f i e d , i t appears that public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s not seriously considered i n the current process. Wright, Braithwaite and Forster f e e l that, One of the key problems with present methods of planning for urban recreational open space i s the f a i l u r e to consider the diverse values and needs of ethnic, economic, age and other groups within the urban population. (197 6, 19) 3 This i s p a r t i a l l y due to the planning approach generally used i n the f i e l d of municipal parks and recreation planning. This approach, based primarily on the applic-ation of standards, does not emphasize public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the planning process. It i s the intent of t h i s study to generally examine public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the current municipal parks and recreation planning process. Purpose and Objectives of the Study The o v e r a l l purpose of t h i s study i s to assess the adequacy of current methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. The s p e c i f i c objectives are: 1. to b r i e f l y outline the h i s t o r i c a l development of municipal parks and recreation planning to put the study in perspective and to b r i e f l y describe the current process of municipal parks and recreation planning; 2. to v e r i f y the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process; 3. to determine current methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process; 4. to i d e n t i f y the goals of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process and the intent of those goals; and 5. to assess current public p a r t i c i p a t i o n methods using the i d e n t i f i e d goals and a case study. 4 Scope and Significance of the Study S p e c i f i c a l l y , t h i s study i s concerned with public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the plan preparation and development phase of the current municipal parks and recreation planning process. It i s not concerned with public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the adoption and implementation phases of the same process. The theore t i c a l significance of the study l i e s i n broadening the foundations of municipal parks and recreation planning. U n t i l recently, public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n parks and recreation planning was a minor concern. The planning was done, with l i t t l e public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . As attitudes have changed and the concept of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n has gained recognition, the methods of obtaining public part-i c i p a t i o n have become a concern of municipal parks and recreation planners. This study attempts to increase knowledge i n the area of municipal parks and recreation planning, by determining i f the current methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the planning process are adequate. The p r a c t i c a l value of the study i s that i t determines the usefulness of current public p a r t i c i p a t i o n methods in the municipal parks and recreation planning process. Study Methods The primary research method of thi s study was a l i t -erature review, supplemented with a case study. This 5 research involved the review of several types of l i t e r a t u r e . Generally, the investigation followed a step by step approach, related to the f i v e objectives stated e a r l i e r . The four types of l i t e r a t u r e reviewed for the study were h i s t o r i c a l , t h e o r e t i c a l , p r a c t i c a l , and plans. A range of l i t e r a t u r e that discussed the h i s t o r i c a l development of municipal parks and recreation planning was b r i e f l y reviewed. The information gathered has been used as the basis for the sketch of the h i s t o r i c a l development of parks and recreation planning and serves as an i n t r o -duction to the description of the current municipal parks and recreation planning process. The theoretical and p r a c t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e reviewed f a l l s into two broad categories; public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and planning and parks and recreation. The l i t e r a t u r e on public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n municipal planning was reviewed for the following types of information: 1. the general role of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n ; 2. the goals of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n ; and 3. the intent of these goals. The theoretical planning and parks and recreation l i t -erature f e l l into three sub-categories; l i t e r a t u r e that dealt with parks and recreation administration and manage-ment; and a much smaller body of l i t e r a t u r e that dealt with parks and recreation planning. The p r a c t i c a l planning and parks and recreation l i t e r a t u r e consisted primarily of "how-to-guides" for the parks and recreation master planning 6 process. The planning and parks and recreation l i t e r a t u r e was reviewed for two kinds of information: 1. the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process; and 2. the methods available for obtaining public p a r t i -cipation i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. The f i n a l type of l i t e r a t u r e reviewed was municipal plans. Parks and recreation sections of community plans were reviewed as well as separate parks and recreation plans. These plans were reviewed to determine the methods that were used to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n th e i r preparation. In addition, one other source of information was used extensively. The results of the Canadian Urban Open Space Study and two of i t s component projects were an important source of information for t h i s study. The other research method employed i n the study was a case study. The purpose of the case study was to relate information obtained i n the l i t e r a t u r e review to actual planning practice. The case study i s intended as a means of v e r i f y i n g the conclusions reached from the l i t e r a t u r e review. Organization Chapter one of the study has presented a general i n t r o -duction to the subject of the study and a description of the 7 study methods used. Chapter two presents a b r i e f sketch of the h i s t o r i c a l development of municipal parks and recreation planning and a short description of the current municipal parks and recreation planning process. The t h i r d chapter of the study discusses the import-ance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the current municipal parks and recreation planning process. Chapter four s p e c i f i e s the methods used to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. A b r i e f description of each method i s also included i n this chapter. Chapter f i v e i s concerned with assessing the adequacy of the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n methods i d e n t i f i e d i n Chapter four. This chapter also includes i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the goals of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and the intent of these goals. Chapter six i s concerned with the case study; a prac-t i c a l assessment of the conclusions reached e a r l i e r i n the study. The case study i s an additional test of the adequacy of current methods of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n municipal parks and recreation planning process. The f i n a l chapter of the study presents a summary of the findings and conclusions of the study based on those findings. 8 Chapter 2 HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF MUNICIPAL PARKS AND RECREATION PLANNING AND THE CURRENT MUNICIPAL PARKS AND RECREATION PLANNING PROCESS Introduction This chapter presents a b r i e f sketch of the h i s t o r i c a l roots of municipal parks and recreation planning. The purpose of this chapter i s to provide an ov e r a l l framework for the study. It i s important to understand the origins of municipal parks and recreation planning since current planning processes are a r e f l e c t i o n of h i s t o r i c a l devel-opment and trends. This chapter also b r i e f l y describes the current and t y p i c a l approach to municipal parks and recreation planning. H i s t o r i c a l Perspective Municipal parks and recreation planning has i t s roots in the City Beautiful planning movement of the late 1890's. It was during t h i s time that planners and decision-makers recognized the importance of parks and open space i n the urban environment. I t was f e l t that the provision of the parks and open space i n c i t i e s would not only "beautify" the c i t y landscape, but could help a l l e v i a t e s o c i a l i l l s . 9 Greueling comments that "the parameters on which planning for parks and recreation almost univ e r s a l l y are based today grew out of the needs of urban society several decades ago", (1973, 1) It was during the era of the City Beautiful movement that the f i r s t municipal master plans were promoted. Bottomley comments that Harlan Bartholomew, a prominent planner of the age stated that "Those things which properly constitute the c i t y plan are six i n number: 1. street system 2. t r a n s i t system 3. transportation ( r a i l and water) 4. public recreation 5. zoning 6. c i v i c art These are the physical elements Which, when properly planned and correlated, make possible the creation of an a t t r a c t i v e and orderly working organism out of the hetrogeneous mass we now c a l l the C i t y . " Each element was then discussed i n turn and 'ideal' arrangements outlined. "The several types of public recreation f a c i l i t i e s which c i t i e s should provide i n varying degrees according to their size and density of population are: a. community centers b. childrens playgrounds c. neighborhood parks d. recreation f i e l d s e. large parks f. boulevards and outlying parks" These f a c i l i t i e s were to be organized on a quasi-neighborhood basis with a h i e r a r c h i c a l arrange-ment of f a c i l i t i e s provided making use of the public school system as much as possible. Community centers 10 were to be integrated with high schools, recreation f i e l d s with the intermediate school system and childrens playgrounds with the elementary school system. (1977, 244) In addition Bottomley contends that "Bartholomew obviously had great f a i t h i n the a p p l i c a b i l i t y of these ideas". (1977, 244) These are the ideas that Bartholomew incorporated into his municipal master plans. Bartholomew emphasized physical planning and his ideas about parks and recreation r e f l e c t t h i s . Municipal parks and recrea-t i o n planning has not changed much since Bartholomew's time. Burton, E l l i s and Homenuck note that, A second problem with