Creating space for transformative conversations
New Westminster Public Engagement Strategy
New Westminster is a vibrant and rapidly evolving community at the heart of BC’s Lower Mainland. The city’s population of about 65,000 is expected to increase by over a third in the next 15 years, and long-term residents and newcomers alike want to have a say in shaping the community’s future. In 2015, a task force chaired by Mayor Jonathan Coté set out to ensure that they will.
Between January and November 2016, Civic Engage staff Robin Prest and Sebastian Merz worked with the task force, which consisted of elected officials, community members and City staff, to develop a made-in New West strategy that builds on the City’s existing work, best practices from other municipalities and leading industry standards such as the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation.
The strategy and accompanying documents provide:
- A new vision for public engagement in New Westminster consisting of eight principles
- A strategic framework for sponsoring public engagement initiatives
- Seven recommendations and 35 actions to implement the strategy
- A framework for evaluation
- A toolkit with concrete planning steps to assist City staff in carrying out engagement initiatives.
New Westminster residents provided input not just through the members of the task force but also through public workshops, focus groups and surveys. The final strategy was adopted in December 2016. Stay tuned for more great public engagement work to come out of the Royal City in the coming months and years.
City of New Westminster adopts public engagement strategy (December 6, 2016)