Day 3 of the Design Regina Public Forum tested the priorities facilitators gathered from Wednesday’s sessions. Thursday morning, Jennifer Keesmaat presented six ‘strategic priorities’ which the participants would test during the day’s activities.
The priorities were:
- Design Complete Communities
- Embrace and Invest in Arts and Culture
- Affordable and appropriate housing for all
- More and better options for movement
- Conservation and environmental stewardship
- Adopt lifecycle costing
After today’s sessions, two more priorities were added and presented at the open house.
7. New revenue generating tools
8. New strategy for engagement and collaboration
The first task of the day was picking a zone (East, West, Central, South and North) for the consultation sessions later in the day.
I went with the familiar and chose the South zone.
When the zone based groupings met after the opening speech, we formed into tables and drew the amenities of our zone on three layers of transparent paper over top of a satellite image. The idea was to map out our area, then have the group discuss a series of questions, ranking out of five, various elements (i.e. traffic) of a two kilometer square section of the zone.
After lunch, the groups came back together and taking the elements that scored poorly, the gaps in the neighbourhood, tried to find ‘responses’ to these gaps. The ‘responses’ were then matched to the first 6 strategic priorities, with some groups adding priorities to meet their needs.
In the evening, administration, consultants, politicians and the public gathered together to discuss the ideas presented during the Public Forum along with the strategic priorities.
Councillors Clipsham, Fougere, O’Donnell Findura and Browne were in attendance. I would like to add that Councillor Findura was at both days sessions and Councillor Clipsham was present on Wednesday.
Looking at the RUE Citizen Circle’s list of key points (below) there are some important victories reflected in the strategic priorities.
Creation of a bottom-up community planning process that is holistic, has four pillars of accountability, and starts at the neighbourhood level.
Ensuring political and administrative staff are accountable, transparent, and continue to build their professional capacity.
Better maintenance of educational and community spaces to build civic capacity and public engagement through partnerships and openness.
Need for a citywide sustainable development policy including promoting infill development and creating better connectivity.
In our note-book the city’s vision terms were also defined, which was something we asked for.
Now, with the initial public portion complete, is the scary part for many of us as the information collected goes away with City administration and consultants. They will work internally to refine the strategies and present them back to the public in December.
Any major shifts between what was on the table tonight and what’s presented in December could leave a lot of folks feeling left out in the cold. Engagement and collaboration were added for a reason.
My sense is, there will be champions for these priorities; people who will put up a fight if unrepresentative changes occur.