Toronto Metropolitan University
COTE, Kiana.pdf (2.31 MB)

Meaningful and inclusive engagement: are we there yet? A case study of Scarborough neighbourhood improvement areas (NIAS) participatory processes

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posted on 2023-09-20, 21:48 authored by Kiana Côté

While Western planning shows an awareness about the importance of citizen participation, it is acknowledged that the conventional public meeting approach fails to truly engage with the public. Moreover, studies reveal this approach’s limitations particularly impact ethnic communities.

Research has been limited to investigate the inefficiency of the participatory framework from the experts’ perspective. It has not addressed the issue of the lack of ethnic diversity in participatory processes nor have made concrete suggestions of changes for policymakers. This research investigates how ethnically diverse citizens participate and are engaged with the municipal participatory framework to uncover to what extent this approach meets their needs. This is done through a case study of the eight Scarborough Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs), which comprise an important share of diverse ethnic groups. This study reviews the NIAs participatory process and policies and uses interviews with representatives of the Scarborough communities, representatives of local neighbourhood agencies, and the City in order to examine participatory

processes and uncover ethnic groups’ perspectives concerning the municipal participatory approach.

Key Words: citizen participation, meaningful public engagement, citizen empowerment, ethnic communities, the City of Toronto participatory framework.





  • Master of Planning


  • Urban Development

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Zhixi Zhuang