urban open space planning i n Canada has to do with the very notion of planning i t s e l f . H i s t o r i c a l l y , Canadian c i t i e s and towns have been concerned with the provision of urban open space, rather.than with i t s planning. (1977, 1) This trend i s a r e f l e c t i o n of the h i s t o r i c a l emphasis on physical planning i n municipal parks and recreation planning. In addition Burton, E l l i s and Homenuck comment that, A s i g n i f i c a n t consequence of the emphasis upon provision rather than planning has been the develop-ment of a "standards approach" to urban open space, which i n turn, has lead to a preoccupation with means rather than ends, uses rather than functions and products rather than processes. (1977, 2) It i s Wright, Braithwaite, and Forster's f e e l i n g that, Planning for urban recreational open space i s c l e a r l y a developing art which can be improved sub-s t a n t i a l l y with ex i s t i n g knowledge and can be made even more comprehensive i n the future given further research i n s p e c i f i c areas. (1976, 19) 11 The following section provides a b r i e f description of the current and t y p i c a l municipal parks and recreation planning process. The Current and Typical Municipal Parks and Recreation Planning Process In their study, Planning for Urban Recreational Open Space: Towards Community-Specific Standards, Wright, Braithwaite, and Forster have included "an analysis .of the 'state of the a r t 1 of planning for urban recreational open space..." (1976, v) In this study, Canadian and American sources were reviewed to assess the current planning 'state of the a r t ' . From this material, a current t y p i c a l approach was abstracted together with various assumptions and considerations on which planning i s normally based. (1976, 5) This section b r i e f l y summarizes Wright, Braithwaite and Forster's findings, since their study represents a synthesis of the state of the art as presented i n other l i t e r a t u r e (Bannon, 1976; Burton, E l l i s , and Homenuck, 1977; Gold, 1973; and Jubenville, 1976) Wright, Braithwaite, and Forster indicate that "there are two p r i n c i p l e methods by which urban recreational open space i n a municipality i s currently allocated and protected". (197 6, 13) These two methods are "ad hoc a q u i s i t i o n " and "the t r a d i t i o n a l parks/recreation master plan". Wright, 12 Braithwaite and Forster have defined as hoc a c q u i s i t i o n as an "approach where a community obtains public control of recreational open space lands on an incremental basis from a variety of isolated actions or programs". (1976, 13) I t i s not within the scope of t h i s document to discuss ad hoc a c q u i s i t i o n , rather t h i s study i s concerned with the trad-i t i o n a l parks and recreation master plan. Wright, Braithwaite, and Forster note that "the trend i s d e f i n i t e l y i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n (master plans) and developments i n t h i s area r e f l e c t the state of the a r t " . (1976, 14) It should be recognized that Burton, E l l i s , and Homenuck found "very few of the communities had open space planning documents that contained s u f f i c i e n t information upon, which to base an e f f e c t i v e action program. Only 2 0 communities submitted reasonably complete plans..." (1977, 12), of the 135 responses received to their Canadian Urban Open Space questionnaire. But>: since t h i s approach i s popular with both theoreticians and p r a c t i c i n g planners, the master planning approach i s the one addressed in this study. Wright, Braithwaite, and Forster indicate that the municipal parks and recreation planning process normally involves developing and recording, i n the form of a master plan, an integrated set of p o l i c i e s , programs, and plans, including the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of potential recreational open space areas and approp-r i a t e implementation programs on a p r i o r i t y basis, together with s i t e development and management plans for both existing areas and those to be acquired. 13 Normally th i s would be done as an adjunct to the o f f i c i a l plan for the municipality. (1976, 16) Generally, the i n i t i a l step of the master planning process i d e n t i f i e s the present community population, from which pop-ulation projections are made. Recognized quantitative guide-l i n e s (e.g. Guidelines for Public Recreation F a c i l i t y Standards prepared and d i s t r i b u t e d by the Sports and Recreation Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, 197 3) and standards are related to the present and future population and a "demand" for these f a c i l i t i e s i s calculated. The next major step involves an inventory of ex i s t i n g parks (and occasionally other public open space) and recreation f a c i l i t i e s . This inventory or "supply" i s then compared to the calculated demand to determine the existing and future need. In addition, recreation p a r t i c i p a t i o n or a c t i v i t y patterns are studied. These patterns can indicate what land and f a c i l i t i e s are being used and the extent of that usage. Some municipalities never get beyond the f i r s t inventory phase to the study of p a r t i c i p a t i o n patterns. Burton, E l l i s , and Homenuck note that "more than 8 0% (of the communities responding to their questionnaire) had prepared an open space map, while only 60% had developed an inventory of open space". (1977, 12) 14 Wright, Braithwaite, and Forster state that the next step of the process involves an independent survey of the municipality to " i d e n t i f y the lands which are l i g h t l y developed and which are p o t e n t i a l l y and f e a s i b i l y useful in one of the standard ways". (1976, 17) E s s e n t i a l l y , t h i s step i s an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of land that can be used to f u l f i l l the present and future need, i d e n t i f i e d by the previous application of standards. It should be noted that by using standards to determine parks and recreation needs, i t i s "often discovered there i s a present as well as future d e f i c i t " (1976, 17) The f i n a l step of the process involves a comparison of the i d e n t i f i e d "potential open space lands" and the calculated future and existing need. Alternative methods of f u l f i l l i n g the need are determine, along with the costs of those a l t e r -natives, and a s p e c i f i c a lternative can then be selected by decision-makers. "Following the recommended plan, detailed s i t e plans may then be prepared for each area.... although, Wright, Braithwaite, and Forster f e e l that developing s i t e plans i s not a r e f l e c t i o n of the current status of the a r t , but does occur i n iso l a t e d examples. (1976, 17) In addition to t h i s technical planning process, municipal parks and recreation planning can be described by the concepts used i n the process. These concepts have changed l i t t l e since Bartholomew's time and include the use of standards, 15 an open space c l a s s i f i c a t i o n system and j o i n t park-school development and maintainence. A new concept has emerged since Bartholomew's time and that i s the concept of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. In Bartholomew's era, c i t y planning was p h y s i c a l l y oriented, with s t r i c t guidelines. There was no need for public input. Therefore i t i s not surprising that Bartholomew's concept of parks and recreation planning revolved around standards and a park c l a s s i f i c a t i o n system. But figure 2, which diagramatically depicts the planning process for municipal parks and recreation, indicates public p a r t i c i p a t i o n at a number of steps i n the process. The next chapter elaborates on the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s municipal parks and recreation planning process. 16 CHAPTER 3 THE IMPORTANCE OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE MUNICIPAL PARKS AND RECREATION PLANNING PROCESS Introduction This chapter addresses the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the current municipal parks and recreation planning process; the parks and recreation master planning process. The purpose i s to f u l l y i l l u s t r a t e the importance placed on public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. The information presented i n this chapter comes from th e o r e t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e and from p r a c t i c a l guides on the preparation of municipal parks and recreation plans. Theoretical References There i s much academic and scholarly writing that focuses on municipal parks and recreation management and administration. There i s r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e that relates s p e c i f i c a l l y to municipal parks and recreation planning. Yet, without exception, a l l of the works reviewed note the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. In addition the l i t e r a t u r e generally indicates that the role of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process i s an advisory, 17 but es s e n t i a l communication l i n k between planners, decision-makers, and c i t i z e n s throughout the planning process. For example, Reynolds and Hormanchea, i n their book Public Recreation Administration, state six recreation plan-ning p r i n c i p l e s intended to "provide major guidelines for physical planning", as well as to represent "a general truth or f a c t " . (1976, 313) Guideline 5 states "Involve the public i n order to better determine needs and maintain public support". (1976, 314) These two reasons; assessing public opinion, and generating support for the process and plan, are the most frequently mentioned reasons for involving the oublic i n the parks and recreation planning process. Public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and input i s also addressed i n the report Guidelines for Urban Open Space Planning, (burton, E l l i s , and Homenuck, 1977) This report represents the results of the comprehensive Canadian Urban Open Space Study, which was j o i n t l y sponsored by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association and the Ministry of State for Urban A f f a i r s . In the section e n t i t l e d "Planning Implications of the Urban Open Space Study", public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s addressed. Turning to s p e c i f i c implications, one may note a special concern with the issue of public p a r t i c -ipation i n planning for urban open space, parks and recreation. This i s especially important for two reasons. One i s that the meeting of people's needs through the highly-important and personal-oriented roles of open space can best be done by involving people i n their planning. The second i