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Community Input Shapes Neighbourhood Strategy: Kitchener Announces the Results So Far

Posted on November 18, 2016
By Michelle Drake

ktichener_neighb_shoes.jpgAfter a massive community engagement process that saw over 5,000 people contribute nearly 4,000 hours of input, the Kitchener Neighbourhood Strategy Project Team is very excited to share what they have heard and what they are proposing to do in response. Here is a summary of the draft results just announced as they move closer to their goal.

Kitchener's Neighbourhood Strategy will help people connect and work together to do great things in their neighbourhoods. The strategy embraces a "resident-led, city-supported" approach. This blog summarizes the recent public announcement that was originally published here.The full report of draft recommendations can be viewed here.


What did we hear?

Overall, we heard a desire for "resident-led, City-supported" initiatives. Citizens have the passion, knowledge and ability to take the lead and make great things happen. The City can help with easy-to-use tools, programs and supports in three main areas - Great Places, Connected People and Working Together. 

Of course, a lot more can be said of deep and insightful input, so check out a qualitative report here, or a statistically-representative report here.

What are we going to do?

The recommendations include support for things like community gardens, murals, tree planting, neighbourhood events, inviting front porches, neighbourhood action plans - and a whole lot more!

The highlights of the recommendations are all found below (although it is likely that you probably be so intrigued that you will just have to read more details, which can be found in this exciting report.)

What's most important to the Citizens of Kitchener?

It will likely take several years to complete all of these recommendations, so we're asking people to prioritize what should be implemented first, and provide comments on any of the draft recommendations. (Do you live in Kitchener? Click here to view and provide your input on the draft recommendations.)

Based on the feedback the project team receives, final adjustments will be made to the recommendations and the final strategywill be presented to City Council in February, 2017.


Great Places

Neighbours living in Kitchener asked for more influence on the public places that they spend time in. These recommendations will provide do-it-yourself projects for making multi-use gathering places that everyone can enjoy together. 

1. Neighbourhood Places Program

2. Placemaking Guide

3. Placemaking Challenge

4. Tree Planting on Private Property

5. Parks, Playgrounds & Trails Community Engagement


Connected People

The people of Kitchener reported that relationships between neighbours matter a whole lot, but that they don't always know how to connect. The recommendations will strengthen relationships between neighbours by bringing people together.

6. More Neighbourhood Events

7. Event-in-a-Trailer

8. Inviting Front Porches

9. Community Spaces in Multi-Residential Buildings

10. Block Connector Approach

11. Snow Angel Program

12. Neighbourhood Website


Working Together

Residents of Kitchener shared that they expect a "let's-do-it!" attitude among all community members, and especially when accessing municipal programs and supports. These recommendations will encourage collaboration and build capacity to create positive change in their neighbourhoods

13. Neighbourhood Action Plans

14. Neighbourhood Matching Grant

15. Reduce Municipal Barriers

16. Neighbourhood Leadership Program

17. Neighbourhood Demographic Profiles

18. Neighbourhood Use of Schools & Faith-Based Facilities


* Don't forget! The City of Kitchener is still open to hear which recommendations are most important to it's residents, as well any other comments from their community members. Do you live in Kitchener? Weigh in and Share by clicking here. Thanks!

Community Engagement, Neighbourhood Strategy, Cities Deepening Community

Michelle Drake

By Michelle Drake

Michelle has spent the past 10.5 years working in planning related fields for municipal and regional governments. As a planner, Michelle is passionate about heritage conservation and community engagement. She believes in the importance of local identity and the value of local knowledge. She has spent the past 1.5 years as the project manager responsible for guiding the creation of Kitchener’s first Neighbourhood Strategy. She is excited to see the success of an inclusive community engagement process that reached out to residents in a variety of ways resulting in diverse and meaningful input to help create the Neighbourhood Strategy.

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