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Impatiens and Orchids

Impatiens are low-maintenance colourful flowers that grow quickly. Orchids, while very beautiful, take a lot of time, planning, and patience to nurture. This activity helps you think about your streets, parks, and public spaces as either impatiens or orchids

Type
Brainstorming & Action Planning
Time Frame
30 – 60 minutes
Group Size
4 – 50 people
Location
Quiet location with tables and chairs, e.g. a classroom, community centre, a neighbour’s kitchen table
Focus Areas
Streets, parks and public spaces
Age Group
18 and up
Materials List

Each group will need:

  • Pens
  • Markers
  • Sticky notes

Impatiens are low-maintenance colourful flowers that grow quickly. Orchids, while very beautiful, take a lot of time, planning, and patience to nurture. This activity helps you think about your streets, parks, and public spaces as either impatiens or orchids.

Impatiens refer to short-term ideas that are low-cost, low-risk, high-visibility and can be implemented in less than one year.

Orchids refer to longer term public space improvement ideas that are higher cost, require more planning and resources and would take two to five years to implement.

Step 1: Explain the concept

Explain the “impatiens and orchids” concept to the group.

Step 2: Quiet brainstorm

Divide the room into small teams of 4-5 people. Provide each participant with a stack of sticky notes. Ask everyone to spend 5 minutes writing down as many ideas for “impatiens” and “orchids” as they possibly can, using one idea per sticky note.

Step 3: Organize the ideas

Within the small groups, ask each participant to share the ideas they came up with, one at a time. As they explain each sticky note, ask them to post the sticky note under the “impatiens” category or the “orchid” category for everyone to see. Use a flat surface such as the table or a nearby wall to post the sticky notes. Once everyone has shared, you should have two categories of sticky notes, one with all the impatiens ideas and one with all the orchids ideas.

Step 4: Select the top three ideas

Within each of the small groups, ask the participants to have a conversation about which of the impatiens and orchids ideas they like best and would like to prioritize in their community. Ask them to select the top three ideas that were written on the sticky notes. It doesn’t matter if there’s an imbalance between the number of impatiens or orchids that were selected to be in the top 3.

Step 5: Share-out

Have one representative from each small group quickly summarize the top three impatiens and orchids ideas that came out of their group discussions. As in Step 3, each group representative should post the top three sticky notes on a wall. The wall should be divided into two areas –one for impatiens and one for orchids. At the end of the share-out, this wall should display the best ideas from each group, organized into short-term priorities and long-term priorities.

Step 6: Document

Take photos of the final wall and collect all the sticky notes. These can now serve as community-generated ideas to explore further in the planning process.