Design Regina Meeting

Tuesday there were three design Regina meetings at the Artesian on 13th Avenue to discuss Strategic Priorities from the OCP process.  You can view the slide deck for the presentation on the Design Regina website (here).

If you want to participate in the discussion, there is a survey you can fill out(here).  Survey’s are due by April 3rd, any submitted by the deadline will be included in the report to Executive Committee on April 25th and then on to City Council on April 30th.  If you want to present at Council, contact the City Clerk’s office by calling 777-7000 or submit an Online Request Form, the Clerk’s office will contact you with information. You can find information on presenting as a delegation from the City website (here).

For a review of the meeting, continue past the jump.

The meeting consisted of a presentation by Jason Carlston and Kim Sare reviewing the Design Regina process, running through the findings and next steps.

They presented the context or lenses through which staff will judge all the Strategic Priorities:

  1. Current Financial Realities
  2. Current and Evolving Social Circumstances
  3.  Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Importance of Continued Citizen Engagement
  5. Sustainability

They went over the 8 Strategic Priorities: 

  1. Develop Complete Neighbourhoods
  2. Embrace and Invest in Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation
  3. Support the Availability of Diverse Housing Options
  4. Create Better Ways of Getting Around
  5. Promote Conservation & Environmental Stewardship
  6. Achieve Financial Sustainability
  7. Foster Economic Prosperity
  8. Optimize Regional Cooperation

The priorities last October after the first day were:

  1. Design Complete Communities
  2. Embrace and Invest in Arts and Culture
  3. Affordable and appropriate housing for all
  4. More and better options for movement
  5. Conservation and environmental stewardship
  6. Adopt life-cycle costing
  7. New revenue generating tools
  8. New strategy for engagement and collaboration

There is a difference in strategies from the meetings to this presentation The first 5 Strategic Priorities are roughly the same.  The last three, however, are quite different. 

Where does Regional Planning fit in?  This piece was not a major focus in the October sessions; perhaps one citizen circle expressed, among other things, taking up the regional scale.  The inclusion of this issue is not unwarranted; regional planning is important, (the example of Water was used which illustrates the need for effective co-operation) what is less clear is where it came into the discussion. 

Achieving Financial Sustainability may include elements of Life Cycle Costing but is far less specific.  The same is true with the loss of Revenue Generating Tools and the inclusion of Economic Prosperity.  Presumably new Revenue Generation comes with, in part, the Economic piece and, more so, Financial Sustainability, but it’s no longer clear.

The biggest change is moving Engagement and Co-operation out of a priority and up a level to over-arching lens.  It was explained during the meeting that the City should always be engaging the public so for this project engagement was less a development strategy and more a principle guiding each strategy.

I can’t fault the explanation, one should view the City’s priorities within the given contexts.  But,  I don’t see how, in the case of Engagement, the City’s capturing what was a strong message from the consultation by removing it as a priority. 

It is a balancing act and although the public consultation is important to me that doesn’t me it will drive this process alone.  I want the voice at the October meetings to be the main driver but that was never likely to be the case.  Other stakeholders have had months to get in their two cents.  Food planning and waste management were two additional priorities mentioned in the discussion during our meeting.  Why did neither of these appear from thin air?

Design Regina Meeting

One thought on “Design Regina Meeting

  1. > says:

    You raise some important questions about the invisible hand guiding the process. Other questions I would add are these:
    1) Where is the conflict? Would anyone disagree with any of these priorities? If the priorities aren’t making anyone uncomfortable, can we expect the outcome of the planning process to differ substantially from the status quo?
    2) How are these priorities any different from those of any other City across the country? In other words, how do these priorities reflect the particular context and place that is Regina?

    I would also suggest that the first 5 priorities do reflect subtle, but important changes. For example, there is a big difference between “affordable and appropriate housing for all” and “support availability of diverse housing options.” The first instance suggests an aspirational change, taking significant action with regards to the affordable housing crisis while the second allows the proponent for any new development, from slum housing to McMansion, to claim they are contributing to the housing options priority.

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