Deep Listening Circles

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Brief Description

The Deep Listening Circles process is designed to allow socially-vulnerable individuals to share their stories in a safe, inclusive environment.  

Problems and Purpose

The Deep Listening Circles process was designed by author, placemaker, and public engagement professional Jay Pitter.[1] Deep Learning Circles are "intended to create the comfort required to explore housing and ideas of feeling at home in changing cities." Stories and 'human-centred data' build trust and empathy, making them essential to the co-creation of more inclusive, resilient, and vibrant communities.[2]


Having spent her career meeting with communities and individuals in precarious housing situations, Ms. Pitter recognized a need for a more people-centred approach to urban planning and development. The shaping of spaces and places needs to be designed for and by the people that live there; to both reflect and embody the personal histories of its residents.[3] Deep Learning Circles fills the need for a process of open, inclusive dialogue between residents and city planners about the lived experience of social vulnerability. 

Participant Recruitment and Selection


Deliberation, Decisions, and Public Interaction


Influence, Outcomes, and Effects


Analysis and Lessons Learned






Secondary Sources

Jay Pitter, "Bio", accessed March 9/2018,

The Tyee, "A Deeper Housing Conversation," Eventbrite, accessed March 9/2018,

Sarah-Joyce Battersby, "How Jay Pitter is amplifying Black voices in city-building," Metro News Toronto, accessed March 9/2018,

External Links

Jay Pitter's Website:

Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity



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