Residents invited to share ideas for St. Albert's future
Cultivating Our Future project wants to know your opinion of St. Albert's future
Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 06:00 am
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The City of St. Albert is trying very hard to get citizens involved in the city’s future.
The city is currently in phase one of a project called Cultivating Our Future: Write the Next Chapter of Our Story.
Spearheaded by the community sustainability committee, Cultivating Our Future is a comprehensive attempt to gather public input on how and why the city should grow in ways its residents feel are appropriate.
Cam Munro, St. Albert resident and committee co-chair, said Cultivating our Community will be imbedded in a statutory document, the municipal development Plan, so this is an excellent chance for St. Albert residents to have their voices heard.
“People, planning and profit, all of it goes together,” he said.
Munro said there’s no age limit to the input. The committee wants to hear from everyone, ranging from school kids to senior citizens.
Community sustainability co-ordinator Kalen Pilkington said the committee wants to engage the community and has a bewilderingly diverse number of ways to do that.
The core of the campaign is a three-question postcard that local residents can fill out. The cards will be mailed out to virtually everyone in the city in early August, and the cards are also available at four major locations in St. Albert: city hall, Fountain Park pool, Servus Credit Union Place and the Village Transit Station.
The three questions are: What do you like best about St. Albert today? What changes would you like to see in St. Albert? What is your vision for St. Albert in the next 50 years?
The questions can be filled out online at the city’s website or the completed cards can be dropped off at any of the four aforementioned places once kiosks and drop boxes have been installed around mid-July.
Residents can also fill out the postcard via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) or Pilkington said residents can even take a digital photo of their answers and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Munro said the committee is aware that certain demographics groups such as youth traditionally don’t participate in these campaigns, and the committee is planning to remedy that.
The Cultivating Our Future program has two youth staff travelling the community via bicycle with a portable feedback station. Pilkington said bicycles seemed like a user-friendly way to connect with residents.
The feedback gathering part of the project, or phase one, will operate up to mid-September, Pilkington said.
The next phase, the report stage, will include a summary of the public feedback combined with a proposal document that is then released to the public again for discussion. Further input will be recorded and a draft report will be ready in the spring of 2015.
Pilkington noted that some residents may balk at the suggestion of change in the community, but also noted that change is inevitable. This process gives residents a chance to steer that change in the direction they want to see it go.
The three-question survey can be found at www.stalbert.ca/stafuture.