s that the 18 p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the public i n a l l forms of planning may well be advanced by good experiences of i t i n one or more specialized areas of planning and parks and recreation matters lend themselves well to i t , as the several case studies have attested. This l i n k has laso been recognized i n a recent report, Canadian  Planning Issues, prepared by the Canadian I n s t i t u t e of Planners" [T977, 43) The authors of Guidelines 1 for. Urban Open Space Planning (Burton, E l l i s and Homenuck, 1977) emphasize that public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and input i s not only an important component of the parks and recreation planning process, but that i t i s s p e c i f i c a l l y appropriate i n the specialized f i e l d of municipal parks and recreation planning. The ultimate objective of t h i s study was to develop a set of guidelines for urban open space planning for use by municipalities throughout Canada. The purpose stated i n the f i n a l report was to "present a comprehensive set of themes relevant to urban open space planning and to o f f e r guidelines applicable to each theme". (1977, 42) Several of the guidelines presented i n the study deal with public p a r t i c -ipation i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process, one of which i s presented here. The most ef f e c t i v e relationship among the primary actors i s one that may be described as a public part-ic i p a t o r y decision-making process. A public p a r t i c i p -atory decision-making process i s one which gives a considerable degree of decision-making power and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to those most affected by p o l i c i e s and proposals - the public. This process sees residents as an i n t e g r a l part of the ongoing planning, along with elected o f f i c i a l s and experts, i n the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and resolution of problems and issues. 19 Public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n planning f u l f i l l s several functions which bring numerous benefits to the o v e r a l l planning a c t i v i t y . Chief among these are the following: It provides additional information which may not have been considered or i d e n t i f i e d by planners; It chan achieve the most responsive policy and programs through public participants making the tradeoffs that are necessary; It can be a source of new ideas, imaginative alternatives; and It r e s u l t s i n a more knowledgeable community resource which w i l l be supportive i n implementing p o l i c i e s and programs. (1977, 47) The authors of Guidelines for Urban Open Space Planning (Burton, E l l i s and Homenuck, 1977) specify i n d e t a i l , the basic concept of and rationale for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n found in Public Recreation Administration. (Reynolds and Hormanchea, 1976) Yet, the two works have been prepared from d i f f e r e n t perspectives. Guidelines for Urban Space Planning (Burton, E l l i s and Homenuck, 1977) focuses on municipal parks planning, while Public Recreation Administration (Reynolds and Hormanchea, 1976) deals with parks and recreation administration and management. A t h i r d reference from the t h e o r e t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e group, Urban Recreational Open Space: Towards Community Sp e c i f i c Standards, (Wright, Braithwaite and Forster, 1976) confirms the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. Public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s concerned with basic assumptions and values as well as alternative d i r e c t i o n s . I t concerns the 'process' which involves c i t i z e n s i n decision-making about the many factors a f f e c t i n g t h e i r future environment... Basic to c i t i z e n input i s an appreciation of the c i t i z e n s ' role i n the process, and th e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and function i n a r r i v i n g at decisions af f e c t i n g t h e i r community. (1976, 61) 2 0 It i s clear that those involved i n the t h e o r e t i c a l sphere of municipal parks and recreation planning view public p a r t i c i p a t i o n as an es s e n t i a l component of the planning process. P r a c t i c a l References The second group of works that deal with the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process are p r a c t i c a l or how-to guides. These guides, prepared by senior governments (provincial i n most cases) as aids to l o c a l planning units under their j u r i s d i c t i o n , provide s i m p l i f i e d explanations of the municipal parks and recreation planning process. The Alberta Recreation, Parks and W i l d l i f e Department has published a booklet e n t i t l e d "Yes, You Can! - Master Plan, The Community Recreation Master Plan Guidelines for Writing a Community Recreation Master Plan Document". (1979) In the introduction to the booklet i s found a statement on public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Today's society indicates that there i s a need and a requirement that planning should be done with the people who are to be affected by the dec-i s i o n s . Not only does th i s provide for a greater understanding of the p a r t i c u l a r needs of the people, but i t also allows a greater number of people to share i n the decision-making. (1979, 5) The Province of B r i t i s h Columbia has published a similar booklet, "An Approach to Recreational Master Planning". (1978) Again the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and input i s 21 stressed. An e f f e c t i v e plan must incorporate community input i n decision-making. Public involvement not only provides d i r e c t i o n for recreation development but i t also insures community commitment to the development and implementation of the master plan. (1978, 20) The p r a c t i c a l works take the same position on public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process as the the o r e t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . A l l of the works reviewed stressed the importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the planning process. The next chapter focuses on the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the current methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. 22 CHAPTER 4 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION METHODS CURRENTLY USED IN MUNICIPAL PARKS AND RECREATION PLANNING Introduction The intent of t h i s chapter i s to i d e n t i f y the current methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. Over forty municipal comprehensive plans (parks and recreation sections) and parks and recreation plans were reviewed i n an e f f o r t to i d e n t i f y the method of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n currently being used i n t h e i r preparation. In addition, Case Studies of  Urban Open Space Planning ( E l l i s and Homenuck, 1976) , phase two of the Canadian Urban Open Space Study, was a primary source of information. The purpose of that phase of the study was to examine " i n d e t a i l the planning practices with respect to urban open space of a sample of the municipalities that responded to the Phase I study". (1976, 2) Burton, E l l i s and Homenuck in Guidelines for Urban Open Space Planning state that these six case studies, were selected from among about 2 0 c i t i e s and towns which the f i r s t project had i d e n t i f i e d as having r e l a t i v e l y comprehensive approaches to the planning of open space, and were chosen also to r e f l e c t a range of community population s i z e . (1977, 5). In addition, " i t was believed that, c o l l e c t i v e l y , these six communities encompassed a 'model' approach, or approaches, to 23 urban open space planning". (1977, 5) Identifying the Methods: Review of the l i t e r a t u r e and Plans The t h e o r e t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e previously reviewed indicates that a wide variety of methods can be employed to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation olanning process. These methods include: votes and r e f e r -endums, hearings, large public meetings, advisory groups, surveys, small group meetings, telecommunication techniques, workshops, participant observation, and simulation tech-niques. (Burton, E l l i s , Homenuck 1977) Yet, only one method i s mentioned i n municipal plans, surveys. Of the plans reviewed, only 14% had statements of the research methods employed, but 26% mentioned that surveys were used i n the preparation of the plan. The following excerpts are t y p i c a l of the statements found i n the municipal plans that mention surveys. The C i t y of Winnepeg, Parks and Recreation Department, Winnepeg Study states that, This data was supplemented by additional f i e l d work and from questionnaires addressed to both those people who provide for and operate the parks and recreation programs and those who use them. In a l l every attempt was made to obtain sound measures of the opinions and needs of the people who work i n and use the various parks systems. (1969, 12) 24 The Surrey/White Rock, Parks and Recreation Master Plan, prepared by Professional Environmental Recreational Consultants Ltd. notes that, In order to determine i n d i v i d u a l and family opinions on recreation programming needs, methods of financing, delivery of services, and ratings of s a t i s f a c t i o n with current services, i n d i v i d u a l survey techniques are useful... I t i s our opinion that the completeness of the questionnaire and high quality of methodology make i t unnecessary to s o l i c i t any additional information from individuals using survey techniques. (1978, i i i ) And l a s t l y , The City of Calgary, Policy Statement and  Planning Recommendations, developed by the Staff of the Parks/ Recreation Department with assistance from the Planning Department states that, In an e f f o r t to develop a report that accurately r e f l e c t s community needs, considerable e f f o r t was made to determine public preferences and expressed needs. The information was gathered i n the follow-ing ways: Individual Citizens - Random sample in-depth interviews - City-wide questionnaire survey Groups of Citize n s - Selected recreation-orientated group interviews - City-wide recreation-orientated group question-naire survey. (1976, 7) The only method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n that was e x p l i c i t l y mentioned i n the municipal plans that were reviewed was surveys. Identifying the Methods: Review of the Case Studies Chapter Two of Case Studies of Urban Open Space Planning presents a "Comparative Review of P a r t i c i p a t i o n and Goal 25 Setting" of the six case studies mentioned e a r l i e r . The authors, E l l i s and Homenuck, note "considerable