The City of Chilliwack retained Urban Systems in September 2012 to work alongside City staff in updating the Official Community Plan from 1998. This was a unique assignment for both Urban Systems and the City. Unlike more traditional OCP processes, where a local government hires a consultant to undertake the majority or all of the work, this project had our team and the City work hand‐in‐hand as members of an integrated team. This approach worked seamlessly for both parties.
Our role evolved throughout the OCP update. We began with a contract for technical and strategic planning support but later were retained to work alongside staff on community engagement, an engineering feasibility study, and the translation of public feedback into new and revised OCP policy.
Throughout 2013, Urban Systems helped the City engage a broad cross section of the community through a mix of innovative and traditional methods, including: online discussions (PlaceSpeak), social media, interactive workshops and kiosks, open houses, Community Café events and surveys. These engagements culminated in the creation of a draft plan, which was vetted through further community engagement in 2014. The final plan was adopted by Mayor and Council in August 2014.
The City estimates that approximately 900 people directly participated in the OCP engagement events. Community exposure to the OCP events was estimated at over 5,000 people.
City of Chilliwack, BC