From my Healthy Living column in Moncton’s Times & Transcript.

Since mid-November, I have been a member (a youth representative) of the PlanMoncton committee, a committee of Monctonian citizens and city planners that is preparing a new municipal development plan for Moncton. This plan, which will be presented to City Council at around this time next year, will be used by the city to guide day-to-day decisions about the development of Moncton. For example, the plan might help the city choose where to build a new school, where sidewalks, biking paths, and bus stops should be made, and where businesses should be encouraged to set up shop.

It can also include guidelines that protect the environment (e.g. Reglementations about the energy efficiency of buildings and rules about tree planting) and that embellify Moncton’s cultural and historical landmarks and important neighborhoods (such as downtown Moncton).

Evidently, a plan that can affect important decisions in such a variety of areas will have quite an impact on the lives of Monctonians in future years. This is why it is important to me to participate in the committee; it’s a wonderful opportunity to hear what other community members’ perspectives and to contribute to the plan that will assure that the City of Moncton will be even better yet in the future.

At one of the first meetings, it was said that members were expected not only to assure that the people they were representing were heard, but to share their own views as citizens. Hearing what was most important to others and what activities others incorporated into their daily lives in consequence of their values is very interesting.

Over the next few weeks, there will be several events hosted by the City that are intended to encourage you, dear readers, and other Moncton citizens to contribute to the municipal development plan by sharing your vision of the city and your suggestions for improvment. I strongly encourage everyone who can participate to do so; much feedback and input is needed for the making of a successful plan and young citizens will benefit from the experience.

Originally published in the Times & Transcript on January 29th, 2011.

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