differences i n the style and degree of p a r t i c i p a t i o n over the case c i t i e s " . (1976, 21) For each of the c i t i e s , the authors have characterized the methods of obtaining public p a r t i c -ipation i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. Three broadly interpreted methods can be i d e n t i f i e d i n the case studies: surveys, s t a f f contact, and select committees. In Edmonton, the processes of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n follow what might be c a l l e d the formal style of consultation and presentation. That i s , at appropriate stages i n the process, the public were inv i t e d to make submissions to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. These were usually i n written form, and tended to come from r e l a t i v e l y well-organized and a r t i c u l a t e groups. There was also usually an opportunity for input to be received verbally, at hearings and public meetings. The plan was e s s e n t i a l l y , then, prepared by experts and then presented i n d r a f t form and becomes the subject of formal public meetings to react to i t . Additional input to the experts was provided by a large scale survey of a c t i v i t i e s and opportunities i n Edmonton, conducted by the P r o v i n c i a l Department of Yough. (1976, 21) The two i d e n t i f i e d methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the Edmonton case study were a survey and a select comm-i t t e e . In Lethbridge, At the po l i c y l e v e l , there i s a formally-structured Community Services Advisory Committee, but i t oper-ates in a very f l e x i b l e manner, setting up ad hoc committees with special tasks as the need a r i s e s . . . At the more l o c a l l e v e l , no special form of c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s adopted, but s t a f f i n th i s smaller community keep i n touch with the l o c a l l e v e l and 26 hold meetings, usually i n l o c a l schools or meeting places, when necessary to discuss a given l o c a l development. (1976, 24) In Lethbridge the two i d e n t i f i e d methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n were a select committee and s t a f f contact. In Kitchener, The process recently completed provided for an innovative and broadly-based process of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n at the po l i c y goal-setting l e v e l . . The process c a l l e d for a two stage e f f o r t as input to the plan. The f i r s t stage involved interviews with special i n t e r e s t groups, i n t h i s case, l o c a l developers, c i t y p o l i t i c i a n s , community recreation association members, and sports association members... Then c i t i z e n ' s at large were sampled from the t e l e -phone directory, -'arid..formed into panels of 20 persons for group interviews. (1976, 25) The method used to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the Kitchener case study can be broadly i d e n t i f i e d as a survey. In Etobicoke, There i s no s p e c i f i c process involved for c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n other than normal (and statutory requirements) for i t , such as through hearings and meetings during the approval or amendment process.. The Staff i s always present to develop latent e f f o r t s , to a s s i s t t e c h n i c a l l y and l o g i s t i c a l l y , but the ef f e c t i v e planning i s e n t i r e l y i n c i t i z e n ' s hands (1976, 27) It appears that i n Etobicoke, the method of obtaining p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s primarily through s t a f f contact. In St. Bruno de Montarville, There i s a widely-based Advisory Committee which worked cl o s e l y with senior s t a f f i n evolving a unique c r i t e r i o n matrix to apply to the above problem se t t i n g . . . Subjective c r i t e r i a were provided by c i t i z e n s i n the form of r e l a t i v e weight which they f e l t should be applied to the various objective data i n planning. (1976, 28). 27 In t h i s case study, the e x p l i c i t method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n was a select committee. Although, some survey method i s i m p l i c i t i n the description of the c i t i z e n ' s weighing of the developed c r i t e r i o n . In Chicoutimi, There i s an e a r l i e r plan i n place, formulated with l i t t l e more than a t r a d i t i o n a l after-the-fact p a r t i c i p a t i o n process, but e f f o r t s are under way to replace i t with a new plan. The process involves several working committees, si m i l a r to the case of Lethbridge, but i n Chicoutimi there has not been a s t r u c t u r a l provision for c i t i z e n s on these and they consist of small groups of s t a f f plus student researchers. (1976, 28) The only i d e n t i f i e d method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Chicoutimi i s s t a f f contact. The select committee i s not r e a l l y used as a method, since there was no provision for c i t i z e n s on the "working committees" i n Chicoutimi. Of a l l the cases investigated i n th i s phase of the Canadian Urban Open Space Study, the authors f e e l that Kitchener has the most advanced methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the i r municipal parks and recreation plan-ning process. E l l i s and Homenuck note i n Kitchener that, The process incorporated s p e c i f i c pro-v i s i o n for extracting c i t i z e n ' s perceptions and values, in contrast to the i m p l i c i t manner in which these usually must be estimated by planners. (1976, 25) Yet, Kitchener's method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n can be broadly described as a survey method. 28 It appears that there are three general methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. These have been i d e n t i f i e d as surveys, select committees, and s t a f f contact. I t has also been discovered that when a public p a r t i c i p a t i o n method i s mentioned i n a municipal plan, i t i s the survey method that i s mentioned. Perhaps t h i s i s because, of the three methods, the survey method i s the most quantifiable. Characteristics of the Methods This section of the study presents a b r i e f description of each of the three i d e n t i f i e d methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. The basic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and uses of each of these methods should be understood before they are assessed. Surveys Surveys are used i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process to c o l l e c t three types of data or information; demographic, pa r t i c i p a t o r y , and a t t i t u d i n a l . The desire for these three kinds of information i s a r e f l e c t i o n of the parks and recreation master planning process. The demographic information co l l e c t e d through the use of surveys for the municipal parks and recreation plan-ning process i s the same as that co l l e c t e d for many other planning purposes. On the other hand, the kinds of p a r t i c i -patory and a t t i t u d i n a l data co l l e c t e d are s p e c i f i c to the municipal parks and recreation planning process; although occasionally other informational questions may be addressed. The purpose of c o l l e c t i n g this p a r t i c i p a t o r y and attitudunal information i s to e s t a b l i s h who uses the municipal parks and recreation system and who doesn't, and c i t i z e n s ' a t t -itudes about the system. In addition, surveys attempt to determine need or demand by the public, for aspects of the municipal parks and recreation system. One of the attributes of surveys i s that they o f f e r a s t a r t i n g point for the c o l l e c t i o n , consolidation and analysis of information about the municipal parks and recreational system. An additional c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of surveys i s that large amounts of the information c o l l e c t e d are quantifiable and suitable for s t a t i s t i c a l analysis. Surveys are instruments that measure public p a r t i c i -pation at one point i n time. They ra r e l y allow for a rapid turnover of information, and are not conducive to communication between groups or i n d i v i d u a l s . Burton, E l l i s and Homenuck have characterized surveys as, The most widely used public p a r t i c i p a t i o n technique getting at the public values, attitudes and opinions i s the survey. The technique i s not used to generate new ideas but i s useful i n provid-ing consumer opinions, attitudes, and behaviour patterns (user information) and further d i r e c t i o n 3 0 i n ambiguous situations. Surveys, though, can be time consuming and costly and, l i k e the census, the public i s a passive participant. But, as a public information gathering t o o l , surveys are an extremely v e r s a t i l e instrument i n that they are applicable at any scale. Surveys are further valuable i n that they can be carried out i n such a way as to ensure that a l l segments of the population are represented i n the information gathering. (1977, 94) Select Committees Select committees known by a variety of names (e.g., Advisory Committee, Steering Committee, Working Group, etc.) are generally designed to represent interests and values that occur i n a community. As such they usually provide a broad range of attitudes i n one group of ind i v -iduals. Select committees are most often used i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process as advisory bodies to guide the d i r e c t i o n of the technical work through-out the planning process. The advantages of the select committee approach are the continuity of the committee throughout the planning process, the potential d i v e r s i t y available i n one "working" group, and greater i n t e n s i t y of interaction with the process. One of the disadvantages of t h i s method of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s that i t tends to l i m i t public p a r t i c i p a t i o n to those on the committee, which can be a problem i f the committee members are not representative of broader community attitudes. Burton, E l l i s , and Homenuck describe select committees as, One of the most widely used techniques that serve i n a capacity as a sounding board. That i s , i n reaction or response to the plans/policies f o r -warded to the public by the elected o f f i c i a l or the technical expert. As such, the l e v e l of p a r t i c i -pation r e a l i z e d through the use of Advisory Groups i s l imited. Advisory groups are most useful at the neigh-bourhood or similar small scale where a sense of community may e x i s t and where the public represent-atives on the advisory group may share and/or be sensitive to community needs, issues and goals. Advisory groups are e f f e c t i v e tools for breaking into a "closed" planning process. Indeed, where the planning