Inclusive Urban Ecological Restoration in Toronto, Canada
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High Park is one of the largest green spaces within the city of Toronto, and it attracts people from all over the city with its beautiful lawns, attractive gardens, and oak savanna and pond restoration. Walking through the park on a sunny, summer day you encounter the diversity that is the city of Toronto—a city where about 50 percent of the residents are people who immigrated to Canada within the last ten years (Toronto Community Foundation 2004). In 2007, a park planning exercise was led by the park management and the volunteer park council to decide the direction of future park development, and specifically what role ecological restoration would play. Seventy people met on a Saturday morning to discuss the future of the park and gather input from various interest groups, including dog walkers, gardeners, cyclists, and restorationists. All seventy participants were white and seemingly of western European ancestry. They certainly did not reflect the diversity of the park’s users. Looking around the room, I questioned why diverse cultures were not engaged in this process even though they had direct interest in what happened in the park.
KeywordsGreen Space Ecological Restoration Restoration Project Community Garden Urban Green Space
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