Canadians strongly believe that new buildings should be accessible, beautiful, sustainable, and reflective of the culture and heritage of the communities in which they stand, according to a new study by the Angus Reid Institute.
“Canadians are near-unanimous that accessibility (96%), aesthetic beauty (92%), and sustainability (90%) should be prioritized in new buildings in their community,” the Institute says in a release. As well, 75% believe a community’s culture and heritage “should be a key consideration.”
The survey results suggest Canada’s architects and builders have their work cut out for them: 50% of those polled said development in their communities was poorly planned and executed, with roughly the same percentage saying they felt building developers were dictating the process.
A clear majority, 54%, said they don’t bother participating in development planning, as they don’t believe their voices will be heard. And many who did participate in consultations came to the same conclusion.
Overall, 28% said their communities deserved a “C” for their efforts to build an inclusive planning process, while another 21% gave those processes a “D” or an “F.”
Another quarter declared themselves to be either somewhat or very pleased, giving their communities a “B” or an “A” for inclusivity.
It was also “notable”, Angus Reid said, that 46% of Indigenous people polled and 51% of visible minorities were “far less likely than Caucasian Canadians (61%) to say that they see themselves and their culture in the community.”
The study identified accountability as a key demand that Canadians bring to the present and future of community planning. “Canadians are widely supportive of having a figure—a chief architect or similar title—with whom guidance on the quality of design decisions would lie.”