process can be described as t o t a l l y closed, the establishment of an advisory group i s a large step. To i t s disadvantage, the Advisory Group approach can be a generator of inaccurate community information i f i t s membership i s not represent-ative of the public. Also, the advisory group lacks decision making powers, and so i t s existence may be seen as a front for p o l i t i c i a n s and planners to convey the impression that resident input i s being u t i l i z e d . (1977, 94) Staff Contact Staff contact as a method of obtaining public p a r t i c i -pation can include: large public meetings, small group meetings, telecommunication techniques, workshops, and part i c i p a n t observation methods. These methods are not exclusive to the s t a f f contact method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , but they are frequently used means by which s t a f f can obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . In addition, s t a f f contact as a method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s a method that may be used without any conscious e f f o r t by a municipality. In thi s case, a l l that i s necessary i s the recognition of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n by m u n i c i p a l s t a f f . The i n f o r m a t i o n o b t a i n e d t h r o u g h s t a f f c o n t a c t can be v a l u a b l e i n gauging s h o r t - t e r m p u b l i c r esponse t o immediate i s s u e s and l o n g - t e r m a t t i t u d e s and t r e n d s about the p a r k s and r e c r e a t i o n system, the r e c o g -n i t i o n i t i s g i v e n by m u n i c i p a l s t a f f , the l o n g e v i t y o f the s t a f f , the degree o f t r u s t t h e p u b l i c has i n t h e s t a f f , and t h e l i m i t e d n a t u r e o f the i s s u e s a d d r e s s e d . Each o f t h e t h r e e methods used t o o b t a i n p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the m u n i c i p a l p a r k s and r e c r e a t i o n p r o c e s s has advantages and d i s a d v a n t a g e s . U n d e r s t a n d i n g the n a t u r e of t h e s e methods p e r m i t s a c o m p a r a t i v e assessment o f them. 33 CHAPTER 5 ASSESSING PUBLIC PARTICIPATION METHODS FOR MUNICIPAL PARKS AND RECREATION PLANNING Introduction In a l l the l i t e r a t u r e reviewed i n previous chapters, public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s i d e n t i f i e d as an i n t e g r a l component of the municipal parks and recreation planning process. Yet, t h i s l i t e r a t u r e i s not s p e c i f i c as to the methods of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n that should be employed i n that process. Rather, the emphasis i s on the general concept of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and i t s importance i n the planning process. The preceeding chapter focused on methods used to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process, and concluded that the survey i s the most frequently applied method. Surveys were the only stated method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n mentioned in the municipal plans that were reviewed. Although two other methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the planning process were i d e n t i f i e d through case studies, the use of select committees, and municipal s t a f f contact with the public. 34 This chapter focuses on a comparative assessment of the adequacy of these three methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. Defining Adequacy In order to assess the adequacy of the methods used to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process, the concept of adequacy must be defined. This study defines adequacy i n terms of f i v e general goals that r e l a t e to the two i d e n t i f i e d purposes of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and rec-reation planning process. F i r s t , public p a r t i c i p a t i o n as a means of obtaining public involvement, that i s , as a means of "broadening the p o l i t i c a l power base". (Wright, Braithwaite, Forster, 1976) and secondly public p a r t i c i -pation as a means of obtaining support for the planning process and the plan. This study assumes that public p a r t i c i p a t i o n methods can achieve both these purposes. Each of the f i v e goals are defined by statements that c l a r i f y the intent of the goal. These intent statements are the basis for assessing the three i d e n t i f i e d methods of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. In general, to f u l f i l l the goals a munici-p a l i t y must a c t i v e l y pursue public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. 35 The assessment of the three methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation plan-ning process i s judgemental; a subjective "measurement" of whether each method can be designed to achieve the intent of each goal. Defining the Goals The f i v e goals that have been established to assess the adequacy of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process are: 1. Involvement of affected persons and concerned c i t i z e n s i n the planning process; 2 . Openness of the process and freedom of access into the process by interested persons; 3. D i s t r i b u t i o n of adequate and timely information to encourage appropriate public input and know-ledgeable decision-making; 4. S o l i c i t a t i o n of views, opinions and concerns at a variety of points i n the planning process; and 5. Continuity of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n throughout the planning process. 36 These goals r e f l e c t the idea that public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s more than just an opportunity for p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Committment and e f f o r t are required on the part of a municipality, throughout the planning process, to ensure adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The remaining portion of th i s section discusses i n more d e t a i l the general goals and t h e i r intent statements. 1. Involvement of affected persons and concerned c i t i z e n s i n the planning process. In the municipal parks and recreation planning process there are two broad groups of affected and concerned persons; ex i s t i n g and potential future users of the municipal parks and recreation system, and individuals and groups that have any i n t e r e s t i n the municipal parks and recreation system (regardless of whether these c i t i z e n s reside i n the planning area). Two intents of t h i s goal generally refer to the type of public contact obtainable with a public p a r t i c i p a t i o n method. A. To obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n from a representative sample of affected persons and concerned c i t i z e n s during the planning process; and B. To obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n that provides information on the entire range of issues being considered i n the planning process. 37 2 . Openness of the process and freedom of access into the process by interested persons. Generally openness and freedom of access indicate the ease with which the public can become involved i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. Openness refers to the public perception about the ease of becoming involved in the process. While freedom access i s in d i c a t i v e of the technical response to public involvement i n the process. The^.two-'-intehts4 of t h i s goal are: A. To make available to the public inform-ation about the d i r e c t i o n and development of the planning process, so that the public perceives opportunities for involvement i n the process; and B. To recognize, consider and incorporate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n into the planning process, throughout the process, regard-less of whether the p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s i n a framework of a formal p a r t i c i p a t i o n program. Goals 3 and 4 are highly related and deal with two aspects of the same issue. 38 3. D i s t r i b u t i o n of adequate and timely information to encourage appropriate input and knowledgeable decision-making. Adequate information refers to the amount, quality , and relevance of information made available to the public; information which promotes useful, appropriate and know-ledgeable p a r t i c i p a t i o n by the public i n the planning process. For the same reason, information must be d i s t r i b u t e d throughout the planning process i n a timely manner. The intents of this goal are: A. To d i s t r i b u t e information so the public w i l l have a good understanding of the purpose, d i r e c t i o n and expected r e s u l t s of the planning process and of the role of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the process; and B. To implement a program that establishes points at which the public i s informed about the status of the planning process, and i t s products. 4. S o l i c i t a t i o n of views, opinions and concerns at a variety of points i n the planning process. The attitudes of the public should be a c t i v e l y sought throughout the planning process. But more importantly, the information received from the public must be used i n the process. This idea i s r e f l e c t e d i n the intent statements for t h i s goal. A. To a c t i v e l y pursue public p a r t i c i p a t i o n at c r u c i a l decision-making points i n the planning process. B. To recognize, consider and incorporate s o l i c i t e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the planning process. 5. Continuity of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n throughout the planning process. Since planning i s not a s t a t i c a c t i v i t y , the public p a r t i c pation associated with the planning process should not be s t a t i c . Obtaining the views, opinions and concerns of the public throughout the planning process provides data for the process, but continuity of p a r t i c i p a t i o n encourages the accountability of the plan-makers and decision-makers to the public. The intent of t h i s goal i s : A. To obtain p a r t i c i p a t i o n from the public throughout the municipal parks and recreation planning process. That i s , c i t i z e n s involved  i n the i n i t i a l stages of the process should have the opportunity to be associated with the process throughout i t s duration. In addition, a c y c l i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n program which promotes communication and feedback between c i t i z e n s and 4 0 the planners and decision-makers i s e s s e n t i a l . Assessing the Methods Assessment of the adequacy of the i d e n t i f i e d methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process w i l l be done i n two parts. F i r s t , the methods w i l l be comparatively assessed, based on t h e i r a b i l i t y to f u l f i l l the i d e n t i f i e d goals and intent statements. This assessment w i l l be based on the 'ideal" of each public p a r t i c i p a t i o n method. That i s , on the f u l l , c a r e f u l , and proper design and implementation of the method. Second, the o v e r a l l a b i l i t y of each method to meet the goals w i l l be discussed b r i e f l y . 