Congratulations to current Commissioner Amina Yasin, and past Commissioner Daniella Fergusson for winning the Canadian Institute of Planners 2021 Plan Canada Award for their article “Pandemic Patios and “Flat White” Urbanism originally published in Plan Canada Winter 2020 (Vol. 60 No. 4) issue. The article highlights how existing inequality in our society with already vulnerable members of our communities has been further compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The jury commends the authors for not only highlighting the inequalities that exist and how the gap has been further exacerbated through the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for providing thoughtful analysis and opportunities to challenge planners to think more inclusively in all aspects of community planning.
By compounding existing crises, the COVID-19 pandemic has further marginalized already vulnerable members of our communities. The ease and speed of “pandemic patios” implementation contrasts harshly with the lack of meaningful action in food, housing, transportation, and equitable infrastructure projects. Additionally, pandemic policing continues the historic practice of deciding who can be in public.
This disconnect between aesthetic improvements, enforcement, and systems change is emblematic of White Urbanism, a “flat white” power and legal structure implemented through restrictive covenants, redlining, planning euphemisms, land theft, architecture, bylaws and their enforcement, and choices that smooth over structural issues in favour of aesthetic improvements to the status quo.
You can read the whole article below, or download it here (pdf).Pandemic_Patios_PlanCanada_Winter2020