Tell Me Your City

Goal: To consult a diversity of 5- to 12-year-old Montrealers on their vision of the city for consideration in the 2050 Urban Design and Mobility Plan.

Challenge: To help the adult facilitators establish trust and open dialogue with children, allowing for authentic and ethical participation and data.

Solution: Apply playwork principles to child engagement to encourage child-led discussions. Analyze data and write a report that connects the City of Montréal’s perspective and priorities with those of the children who live there.

Report (in French):

Photos by Valérie Paquette

A white woman holding a teddy bear of an alien facilitating a public consultation among children. Children have their backs to the camera. One child has raised her arm to speak.
A child, seen from above, is drawing a multi-storey green house on a white piece of paper.

Policy and Participation

Metropolis Through Children's Eyes

Goal: To analyze and report on the engagement data and develop relevant policy recommendations.

Challenge: To create an analytical framework that sees the bridges between the language and priorities of an international organization of metropolises and 1,200 children’s drawings from around the world.

Solution: Create a database of drawings with search keywords and categories that reflect both the organization’s and the children’s perspectives. Write a report that explicitly connects these perspectives with actionable policy recommendations.


Images by Zeng Hanming (left) and Emily Mikaela Obando Nieto (right)

A drawing of a treehouse against a blue sky.
A drawing of a cityscape with a child and adults riding bikes, a dog walker, a yellow taxi and colourful buildings.


The Lost Mitten

Goal: To invite families to consider how they and their children engage with the city and winter more broadly.

Challenge: To create a child-led, open-ended activity that supports engagement through play and a reflection on the winter city and children’s place in it. 

Solution: Select a location and play materials that offer rich play affordances and anchor the experience in the urban context. For example, an unused snow-covered parking lot with car tires and a clear view of the city skyline. Observe children’s play and engage them in dialogue about their process and environment.

Media Article (in French):

Photos by Sophie Bertrand

A child walking in the snow and holding pieces of wood.
2 children building a fort or den with long wooden logs. In the background is the cityscape.

Play and Participation

Rivière-Rideau Schoolyard

Goal: To help teenagers improve the schoolyard for preschool students.

Challenge: To help youth identify and value different types of play so that they can create solutions to the preschool children’s needs.

Solution: Consult the teenagers on their own play experiences, familiarizing them with the engagement process and their own biases. Support them in consulting the younger children and prototyping solutions. With the teenagers, observe preschool children playing with the prototypes and discuss necessary improvements for the final project. 

Photos by Allan Mas (Pexels stock photos)

A blond child with a red beanie plays in the dirt and wood chips with a small green shovel. Next to the child is a yellow truck.
A child, seen from above, with a red beanie, playing in the dirt and wood chips with a small green shovel. Next to the child are two yellow trucks (plastic).

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