Imagine Kelowna – a 25-year vision for community’s future – is close to being set

Initial community engagement leg is completed for setting Kelowna’s planning direction

Kelowna’s path is one step closer to being set.

The initial community engagement leg of Imagine Kelowna — a project aimed at setting the city’s direction— has been completed.

Over six months, city staff have collected everything from town-hall related tweets to in-depth interviews with “thought leaders” and now they’re headed to something more tangible.

“Staff supported by a market research firm will synthesize and analyze data collected in the first phase,” reads a city report that was presented to council Monday by Rafael Villarreal, manager, integrated transportation.

“This data and research will be used as a “resiliency framework and guide” in helping staff come up with some options for the future. Then, from January to April 2017 there will be council and stakeholder workshops to test scenarios and present the draft guiding principles and resiliency framework, reads the report.

Somewhere by the end of next year there should be some sort of plan that will set the long-term strategic framework that will help clarify, organize and align the city’s short and long term planning properties.

In a previous interview Villarreal explained the hope for the Imagine Kelowna process was to create a vision for the city.

“The last time we did that was 25 years ago,” he said. “So we’re looking to see what is the thing that will redefine Kelowna.”

To get an idea about how the 1992 plan informed the current shape of the city one need only look as far as its bike lane infrastructure. Villarreal pointed out that there’s a high concentration of bike lanes in this city, and that was one of the things laid out in that plan.

“The vision can change, but the idea is to prepare the city to be adaptable, so it can respond to a future that’s pretty unknown,” he said.

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