"Neighbourhood stewards - the people who are engaged in issues that affect their community - often have a lot in common with the people who physically shape their neighbourhoods and provide the places where people live, work, learn and play," writes former developer Bob Ransford, who recently moderated a forum for the Urban Development Institute's "under 40" group of Vancouver development industry professionals. "They all understand how place matters. They understand the need to plan. They understand that, ultimately, it is the people who are the final decisionmakers."
"Developers and neighbourhood activists also often share a level of tension with the regulators over the same issues of what can happen where," he adds. "They also have a lot to learn from each other and a lot of common ground on which they can stand together to affect how we shape our communities and neighbourhoods."
Ransford shares some of the ways forum participants suggested the two groups could work more effectively together.