1. Involvement of affected persons and concerned c i t i z e n s i n the planning process. This goal and intent statements are best met by the survey method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. The character of the survey method i s id e a l for f u l f i l l i n g the intents of th i s goal. The rationale for t h i s conclusion i s that surveys are a methodology designed to achieve representative public p a r t i c i p a t i o n over a wide range of issues. The next best method would be the select committee method. This method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n has the a b i l i t y of being designed to meet t h i s goal, but not 41 as well as the survey method. This conclusion i s based on the f a c t that the select committee i s less quantative i n information c o l l e c t i o n . That i s i n order to meet th i s goal a select committee may well employ the methodology of a survey. Staff contact with the public f u l f i l l s t h i s goal the l e a s t , of a l l methods. It i s d i f f i c u l t to obtain representative p a r t i c i p a t i o n , over a range of issues with t h i s method. 2. Openness of the process and freedom of access into the process by interested persons. This goal deals with the perceptions of the public about the opportunities to become involved i n the muni-c i p a l parks and recreation process and the perceptions of these preparing the plan with respect to those opportunities, i . e . the u t i l i z a t i o n of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the planning process. Both a select committee and s t a f f contact may be used to f u l f i l l t h i s goal. The survey method does not have the same a b i l i t y to f u l f i l l t his goal, as i t does not take into account public p a r t i c i p a t i o n outside the framwork of the method. That i s , the public may percieve that they can approach municipal s t a f f or a select committee at any time during the process, but that a survey l i m i t s t h e i r a b i l i t y to p a r t i c i p a t e in the process. 42 3. Di s t r i b u t i o n of adequate and timely information to encourage appropriate input and knowledgeable decision-making. The survey method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s most useful for f u l f i l l i n g t h i s goal. The method can be designed to inform the public about the planning process, while at the same time encouraging p a r t i c i p a t i o n that i s appropriate at each stage of the process. Select committees and s t a f f contact are not as useful i n f u l f i l l i n g t h i s goal primarily because they are 'secondary' methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . That i s both these methods r e l y on sp e c i f i c means to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n ; for example through the use of surveys. 4. S o l i c i t a t i o n of views, opinions, and concerns at a variety of points i n the planning process. Again, the survey method of obtaining public p a r t i c i -pation i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process i s the most appropriate method to meet t h i s goal. The rationale for t h i s assessment i s si m i l a r to that for goal 3, i.e . that select committees and st a f f contact may well r e l y on the survey method to f u l f i l l t h i s goal. 43 5. Continuity of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n throughout the planning process. Select committees and s t a f f contact w i l l f u l f i l l the goal of continuity better than the survey method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Of these two the one that i s most appropriate depends on l o c a l circumstances. The survey method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s s t a t i c , while select committees and s t a f f contact, by the i r very nature, have continuity b u i l t i n . The following figure (1) summarizes the compara-t i v e assessment of the three i d e n t i f i e d methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. The table comparatively marks each method on a scale of 1 (high) to 3 (low), based on the general a b i l i t y of the method of achieve each goal. 4 4 FIGURE 1 Comparative Assessment of Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n Methods Select Staff Surveys Committees Contact Involvement 1 2 3 1 2 3 3 1.5 1.5 3 1.5 1.5 1 2.5 2.5 1 2.5 2.5 1 2.5 2.5 1 2.5 2.5 Continuity 3 1.5 1.5 Openness Information S o l i c i t a t i o n ".15.0 18.5 20.5 From the preceeding assessment i t appears that surveys are the best o v e r a l l method for obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation plan-ning process. This method f u l f i l l s three of the f i v e goals, (involvement, information, and s o l i c i t a t i o n ) more than the other three methods. But, the method i s inadequate i n f u l f i l l i n g two of the f i v e goals; opennesss and contin-u i t y . These inadequacies can be minimized by a properly designed survey method. In f a c t , the usefulness of t h i s method i s very dependent on the o v e r a l l design and application of the method. The r e l i a b i l i t y of the p a r t i c i pation depends on these two c r i t i c a l elements. Select committees and s t a f f contact rank the same on a l l the goals except the f i r s t ; involvement. Select committees rank above s t a f f contact on thi s goal. Overall both methods rank lower than the survey method. I t i s interesting to note though, that the strength of these methods l i e s i n areas where the survey method i s weak. As i n the survey method, the design and application of select committees and s t a f f contact i s important; but the c r i t i c a l element i n these methods i s c r e d i b i l i t y . Credibi i t y i s esse n t i a l i f either of these two methods are to f u l f i l l the goals i n which they are the strongest, opennes and continuity. Conclusions It i s apparent from the assessment that none of the methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process are independently adequate. The important point to be made i s that the methods are complementary. I t appears, from the previous assessment, that the survey method used i n conjunction with either a select committee or s t a f f contact, w i l l provide adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. This conclusion 46 i s based on the assumption t h a t t h e methods a r e d e s i g n e d and u t i l i z e d as c l o s e t o the ' i d e a l ' as p o s s i b l e ; and t h a t the p u b l i c p e r c e i v e s the methods as c r e d i b l e . 47 CHAPTER 6 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE MUNICIPAL PARKS AND RECREATION PLANNING PROCESS: CASE STUDY Introduction This chapter presents a case study of the municipal parks and recreation planning process used i n the Corporation of the D i s t r i c t of West Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia, 1977-1978. The purpose of the case study i s to apply the general conclusions reached i n the previous chapter to a s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n . That i s , to determine i f a combination of a survey(s), and a select committee and/or s t a f f contact with the public i s a means of obtaining adequate public p a r t i c i -pation i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. West Vancouver was chosen as the case study for three reasons: 1. information about the municipal parks and recreation planning process was available to the author through employment with the municipality during the process; 2. the municipality recently completed a parks and recreation plan, using the master planning approach; and 3. the municipality used a l l three methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e i r parks and recreation planning process. 48 West Vancouver started updating th e i r parks and recreation master plan i n May 1977. The project was iniated j o i n t l y by municipal s t a f f and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission; an appointed advisory body to the municipal Council. The plan was completed i n October 1977. Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the West Vancouver Municipal Parks and Recreation Planning Process A l l three methods previously i d e n t i f i e d of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process, were used to some degree i n West Vancouver. The extent that each of the three; surveys, a select committee, and s t a f f contact with the public was used, i s described i n t h i s section. Two surveys were used i n the parks and recreation plan-ning process i n West Vancouver. Both were administered very early i n the planning process. One was a questionnaire dist r i b u t e d to a l l known groups providing l e i s u r e service programs and f a c i l i t i e s i n West Vancouver. The intent of the questionnaire was to determine p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n these groups and to i d e n t i f y future f a c i l i t y needs. The other survey was a parks and f a c i l i t i e s survey. I t was an attempt to assess the p a r t i c i p a t i o n at parks, f a c i l i t i e s and i n leis u r e programs provided by West Vancouver. This questionn-aire was administered s p o r a t i c a l l y at a l o c a l shopping center 49 and the municipal recreation center for a week. L i t t l e conscious e f f o r t was spent i n assuring the accuracy and usefulness of the surveys used i n the West Vancouver planning process. The surveys were not a high p r i o r i t y i n the West Vancouver municipal parks and recreation planning process, since the s t a f f f e l t that they would provide l i t t l e benefit for the cost. A select committee, i n t h i s instance c a l l e d the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Steering Committee, was established as an advisory body to the planning s t a f f after the inventory phase of the planning process was completed. The Steering Committee was established for p o l i t i c a l reasons, rather than as a method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the planning process. The Steering Committee brought together various individuals who represented decision-making groups i n the community, and was intended as a vehicle to improve the communications between these decision-making groups. The Steering Committee was responsible to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, who approved the establishment of the Committee on the advice of municipal s t a f f . There was no d i r e c t contact between the groups