Planning for Abolition: Invitation

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Planning for Abolition is a research project that explores what it means to keep cities safe in a ways that supports communities and limits the use of police.

Background and Definitions

When we are thinking about police, we are thinking of it as more than just police and prisons but rather the systems that allow policing and prisons to be the way we solve most of our social issues. Policing systems can include putting surveillance cameras in low-income neighborhoods, removing the unhoused from their tents and many more. Many of these systems are used or enforced by urban planners and the decisions they make when they are designing neighbourhoods. We want to find out how urban planners can limit the use of these policing systems while still designing safe spaces for everyone. One way we are exploring this question is looking into the concept of abolition. We understand abolition as the goal to think about other solutions beyond prisons and police to solve societies problems through providing people with care support and resources rather than punishment. The concept of “abolition” is already being discussed and practiced by many organizations even if the term abolition isn’t being used.

Project Overview

Our research starts by collecting stories from independent podcasts of folks who are thinking and practicing abolition from all walks of life so that we understand abolition from many different perspectives. We will then analyze all the stories and information we have gathered and see what some of the common themes are. Then we will reach out to Canadian practicing urban planners to understand how much they know about policing systems and abolition. Finally the end goal will to show planners what we have learned from community members and abolition researches by providing a tool that outlines some strategies of how to plan safe cities with limited policing systems.

Your Role

Your role would be to give us permission to use and analyze the audio and transcript of your podcast. If your podcast is not transcribed, our research team will produce transcriptions and will share them back with you. Once you agree to be involved you will be asked to fill out a consent form where you will outline how much access you are comfortable giving us.

We would also like to invite you to participate in up to three feedback sessions currently scheduled between March and September. These feedback sessions are an opportunity for us get feedback from you directly as experts on the research and analysis we have done, and to collaborate further on how to initiate future research driven by your work and questions. For your involvement we are offering a $500cad for the usage of your podcast and additionally up to $1,000cad for participating in the feedback sessions.

If you have any further questions, you can contact us at