For a while now I have been exploring ways of improving people's understanding of Urban Planning issues and principles, and our approaches to communication (see Why Do Planners Need Decoder Rings). My desire has been to develop a tool that not only informs people, but entertains and engages their minds in a way that will shift their perspective.
Seeing things in a new way is far more powerful that just lining up new facts in your mind. When you look at things differently, you draw different connections amongst your experiences and all the other things you "know". I believe that through these kinds of new understandings, creativity is released; something deeply necessary for good urban planning.
Therefore, this significant communication/education challenge I have set, combined with my deep appreciation of 'paper craft' and 'whiteboard' animation, has led to a project I am current undertaking for the Town of Collingwood. This involves the creation of a series of short animated videos (in 'paper craft' and 'whiteboard' style) that describe key contemporary Planning issues. The intent is that these videos will not only be used by the Town, but also freely by other communities, Planners, and citizens to facilitate their communication/education initiatives online or during presentations.
Below are the first two videos which are focused on Active Transportation and Walkability.
Urban Planning 101 - Active Transportation from Robert Voigt on Vimeo.
Urban Planning 101 - Walkability from Robert Voigt on Vimeo.