How do you cut government red tape when it comes to organizing events and getting things done on your street or neighbourhood? The city of Kitchener thinks it has the right idea with its Neighbourhood Strategy, an approach that, once complete, will provide tools and how-to guides for doing everything from hosting a street party, to painting a crosswalk, to the redesign of parks, trails and other public spaces.
To help the city refine its strategy, it sought the help of local partners, including Revera, which provided space for meetings and food. “Thanks to Revera, we were able to reward people who came out, with delicious appetizers, cake and other treats,” says Darren Kropf, an associate with Kitchener’s planning department. “Everyone was really impressed with the food.”
By partnering with Revera, the city also got to hear valuable insights from seniors about changes they’d like to see in the community. “One of the recommendations was around parks and playgrounds, and how they could be more inclusive to all people, not just families with young kids,” says Kropf, with better shading, gazebos and more comfortable seating.
Likewise, there was a call for more shading and seating along trails and small roadways, allowing seniors to go for much longer walks in and around the neighbourhood. “We might not have heard this if we hadn’t engaged with seniors,” says Kropf.
Kitchener is still rolling out its strategy
, and is eager to hear from more locals about what they’re interested in doing in their area of town.