The blog wanted to highlight a particularity worrisome point brought out publicly by the Toronto Public Space (TPSI) group in their report on unprecedented policies that will allow the city to sell off the names of public spaces and bring in aggressive advertising into them, including parks and playgrounds. (see this post – its below this one)
Yet they are bringing local business Improvement associations (BIA’s) into the decision-making and planning activities about these changes. That is right, the local retail store owners across the city are being consulted and allowed into the fold to decide how local parks are named and what advertising will go into them, Yes, big advertisers are involved too and their ads in parks and parkettes are probably not welcome also. But residents and community groups such as residents associations are not part of the consultation process.
“the inclusion of BIAs in a consultation process to the exclusion of all other stakeholders” [1. Toronto Public Space (TPSI)]
Simply, 1st importance of the what the parks are to the community of people who use them is being removed from the people.
Hopefully the ethical BIA’s in Toronto with see the folly of of being associated with this. BIA’s are structured and created to improve retail streets and businesses within their areas.