Focus group: Women’s perspectives on Anmore South

As part of our ongoing commitment to collaborating with the Anmore community on the vision for Anmore South, icona held two sessions of a women’s focus group at Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club. This focus group was the third in an ongoing series of deeper discussions that explore specific community topics and perspectives.

Prior groups have examined the needs of young professionals in Anmore and the potential for community recreation and leisure options.

The Gendered City

icona chose to focus on women’s input and experiences because women have been historically underrepresented in architecture and urban planning. Because women’s voices are seldom included during the planning and development process, the resulting communities do not always reflect their needs or priorities and often undermine their safety, comfort, mobility and access. High-profile initiatives such as Her City, which was created by the United Nations and provides a set of principles for creating more inclusive, equal and sustainable communities, is ushering in a new era of gender mainstreaming. By inviting women to participate in the process of envisioning a community in nature located on the Anmore South lands, icona can ensure that it reflects the true diversity of its residents. 

The women-focused sessions were led by Carol Mason, an experienced local government consultant with an accomplished career in regional governance. Carol spent nearly three decades working for municipal and regional government, a career that included six years as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Regional District of Nanaimo and culminated in her role as Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer for Metro Vancouver. She was also instrumental in guiding the restructuring Metro Vancouver’s affordable housing program, a new partner funding model that will revitalize Metro Vancouver housing over the next 30 years.   

The focus group collected perspectives from 40 attendees on a potential masterplanned community in nature. Participants shared their experiences and contributed some interesting ideas on how to ensure greater diversity, safety and accessibility in community design.  

The presentation deck used to guide the sessions can be found here.  

Our thanks to the women who participated in these sessions and contributed their insights to the process.  

To learn more about icona’s ongoing series of focus groups, contact Mike Hind, Director of Community Relations, at

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