Toronto KidScore Pilot Program earns award for consultation

screen shot of KidScore dashboard

Interactive KidScore map displays survey results (Maximum City website)

Congratulations to Maximum City, Esri Canada and the City of Toronto Children’s Services on receiving a Respect for Diversity, Inclusion and Culture Award from IAP2 for “The City of Toronto KidScore Pilot Program: Engagement and Data Collection to Inform Child-Friendly Cities” they partnered to produce.

The 2020 IAP2 Canada Core Values Awards, presented in a virtual celebration via Zoom in early October, recognize the highest achievements in the field of Public Participation (P2), which is founded on the principle that people affected by a decision have the right to be consulted on the decision and to know how their input affected the outcome.

In 2019, Maximum City was contracted by the City of Toronto’s Children’s Services to implement the KidScore, an engagement and data collection tool to enable children to assess the child-friendliness of their local streets, places, and neighbourhoods, thereby informing planning decisions at local levels and, ultimately, citywide policies. – from Case Study Summary

The KidScore pilot uses a “child’s lens” to look at a neighbourhood and its amenities. Children were brought to the table to help develop the criteria, and then were sent with hand-held devices to rate areas according to those criteria.

head shot of Josh Fullan

Josh Fullan

What’s important to an adult is not necessarily important to a child. You could have a neighbourhood with a high median income and fine houses, but if there are no parks or playgrounds with a variety of activities, or there’s a six-lane arterial road running through it, it won’t score high for children. – Josh Fullan, principal of Maximum City

The Core Values Awards judges remarked on the “really innovative and effective way to incorporate child and youth views into policy and planning, which should be done more often but isn’t,” as well as the focus on child-friendly language and tools.

Josh Fullan says:

Maximum City is thrilled to accept IAP2’s Diversity and Inclusion Award and share it with the City of Toronto, Esri Canada, the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute, and the thousands of young people who participated in the development and implementation of this exciting engagement tool for measuring and improving the child-friendliness of places.

A video describing the project can be seen here.

Maximum City were the youth outreach partner of the collaborative iCity 1.0 research project.

About Maximum City

Maximum City is a multidisciplinary team of designers, teachers, and urban planners who are committed to a better urban future. They have worked on child and youth engagement, public participation, urbanism and education issues in Canada and internationally since 2011. They offer civic and stakeholder engagement, research, public consultation, facilitation, communications, strategic and service planning, and teaching and learning services. For more information or to complete your own KidScore, please visit:

About IAP2

IAP2 Canada is the country’s preeminent organization dedicated to promoting, supporting and improving the practice of Public Participation. Its nearly 900 members in all thirteen provinces and territories, working in all levels of government as well as industries and academia, seek to ensure that people affected by a decision are consulted in the making of that decision and are informed of the way their input affected the outcome.


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