represented on the Steering Committee during the planning process, except through s t a f f and the individuals who were members of the groups. The Steering Committee met s p o r a t i c a l l y during the planning process. As a group 5 0 they encouraged the planning s t a f f to use their expertise to prepare the parks and recreation plan. As they were established as an advisory group, the Steering Committee functioned primarily as reactors to the s t a f f . Staff contact with the public was an important means of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the parks and recreation planning process i n West Vancouver. This was not a formalized method established for the parks and recreation planning process, but occured informally as a matter of departmental po l i c y . There were two reasons t h i s method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n was available during the planning process. F i r s t , the continuity of the s t a f f over a long period of time (five years plus) permitted an assessment of the trends i n public attitudes towards the municipal parks and recreation system. Secondly, the s t a f f was perceived by the public as open to ideas, suggestions, and opinions, about the parks and recreation system; so that many c i t i z e n s did not hesitate to l e t the s t a f f knowhow they f e l t about parks and recreation issues. Generally, the s t a f f had very good c r e d i b i l i t y with the c i t i z e n s of West Vancouver. Assessment of the Adequacy of Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the West Vancouver Parks and Recreation Planning Process. S t a t i s t i c a l Assessment In order to test an aspect of the adequacy of public 51 p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the West Vancouver parks and recreation process, additional data was col l e c t e d and analyzed. The research for t h i s section of the study u t i l i z e d a portion of a 'community survey 1 developed by West Vancouver to be a s t a t i s t i c a l l y v a l i d instrument. This questionnaire was separate from the surveys used during the parks and recrea-tion planning process. The questionnaire was administered to eight groups of people; one group of c i t i z e n s and seven groups of decision-makers. The individuals i n each group selected what they f e l t were the three most important parks and recreation goals, from a l i s t of seven parks and recrea-tion goals. The r e s u l t was a group ranking of the seven parks and recreation goals. The use of t h i s data i s based on the assumption that within our p o l i t i c a l system decision-makers are supposed to represent th e i r constituency. To do this the decision-makers need to know what the public opinion i s ; one of the purposes of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , t h i s concept i s discussed by Lang and Page. As the main tool for better decisions respecting urban and regional development, planning t r a d i t i o n o f f e r s the master plan. Central to t h i s kind of plan and the basis for d e l i v e r i n g i t s goals i s a concept of t o t a l public i n t e r e s t for a given area, one which over-rides the p a r t i c u l a r special i n t e r e s t s . Such planning begins with the establishment of general goals-which are assumed to r e f l e c t community consensus. (1973, 6) 52 This concept i s further developed by A l t c h u l e r , The comprehensive planner must assume that his community's various c o l l e c t i v e goals can somehow be measured at least' roughly as to importance and worked into a single hierarcy of community objectives. (1973, 14) Based on t h i s concept, i t i s assumed that i f the methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n West Vancouver were adequate, there would be a p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between the c i t i z e n ' s goal ranking and the decision-makers goal rankings. The decision-making groups were chosen on the basis of t h e i r position i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e / p o l i t i c a l structure of West Vancouver. A l l of the groups chosen had a d i r e c t influence on parks and recreation planning i n the municipali-ty. I t should be noted that the decision-making groups were non-exclusive. In addition to Group 1, the c i t i z e n ' s group (609 i n d i v i d u a l s ) , the decision-making groups represented i n the study are: Group 2: West Vancouver Policy Staff (5 individuals) Group 3: West Vancouver Parks Staff (5 individuals) Group 4: West Vancouver Recreation Staff (10 individuals) Group 5: West Vancouver Municipal Council (7 individuals) Group 6: West Vancouver Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee 1977 (8 individuals) Group 7: West Vancouver Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee 1978 (8 individuals) 53 Group 8: West Vancouver Parks and Recreation Master Plan Steering Committee (5 individuals) The r e s u l t s of the tabulated questionnaires are found i n Figure 4. The numbers i n the table indicate the number of times a response was given for each goal. The figures i n the parenthesis, indicate the rank assigned to each goal, based on the t o t a l number of i n d i v i d u a l responses received for each goal. From the table few observable correlations can be seen between the c i t i z e n s and the decision-makers ranking of the goals. This v i s u a l analysis indicates that i n four out of the seven goals at least one decision-making group ranked a goal the same as the c i t i z e n s , but i t i s not the same group for a l l the goals. Overall, there are many more goals that are not ranked the same between the c i t i z e n s and the decision-makers. In order to determine i f there was any s t a t i s t i c a l c o r r e l a t i o n between the groups, a Kendall rank order c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t test was conducted. FIGURE 2 CASE STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE TABULATION GROUPS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Citizens 253 (3) 233 (5) 121 (7) 272 (2) 350 (1) 167(6) 242 (4) Policy Staff 1 (6) 3 (2.5) 2(4) 3 (2.5) 4(1) 1(6) 1(6) Parks Staff 2(4) 2(4) 2 (4) 5 (1) 4(2) 0(6.5) 0(6.5) Recreation Staff 3 (4.5) 4 (3) 8(1.5) 2 (6.5) 8(1.5) 3 (4.5) 2(6.5) Municipal Council 3 (3.5) 3 (3.5) 3 (3.5) 3 (3.5) 4 (1) 2 (6) 0(7) Parks and Recreation Commission (1978) 2 (6.5) 4(3) 2(6.5) 4 (3) 5(1) 4 (3) 3(5) Parks and Recreation Commission (1977) 4 (4) 3 (5) 5(2) 5(2) 5(2) 0(7) 2(6) Master Plan Steering Committee 3 (3.5) 4 (1.5) 1(5) 4(1.5) 3 (3.5) 0(6.5) 0(6.5) 55 Correlation C o e f f i c i e n t s S t a t i s t i c a l Significance Policy Staff .3705 .122 Parks Staff .4763 .067 Recreation Staff -.2057 .259 Council .3944 .107 Advisory Committee 1977 .4115 .098 Advisory Committee 197 8 .3705 .122 Steering Committee .3086 .166 The analysis shows no s t a t i s t i c a l c o r r e l a t i o n between the c i t i z e n s and any decision-making groups. The analysis does show some weak correlations between decision-making groups, but t h i s i s not unexpected as some individuals are members of more than one decision-making group. Therefore, based on the e a r l i e r assumption that adequate methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n would be indicated by posit i v e correlations between c i t i z e n s and decision-making groups; the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the West Vancouver Parks and recreation planning process i s not adequate. There are three possible reasons why there i s no p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between the c i t i z e n s and the decision-makers on the goal rankings. F i r s t , i s that the groups simply made a d i f f e r e n t judgement or reached a d i f f e r e n t marking based on d i f f e r e n t perceptions or values. Second, i s the p o s s i b i l i t y 56 that the decision-makers were not aware of public opinion. Thirdly, the decision-makers may be aware of public opinion, but f e e l that the public does not "understand" the issues. Both of the l a t t e r reasons may r e f l e c t an inadequacy i n the methods used to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . In the f i r s t instance i t i s because public involvement i s not being obtained; and i n the second i t i s because there i s a lack of communication between the c i t i z e n s and the decision-makers, which can r e s u l t i n a lack of support for the parks and recreation master plan. Goal Assessment It i s the intent of this section of the study to assess West Vancouver's methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e i r parks and recreation planning process, using the goals discussed i n the previous chapter. West Vancouver employed the three i d e n t i f i e d methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n their parks and recreation planning process, yet, the s t a t i s t i c a l assessment indicates that public p a r t i c i p a t i o n may not have been adequate. Therefore, the six goals discussed i n chapter six w i l l be used to reassess the case study. The f i r s t goal of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , that was i d e n t i f i e d i n the previous chapter, was the involvement of affected persons and concerned c i t i z e n s i n the planning process. This goal was represented by two intent statements. None of the three methods used to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n West Vancouver met the intents of th i s goal. The survey method which i s most l i k e l y to meet th i s goal was not a high p r i o r i t y i n the West Vancouver parks and recreation planning process. Although surveys were used, i n the parks and recreation planning process they were poorly designed instruments and not able to f u l f i l l the goal. The second goal was openness of the process and freedom of access into the process by interested persons. This goal has two intents, only one of these was met by the s t a f f contact method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n West Vancouver. None of the methods used i n West Vancouver made available information about the planning process, although public p a r t i c i p a t i o n was incorporated into the process through s t a f f contact with residents. In West Vancouver, none of the three methods of obtain-ing public p a r t i c i p a t i o n were used to d i s t r i b u t e adequate and timely information to encourage appropriate input and knowledgeable decision-making (Goal 3 ) . Each of the three methods was used to gether information or feedback on technical aspects of the process, not to no t i f y the public about the status of the project. The s o l i c i t a t i o n of views, opinions and concerns at a variety of points throughout the planning process (Goal 4) was not adequately f u l f i l l e d by the methods used to obtain 58 