When it comes to changing the face of the downtown core and other areas of Prince Rupert, the word that we are all going to hear quite a bit over the next number of years is that of partnerships.
With the City of Prince Rupert looking to Industry, First Nations, Business, Community organizations and residents to help craft the blue print for what the city will look like over the next ten to twenty years.
The start of those budding partnerships took place last week at the Crest Hotel, during the course of a four day community design workshop from July 9 to 12 hosted by Redesign Rupert.
They were sessions which made for the opening stages of the road to the development of what will eventually become the Prince Rupert 2030 plan.
The collection of partners involved in this first stage of the process included a number of the city's leading industrial groups, with the City of Prince Rupert joined by representatives from Community Futures of the Pacific Northwest, the Prince Rupert Port Authority, DP World, Ridley Terminals Incorporated and Ray-Mont Logistics.
As part of the outline of the workshop process from last week, Port of Prince Rupert President and CEO Shaun Stevenson provided a look at how the Port is looking forward to working with the City and the other partners towards development of the project.
“The Prince Rupert Port Authority is committed to being an active participant in the ongoing work that Redesign Rupert is leading, including the Prince Rupert 2030 Workshop. The collaboration between vital organizations from broad sectors within the community, led by expert facilitators, has provided a platform for important conversations about Prince Rupert’s future. The Port’s continued growth and diversification, and the employment that will result from it, is one of the critical drivers that will create the opportunities for the community to continue to evolve, but the broad community will be needed to execute a long-term vision for fully taking advantage of those opportunities, and start work on short-term actionable goals that lead to realizing it. We recognize that in order to be a world class port, we need to ensure Prince Rupert will become a thriving port city that will be an attractive place for people to not only work, but provide a high quality of life and community vitality. We are grateful to Redesign Rupert and all of its partners for leading this initiative and look forward to continuing to collaborate on this important project.”
The four day exercise of workshop work was facilitated by Mr. Larry Beasley, a highly regarded Vancouver based urban planner who leads Beasley and Associates planning Incorporated.
The former chief planner for the City of Vancouver brought his experience in the urban setting both in the Lower Mainland and from his global experiences to the North Coast, as part of the four day planning initiative.
Some might wonder if yet another planning program, one to be added to the list of those from the recent past, will bring us any closer to delivering some change to the current state of the city's downtown area.
However, the ability to bring a planner of the calibre of Mr. Beasley into the process in Prince Rupert, and the attachment of some of the Industrial leaders in the community, is certainly a sign that the evolution of plans towards the redesign of the community could bring some tangible results in the years to come.
For the Prince Rupert Workshop, Mr. Beasley led the 75 plus guests in attendance through a range of elements, exploring such issues as housing challenges, local development, community attraction and retention, social infrastructure, retail and economic development, parks and recreation, as well as Urban design.
|Some significant work towards the early stages of planning for the future|
of Prince Rupert took place at the four day workshop
(Photo courtesy Redesign Rupert)
Joining in on the many themes of discussion was a cross section of the community from many disciplines, with participants coming from the fields of health, education and the not-for profit sector, to port industry, First Nations and local government to name a few.
Over the course of the four days they all weighed in on how to approach the design of the city for the future, while reviewing the challenges that have impeded growth in the past. The work of the workshop made for the initial steps towards planning for a longer term vision, a project that will make up the components of the Prince Rupert 2030 plan.
Mayor Lee Brain observed as to the ability that the workshop offered to bring the wide cross section of participants to the table, sharing the collective goal of shaping the future of Prince Rupert.
“It’s a rare opportunity to have so many community leaders in the room to develop an actionable plan for change. The workshop was truly a unique experience as the caliber of experts helping us shape the future of Prince Rupert was beyond anything we’ve done so far as a community. We are looking forward to hitting the ground running with some tangible projects in the coming months, and will be updating the community as soon as those start to take shape.” -
The process moving forward will see the many themes that were collected over the four day period developed into a framework for further engagement over the summer and fall months.
From that, a long list of engagements with many local stakeholders is planned over the next four to five months, with area landowners, business operators, First Nation Development Groups and representatives from local recreation facilities among the groups that those working on the project will be reaching out to for further consultation.
While the work ahead is an evolving process with a fluid timeline, the public will most likely have a chance to see some of the planning ideas as part of an Open Public Forum/Viewing session tentatively set for the end of December or early in 2020.
The four day workshop does appear to have energized many of those who were in attendance, Ceilidh Marlow Project Manager at Redesign Rupert noted how the fast pace of the planning project is making for some exciting times for those that are pulling the project together.
She also observed as to how the project has brought the many partners together with a collective focus on Prince Rupert, as well as to offer the opportunity to work with some of the talented team that Mr. Beasley has brought in.
The information notes that provided for the sketch of the workshop also highlighted of some of the enthusiasm of a few of those that were in attendance last week.
“The Prince Rupert 2030 workshop was a great experience. To see that many people committing that many hours and their input to make this city more attractive and successful is just fantastic. The outcome was incredible too. Proud to be part of it! ” - Marc Dulude, CEO, Ridley Terminals Ltd
“Four days of thinking, planning and a bit of magic. The community told us through Redesign Rupert what they value today and for our future. That vision became the starting point for this planning exercise. Now some of those paper ideas are being road tested. Business people, non-profits, civic and community leaders met the next business day to work on tangible projects to transform Rupert into a 2030 city.” – John Farrell, General Manager, Community Futures
As the project moves forward, you'll be able to track some of the progress and stay up to date on public opportunities to learn more about the process, or contribute to the work on the 2030 plan through the Redesign Rupert website
You can also explore some of the past initiatives towards planning in the city from our archive page here.
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