Log in
                 JOIN US!       SUBSCRIBE

Pioneering Urban Planning: The Award-Winning Journey of City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined

24 Apr 2024 1:53 PM | Anonymous

Great cities don't just happen by chance. They are the result of meticulous planning and the collaborative efforts of their residents to make visionary decisions. This truth is exemplified by City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined, which was awarded the prestigious IAP2 Canada Visual Engagement Award in 2023. This plan isn't merely a blueprint for Nanaimo's growth; it represents a unified vision that integrates critical aspects of urban living into a cohesive strategy for the city's future.

To share the success and insights gained from their groundbreaking urban planning initiative, the IAP2 Canada and IAP2 USA teams organized a webinar in collaboration with team members behind City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined. This webinar, offered free to members, served as a platform to showcase the innovative strategies, challenges, and triumphs encountered during the ReImagine Nanaimo process. It provided a unique opportunity for professionals committed to public participation to learn from Nanaimo's experiences and engage in knowledge-sharing.

The Genesis of City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined

The inception of City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined was driven by the recognition that thriving cities operate best when their systems are considered holistically. This plan amalgamates Nanaimo’s Official Community Plan (OCP) with strategies for parks, recreation, culture & wellness, active mobility, transportation, climate action & resilience, reconciliation and accessibility & inclusion into a single, comprehensive document.

This initiative reflects the insights and aspirations of thousands of Nanaimo residents who, over two years and amidst the challenges of a global pandemic, contributed their time and energy to reimagine their city. This extensive and inclusive community consultation, dubbed ReImagine Nanaimo, set a new benchmark for public engagement on Vancouver Island.

Charting Uncharted Waters: The Engagement Journey

ReImagine Nanaimo embarked on what became the city's most ambitious community engagement program. Launched in Spring 2020 and culminating in July 2022, it was a period marked by adaptation, innovation, and broad-based collaboration. Despite the evolving challenges posed by COVID-19, the initiative successfully captured the largest and most diverse participation in any city engagement to date.

Over 50% of respondents to the initial surveys were first-time participants in a city engagement process, highlighting the success of ReImagine Nanaimo in reaching new voices. This achievement was supported by a wide-ranging outreach strategy, ensuring that no resident could overlook the opportunity to contribute to the city's future planning.

The Community Connection

ReImagine Nanaimo used a multifaceted approach to gather community input, from traditional media outreach to innovative public installations and virtual meetings. This mix of in-person and digital engagement methods supported wide-reaching participation, including from traditionally underrepresented groups.

A notable feature of the engagement process was the use of creative contests, inviting residents to express their vision for Nanaimo through art and poetry. This, alongside targeted efforts to engage youth, vulnerable populations, and Indigenous communities, allowed a rich tapestry of perspectives to be woven into the planning process.

From Vision to Validation: The Phased Approach

The engagement journey was structured into three phases: Gathering Ideas, Exploring Options, and Confirming Priorities. Each phase was designed to progressively refine the community's vision into actionable strategies. The feedback collected through these phases directly informed the development of policy areas and the overarching concept directions that would guide Nanaimo's growth.

The engagement process culminated in a set of draft directions that were rigorously reviewed and adjusted based on community input. This iterative process ensured that the final City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined not only captured the community's shared values but also laid a solid foundation for future development.

Looking Ahead: A Blueprint for Engagement and Urban Planning

The success of City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined and its recognition by IAP2 Canada underscores the power of inclusive and innovative community engagement in urban planning. By listening to and incorporating the diverse voices of its residents, Nanaimo has set a new standard for how cities can and should plan their futures.

Great cities are the result of visionary planning, inclusive engagement, and the collective will to create a space that meets the needs of all its residents. City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined is a shining example of this principle in action, serving as a beacon for other municipalities seeking to reimagine their futures through the lens of comprehensive and inclusive urban planning.

Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice:

The webinar provided a comprehensive overview of how Nanaimo successfully navigated the complexities of community engagement amidst the constraints of a global pandemic. By presenting their project in this format, the team not only highlighted their commitment to inclusive participation but also provided tangible insights that could inspire and guide other cities and communities.

Participants gained an insider's view of the multi-faceted engagement strategy that characterized the ReImagine Nanaimo initiative. From leveraging social media and traditional advertising to employing creative outreach methods like community contests and virtual meetings, the webinar unpacked the tools and tactics that facilitated widespread public involvement. It highlighted how the principles of inclusivity, innovation, and collaboration could lead to the successful realization of complex urban planning projects.

Through this webinar, City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined not only shared a blueprint for engagement but also inspired a dialogue on the future of community planning and participation.

Access the IAP2 Canada webinar (Member login required)

Access their website

View all 2023 IAP2 Canada Core Values Awards recipients

Stay Connected

Subscribe Today For News & Updates

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest updates from IAP2 Canada.


© Copyright IAP2 Canada 2023-2024 | Privacy Policy 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software