City planners are looking to residents to help map Brampton’s future. With a population forecast to grow from 600,000 to upwards of one million in the next 20 to 25 years, the idea is to transform the municipality into a world-class city.

And, until October 31, you can have your say.

“It’s about building a plan by the people and for the people,” city planning and development services commissioner Rob Elliott told The Review. “It’s taking what we have and building on it in a way that’s going to lead to a city that’s seizing all the opportunities that are available.”

“We’ve got really good bones here, in terms of a diverse and a young, well-education population,” he added. “Those are the things we want to build on.”

One of those opportunities, already in the process of being seized, is bringing a university to town.

“That’s going to be a pivotal change for the city,” said Elliott. “It’s going to be an integral part of the community.

“It’s much more than bricks and mortar. It’s actually going to be a place that will foster business innovation and creativity. It’s going to be an opportunity for the youth who grow up in the city to stay here, get educated and start businesses in the community.”

Also on board for the project is Vancouver-based urban planner Larry Beasley.

“He’s a visionary in the urban planning world,” says Elliott. “He’s got an excellent track record delivering change in urban centres.”

Beasley’s impressive resume spans the globe, in places like Dallas, Vancouver and the Middle East.

“In working with Larry, that’s really been the key to his success … getting the people to speak up,” said Elliott. “This is about the residents standing up and having an opportunity to speak about what’s important to them.”

An extensive campaign, “futureready,” gives residents an opportunity to share their ideas online. There are lots of ways to get involved: post an idea, tell your story or put a pin in the map.

“It’s a great forum to reach out to us and share their ideas,” said Elliott. “This is where our extensive public engagement campaign is really important.”

And while he admits pleasing everyone is an impossible task, he adds, “I think we can find a way to satisfy the themes we expect to come up.”

Once this round of community engagement is finished, the input received will help create the planning vision report, which will be presented to municipal council next spring.

Log on to www.brampton.ca/futureready for your chance to have a say in the future of Brampton.