Customer Success: Co-Creating Solutions with Citizens

Last week, PlaceSpeak participated in the SFU Centre for Dialogue’s workshop with Valerie Lemmie (Director of Exploratory Research, Kettering Foundation): Citizens and Public Officials: Strategies for Working Together in Democratic and Complementary Ways to Fix Wicked Community Problems.

The workshop brought together government officials and community institutions who are interested in strengthening democratic engagement. Drawing upon regional and North America-wide examples, the event explored the Kettering Foundation’s latest insights into methods for better linking community voices with government decision-making, as well as opportunities to co-produce solutions directly with citizens.

Communications Manager, Mary Leong, presented a table discussion on how the District of Central Saanich used PlaceSpeak to tackle issues in Brentwood Bay, including abandoned and sunken vessels, boaters dumping their sewage and garbage into the water, accumulation of too many vessels, navigating the crowded waters safely, and a lack of parking on the streets near the docks and noise.

Although the District was aware of the issues facing the community, jurisdictional authority on oceans and waterways is split between different levels of government (local, regional, provincial and federal), and the District was unable to act independently to tackle the problems.

The District first engaged with residents by asking them to share their experiences with Brentwood Bay using the tools on PlaceSpeak, including surveys, polls, a discussion forum, and participatory mapping. Based on the feedback gathered in the first phase, the District was able to narrow down two potential recommendations (creating a designated sewage area and applying to the Province of British Columbia for crown land tenure) and invited residents to contribute their ideas to co-create long-range solutions, which they could then present and propose to different levels of government.

By involving community members, the Tsartlip First Nation and other levels of government in the process, the District was able to move forward with concrete actions and solutions:

September 2017: Council adopted all recommendations of the Staff Report to the Committee of the Whole

October 2017: The following recommendations have been completed or are presently underway:

  • An application has been submitted for a License of Occupation (Nominal Rent Tenure) from the Province for Brentwood Bay.
  • Letters have been sent to the regional district requesting waiving of tipping fees.
  • The Provincial and Federal agencies are working with the District on the planned clean-up of Brentwood Bay.
  • An application to have the area listed as a Designated Sewage Area is near completion.
  • A draft Management Plan is being prepared to manage the Brentwood Bay Public Moorage Area.

December 2017: A long-term strategy for the management of Brentwood Bay was drafted in coordination with Tsartlip First Nation, and is supported by other First Nations. It will be presented to Council in mid-December.

Explore the Brentwood Bay consultation and follow the updates here.

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