Council established fifteen capital projects and sixteen policy initiatives, which built upon previous work to that point and which collectively lay the groundwork for accommodating growth and development into the future.
The original council report divides the projects into four categories: (1) 2015-2018 capital projects, (2) 2018+ capital projects, (3) Policy and planning 2015-2016, (4) Policy and planning 2016-2018.
BACKground on strategic planning process
In 2011, City Council established a Strategic Plan and a number of Strategic Priorities focused on striving toward “Vision New Westminster,” building a vibrant riverfront city of choice that is:
- Rich in history, arts and culture;
- Highly livable, safe, healthy and balanced communities;
- A sustainable economic hub within Metro Vancouver; and
Committed to social equity and environmental values.
The six Strategic Priorities and their desired long-term outcomes are:
Strategic Priority #1 - Community Livability and Social Equity
- A livable city of safe, healthy and balanced neighbourhoods;
- Accessible community services and amenities: recreation, parks, education, social;
- A city known for social inclusion and equity; and
- An age-friendly city that maximizes quality of life as people age.
Strategic Priority #2 - Vibrant Economy
- Economic and cultural hub;
- Economic growth towards increased diversity and optimal mix;
- Local employment growth in all sectors;
- Increased tourism combined with quality of life opportunities for residents; and
- Optimized property taxation revenues.
Strategic Priority #3 - Arts and Culture
- Creative and vibrant city open to all artists and cultures to the broadest range of creative expression, and to the most inclusive community participation and appreciation; and
- Visitors provided with an exciting and distinct tourism experience that highlights the City’s arts, culture and heritage.
Strategic Priority #4 - Environmental Leadership
- Improved and protected natural environment;
- Livable city where people can enjoy clean air, water and green space; and
- High quality of life that promotes active and healthy lifestyles without adversely affecting the natural environment.
Strategic Priority #5 - Catalyst Project
- New Westminster is constantly investing in the development and maintenance of facilities, parks and infrastructure critical to the quality of life in the city; and
- The City also looks for opportunities that make New Westminster the best place to live, work and play.
Strategic Priority #6 – Commitment to Organizational Excellence
- New Westminster strives to be the local government employer of choice, nurturing a high performance work environment that attracts and retains a top team;
- The City is constantly building a viable and sustainable municipal corporation that provides high levels of customer service and generates continued high citizen satisfaction ratings; and
- The City focuses attention on:
- Adopting best practices in asset management, knowledge management, succession planning, and work place health;
- Implementing information technology solutions that are innovative and allow the City to carry out its business in an effective and efficient manner;
- Adopting best practices for project management to the City receives best value for its money on all of its major initiatives; and
- Making sustainability the way the City conducts its business.
In 2013, Council adopted Envision 2032, New Westminster’s sustainability framework that informs and guides City activities in the future, including plans, policies, projects and practices, using a sustainability lens. Organized into eleven policy areas with a well-defined scope that identifies all of the policy areas that need to be addressed for the community to move towards a sustainable and successful future. Envision 2032 provides direction, through “Descriptions of Success,” of what the City is striving to achieve by 2032, and this direction is to be implemented through all of the plans, policies, practices and procedures that the City uses, such as the Official Community Plan, Master Transportation Plan, Community Energy and Emissions Plan and Environmental Strategy.