public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n West Vancouver. The survey method used comes closest to meeting th i s goal, but i n the West Vancouver case, the survey was only used once i n the i n i t i a l stages of the planning process; public p a r t i c i p a t i o n was not a c t i v e l y sought at c r u c i a l points throughout the process. Although, the Steering Committee was used i n the capacity of s o l i c i t i n g opinions, i t was not structured to be represent-ative of the community. There was very l i t t l e continuity of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n throughout the planning process i n West Vancouver (Goal 5). This goal i s met somewhat by the Steering Committee, but the e a r l i e r inadequacy noted i n the Committee's structure, l i m i t s i t s a b i l i t y to f u l f i l l t his goal. Even though there was continuity of the s t a f f during the process, there was not continuity of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n using the s t a f f contact method. This relates to the lack of " s o l i c i t a t i o n " of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the process. Overall, the methods used to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the West Vancouver parks and recreation planning process, do not f u l f i l l the stated public p a r t i c i p a t i o n goals and the intents of those goals. Conclusions This chapter has provided a description of the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n methods used and the extent of their use i n 59 the West Vancouver parks and recreation planning process. West Vancouver employed a l l three of the i d e n t i f i e d methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e i r parks and recreation planning process; surveys, a select committee, and s t a f f contact. Yet the three methods, used i n combination, did not provide adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the West Vancouver parks and recreation planning process. The inadequacy of these methods may be attributed to two factors. F i r s t , none of the methods used was designed 'properly 1; that i s designed s p e c i f i c a l l y to obtain public involvement and support for the planning process and the plan. Each of these methods can be designed, within a s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n , to optimize t h e i r a b i l i t y to f u l f i l l these purposes. In West Vancouver s t a f f contact was a day to day a c t i v i t y and the focus was not on obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n for the parks and recreation planning process. The select committee was used assa means of co-opting i n f l u e n t i a l decision-makers i n order to encourage ' p o l i t i c a l communication', and the surveys were not designed as s t a t i s -t i c a l l y accurate measurement tools. Secondly, i n the West Vancouver case the methods used to obtain public p a r t i c i p a t i o n were not used i n a manner to comp-lement and supplement each other. L i t t l e consideration was given to developing a public p a r t i c i p a t i o n 'program' that used each of the methods to the i r f u l l e s t p o t e n t i a l , i n order to achieve an adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n program i n the parks and recreation planning process. 60 CHAPTER 7 i v. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Summary The purpose of this study has been to assess the adequacy of the current methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation plan-ning process. The f i r s t three chapters of the study present background information that provides a framework for the rest of the study. The remainder of the study d i r e c t l y addresses the purpose. The f i r s t chapter of the study introduces the concept of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. The chapter asserts that public p a r t i c i -pation i s an important aspect of the municipal parks and recreation planning process; and contains a description of the study methods used; l i b r a r y research and a case study. The second chapter, which b r i e f l y describes the h i s t o r i c a l development of municipal parks and recreation planning, concludes that there has been l i t t l e change i n this area of planning since i t s introduction i n the late 1800's. The current municipal parks and recreation plan-ning process i s a d i r e c t r e f l e c t i o n of thi s h i s t o r i c a l development. The chapter also concludes that the current municipal parks and recreation planning process i s the " t r a d i t i o n a l master plan" approach. The t h i r d chapter of the study documents the importance .of•-public^participation i n t h i s current and t y p i c a l municipal parks and recreation planning process. In chapter four, surveys, select committees and s t a f f contact are i d e n t i f i e d as the three current methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. Chapter f i v e comparatively assesses the adequacy of these i d e n t i f i e d methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . This chapter concludes that the survey method comes the closes to f u l f i l l i n g the stated goals of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , which form the basis of the assessment. The assessment also indicates that the weaknesses of the survey method, i n openness and continuity are the strengths of the other two methods, select committees and s t a f f contact. The general conclusion of t h i s chapter i s that i n order to have adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process, surveys should be used and complemented with either a select comm-i t t e e or s t a f f contact. Chapter s i x of the study i s a case study of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the West Vancouver parks and recreation planning process. West Vancouver used a l l three methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e i r parks and recreation planning process. Therefore, i t was anticipated that they would have adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e i r parks and recreation planning process. A s t a t i s t i c a l analysis and an assessment using the previously stated goals indicates that the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the West Vancouver parks and recreation planning process was not adequate. These re s u l t s were attributed to two factors. F i r s t , the i n d i v i d u a l methods were not designed and applied as they should have been; and second, the methods were not used i n a manner to complement each other. Conclusions On the surface i t appears that the conclusions from the l i t e r a t u r e review and assessment are inconsistent»,"with those from the case study. The l i t e r a t u r e review concludes that a."'.combination of the survey method and either a select committee or s t a f f contact w i l l r e s u l t i n adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. But t h i s assessment i s based on the " i d e a l " design and implementation of each of these methods. The West Vancouver case, which employed a l l three methods of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i s a p r a c t i c a l example of the use of these methods i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. Over-all, West Vancouver 63 i s a good example of the state-of-the-art i n municipal parks and recreation planning. Yet, the s t a t i s t i c a l analysis and assessment indicates that West Vancouver did not have adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n th e i r parks and recreation planning process. This observed inadequacy has been attributed to two factors; the poor design and use of the in d i v i d u a l methods and the lack of a program that used the methods i n a complementary manner. In West Vancouver the s t a f f method of obtaining public p a r t i c i p a t i o n was i n d i v i d u a l l y adequate. Even though th i s method was not designed s p e c i f i c a l l y for use i n the parks and recreation planning process, i t functioned well i n that process. But th i s method alone was not adequate to overcome the gaps of the other methods. Based on the results of the l i t e r a t u r e review and assessment, West Vancouver could have had adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i n th e i r parks and recreation planning process, i f they had paid more attention to the survey method. Since none of the methods i s adequate on i t s own and West Vancouver had excellent s t a f f contact, the weakness i n th e i r public p a r t i c i p a t i o n methodology must have been i n t h e i r survey method. This conclusion i s based on the manner i n which the survey method was used i n West Vancouver and the e a r l i e r conclusion that surveys are a requirement of adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . If West Vancouver i s a good example of the state-of-the-art i n municipal parks and recreation planning, what are the implications of this study for other municipalities? The f i r s t i s that, i n general, current public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s not adequate i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. The second implication i s that, based on the findings of the l i t e r a t u r e review and assessment, public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process can be adequate. Theoretically, i n order to obtain adequate public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process, three things must be recognized as the basis of the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the municipal parks and recreation planning process. 1. The public p a r t i c i p a t i o n methods must be designed and implemented as they were intended, as close to the " i d e a l " as possible, given l o c a l constraints; and 2. A program of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , which uses the methods to complement each other must be developed. This means the use of the survey method inconjunction with either the select committee or s t a f f contact method; 3. The strengths and weaknesses of each method should be considered i n the planning process and i n the u t i l i z a t i o n and feedback of p a r t i c i -pation r e s u l t s throughout the process. 65 PLANS REVIEWED Barrie, Ontario, Parks and Recreation Commission. 197 2. F a c i l i t i e s Study Report. Barrie, Ontario, Parks and Recreation Commission. 1972. Report of Future Park Requirements and P o l i c i e s . Barrie, Ontario. 197 3. O f f i c i a l Plan. B e l l e v i l l e , Ontario. 1967. Park Planning Study, City  of B e l l e v i l l e . Braver and Associates. (1972). City of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Park System Master Plan. Burlington, Ontario. , 1971. Recreation, A Study Report  for F a c i l i t i e s Development. 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