Amherstburg - Be the town that says YES

Studies have shown as humans we actually have a bias for the status quo. We tend to fear loss more than we value gain, so people often say “no” to new ideas.

But to create an even better Amherstburg we need to change from being largely about short-term personal interests to forward-thinking public interests, from small interest projects to big picture opportunities. In other words, saying “yes” to ideas instead of saying “no.”

A couple of weeks ago, one of the most influential urbanists in the world, Gil Penalosa, spoke to a sold-out crowd as part of the Amherstburg Community Foundation’s “Thought Leaders” series - his topic: “creating a vibrant and healthy community ... or becoming irrelevant.” During his presentation, Penalosa shared many examples of what progressive communities around the

world are doing to become more liveable for all. Personally, I liked many of them, but I understand that not all people will, and that Amherstburg cannot afford to do them all.

On September 17, there will be a panel discussion headed by Cherise Burda, executive director of the Ryerson City Building Institute entitled: “Does Amherstburg aspire to be the best? Or is it satisfied with the status quo?” The panel includes councillors Michael Prue and Donald

McArthur, urban planner Amy Farkas; and community advocate Shawn Micallef. They will debate the merits of approximately ten of Penalosa’s ideas. In other words, they will debate “yes” or “no.” 

To reserve your ticket, go to the “Events” section of

One of your Amherstburg foundation’s objectives is to “inspire.” Our ambition for our speaker series is for citizens to learn more, create more, do more and aspire to more. And of course for Amherstburg to become more comfortable saying “yes.”

–Richard Peddie


Amherstburg Community Foundation

River Town Times September 11, 2019