Consultations about Old Aylmer’s future continue at public open house
Approximately 25 Aylmer residents participated in an “open house” evening of roundtable discussions about the future of Old Aylmer on Thursday, June 16. The open house was held at the Ernest-Lattion community centre and was organized by the Ville de Gatineau in collaboration with the urban planning firm CARDO and strategic consultants, Brodeur Frenette.
Thursday’s event was part of the “Understanding Old Aylmer” initiative launched by the Ville de Gatineau as part of its “Programme Particulier d’Urbanisme” (PPU) which aims to facilitate and increase citizen engagement in urban planning through a series of online and in-person public consultations .According to the Ville de Gatineau’s website, the purpose of the initiative is to develop an “accurate and up to date profile of the sector by those who use and live it day-to-day” which will then be used to “develop a broader planning approach aimed at enhancing Old-Aylmer’s appeal and the quality of life of its residents.” The roundtable discussions followed two other participatory activities organized by the city on the same subject: the launch of an online consultation platform and an exploratory walk and consultation in Old Aylmer.
Participants were divided into small groups to consult about four major themes related to the current reality and future development of Old Aylmer: (1) the neighbourhood’s urban design (2) the natural environment (3) mobility and transportation (4) urban functioning. The preservation of heritage sites, current and future property development projects, accessible transportation, the preservation of the tree canopy, the beautification of parks and other public spaces, and cultural and community activities were among the topics that participants discussed while exploring each theme.
During the event, the open house organizers stressed the importance of community participation noting that even the territorial limit of Old Aylmer, which was initially drawn by the Ville de Gatineau, was subject to change after feedback from community members. At the end of the night, participants were invited to vote on the ideas they liked best - a task which proved unnecessary given the strong similarities in ideas presented across the small groups.
One participant remarked: “I found it really cool that in the end we all identified similar points despite the fact that the tables didn’t speak with each other beforehand, it really shows our unity as a community’’
Another Aylmer resident, Garanké Bah, noted how pleased he was to have the opportunity to participate in this event, “I received the info letter from the city and also saw the event on Facebook. I came here because I care about the development of Old Aylmer, the appearance of Old Aylmer and have an interest in improving the quality of life in the neighbourhood. I found the themes engaging, when something like this is organized, I think we should go and benefit from these kinds of opportunities and to contribute our ideas”
The results of this series of public consultations will be discussed with the Old Aylmer PPU’s advisory committee in July followed by a public presentation of the overall results of the initiative in September. A final report of the public consultations will be delivered in October which will inform an urban plan for the sector to be adopted and implemented by the Ville de Gatineau in late 2023.
Aylmer residents can continue to participate in the public consultations online through the “Understanding Old Aylmer” discussion platform up until June 30th. To access the online platform, visit the website at: https://comprendrelevieuxaylmer.cocoriko.org/ and create an account by clicking “Créer un compte”. After creating an account, you can select one of the many themes for consultation by clicking on one of the images and opening a sub-theme. Each sub-theme includes several propositions for the development of Old Aylmer which can be commented on and voted for. To submit your own proposal or question, click the blue “Rédiger une idée” button. Proposals can be written in French or in English and can be submitted anonymously.
Image 1: Aylmer residents vote on ideas for the sector’s future development.
Image 2: Participants discuss possibilities for the neighbourhood’s future.
Photo Credit: Greg Newing