What we do

Public Administration

 

Governments, regardless of hierarchy, are a cornerstone of a well-functioning society. They provide the platform for people, business, communities and non-government organizations to properly function. Pressure has never been greater on governments to innovate, adapt and integrate horizontally (across services) and vertically (local, province, state, national) to achieve and empower others to deliver strong results. Some of our services are:

Municipal Management / Open Data Frameworks / Fees and Taxes for Development / Change Management / Human Centred Process Reviews

Urban & Rural Master Planning

Functional and livable cities and regions don’t happen overnight. They require careful consideration of the many systems that interact in a give space and time to ensure a good quality of life that articulates environment, cultural, social and economic imperatives. Our master planning participatory process allows communities to inspire and define their future, phase it and prepare to be able to execute on it. Some of our services include:

Urban & Rural Comprehensive Master Plans / Local Area Plans / Downtown Revitalization / Land Use Plans / Waterfront & Resorts / Campus Master Plans / Urban Tourism / Transportation & Mobility Plans

Urban Design

 

Few things inform our perception and behaviour in cities as strongly as urban design. An appropriate scale, pedestrian-friendly features, accessibility, beautiful and functional public spaces can encourage us to activate and remain in a place and sometimes even leave our hearts there. Good urban design is not just an aesthetic pursuit but one based on solid evidence found in science, keen observation, people’s interactions and perceptions and its own local context. Some of our services in this area:

Urban Design Guidelines / Complete Streets Design Standards / Development Guidelines / Tall Building Guidelines / Public Spaces / Site Development Plans / Participatory Design Visioning

 

Policy & Research

Research is typically where it all starts, we help you visualize and understand the global, national and local context in which you’re operating. Our sophisticated research tools and methods allow us to support you in making evidence-based, innovative, effective, efficient and adequate policy decisions for your business that take into account people, numbers and stories. Some of our services in this area are:

Environmental Scans / Demographic Profile Analysis / Administrative Data Analysis / Qualitative Analysis / Public and Urban Policy Drafting and Reviews

 

Community & Local
Economic Development

We design and implement projects to help governments, businesses, service providers,  and funders support their communities by bringing local perspectives to the table. We engage diverse groups to have meaningful dialogues and set relevant interventions and realistic courses of action. Whether you’re improving a business district, revitalizing a under-served area or improving social programming in an area, we can help you with our services:

Economic Development Plans / Business Improvement Areas / Community Outreach Strategies / Community Feedback Mechanisms / Community Facilitation / Economic and Social Analysis / Participation Strategy Design and Execution

Strategic Planning & Performance

For organizations and communities alike, finding focus and priorities are often a daunting task in an era of overwhelming amounts of information, social media and competing interests and points of view. Harnessed in the right way, this information, public participation and strong systems thinking can bring focus, reduce duplication of efforts, create a springboard for measurable success and ensure funds are used wisely. This is where strategic planning and setting the right measures can mean the difference between failure and success. Some of our services in this area are:

Environmental Scan / Stakeholder Engagement Strategy & Analysis / Facilitation / Strategic Plans / Implementation Plans / Operational Plans / Performance Measure Analysis / Performance Measure Selection / Board Visioning / Participatory Design

Social Innovation &
User-Centred Design

Through research, education, and experiential learning we help people and organizations to think creatively to bring about systems change. We support collective impact by helping government, non-profit, and private sectors work together to bring about unique solutions to increasingly complex problems. Our user-centred design techniques allow us to help any organization rethink their processes from the point of view of the people they’re helping. Some of our service are:

 

Collective Impact Theory & Planning / Results Based Accountability / Results Based Management / User Centred Design / Leadership Development / Awareness Building / Skill Development / Action Planning / Ideation and Co-Design

Real Estate &
Development Planning

Whether it’s an empty lot, an old industrial facility or a whole block, knowing what you can do and unleashing the site’s full potential can make a huge difference to your pocket and in the community around it. The right approach can mean moving with certainty or lost months and years getting your project to move forward from opposing community members. SUM’s team of experts can help you identify the potential for a site, provide you with a full feasibility analysis, support you engaging the community around it and ensuring that your (re)development happens in a way that it benefits and considers the community around it as well as your investment. Some of our services include:

Site Assessment and Selection / Feasibility Studies / Demographic Analysis / Growth Management / Municipal Finance / Economic Impact / Public Private Partnership (P3) design / Negotiation and Mediation / Redevelopment Strategies / Communication and Outreach Strategy