The City of Kelowna is seeing success with online feedback from residents on several projects in the community.
Open houses and other events in 2021 were again put on hold as the COVID-19 pandemic continued through the year. City engagement with residents was primarily digital with 15 unique projects hosted through Get Involved Kelowna. Feedback was captured online in the form of survey responses, virtual focus groups and discussion forums.
“In 2021, resident feedback was key to informing the final draft of the 2040 Transportation Master Plan, permit and program changes related to e-scooters, and project designs for both the Abbott Street and Casorso Road Active Transportation Corridors,” Mariah VanZerr, strategic transportation planning manager.
Residents were asked to provide feedback on a variety of projects in 2021 including what to see at the Kelowna Community Theatre, vehicle usage on Knox Mountain, shared e-scooters, and how to upgrade accessible parking around the city. More than 4,000 people participated in surveys, contributed to maps, shared stories, or asked questions. These contributions have influenced municipal decision-making and shaped projects as they move forward.
“Feedback from engagement helps council and administration make informed decisions for all residents,” said Mac Logan, infrastructure general manager.
With over 50,000 visits to the Get Involved page, a 25 per cent increase from 2020, growth in social media followers, and email subscription sign-ups, this year proved that the city and its residents are successfully adapting to digital-first environments.
There are going to be a lot of opportunities to get involved in this year and the city encourages those who have not done so, to take a few minutes and create an account to have an impact on future projects. Current projects open for involvement include the North End Neighbourhood Plan, and Pandosy Waterfront Park.