The result of almost 4,000 resident contributions, Imagine Kelowna is a vision created by our community, for our community.
We will use Imagine Kelowna to help shape our priorities and provide the foundation for future strategies and projects such as the Official Community Plan (Our City as we Grow), the Transportation Master Plan (Our City as we Move), Intelligent City Strategy and many others.
The principles and goals of Imagine Kelowna (endorsed by Council in July 2018) will guide the development of these plans and other initiatives, which will also draw on the rich data of public input and research that was compiled from the extensive Imagine Kelowna engagement. The vision of Imagine Kelowna will unify strategies and projects that already exist or are underway to make sure they work together to build the kind of community Kelowna residents want.
Getting to Imagine Kelowna
In 2018, Kelowna was a city in transition. Imagine Kelowna was established to showcase the community’s vision, principles and goals to thrive in the face of unprecedented growth and change.
Kelowna is a thriving city and an incredible place to call home. To flourish in the future, we need to be agile, resilient and unafraid to do things differently. The community has made it clear that as we grow, we need to look out for one another and protect the stunning environment that sustains us. Our vision for an inclusive, welcoming, prosperous and sustainable future calls upon us all to be ambitious to embrace the challenges ahead.
We want to be a welcoming community where lifestyle and economic opportunities are available to everyone. This means ensuring that everybody who lives here can make a living, find suitable housing and get around easily and safely.
The Imagine Kelowna goals are also aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, linking what we’re doing locally with larger global efforts to shift the world onto a more equitable, sustainable and resilient path. Kelowna is at a pivotal time in its evolution - one full of great opportunities.
After an 18-month long conversation in the community about our future, a vision for the qualities we want to exemplify emerged. We want a community that:
We try to balance the needs of everybody in our decision making. We recognize that inclusivity and diversity make us a stronger and more innovative community.
We celebrate our heritage, and learn from our past to reconcile it with a better, more inclusive future we see for ourselves.
We learn continuously to respond and adapt to rapid change. We find innovative ways to meet social, economic and environmental challenges and opportunities.
The well-being of our city is a shared responsibility and everyone needs to do their part to seize opportunities for improvement.
The following principles and goals work together as a system to help the community achieve its vision:
Principle 1 – Collaborative: A community where people of all backgrounds work together to meet collective challenges.
- Goal: Engage with the Okanagan’s traditional past and heritage as foundations for building a fair and equitable community.
- We will honour our rich heritage while also following the lead of our local Indigenous communities towards a path of reconciliation.
- Goal: Nurture a culture of entrepreneurship and collaboration.
- Entrepreneurship is weaved into Kelowna’s cultural fabric, making our community more creative, collaborative and better able to meet the challenges of the future.
- Goal: Foster resident-driven solutions.
- We unleash our community’s hidden talents to solve the tough challenges of the future.
Principle 2 – Smarter: A community willing to learn, adapt and grow so we can thrive amid rapid change.
- Goal: Support innovation that helps drive inclusive prosperity.
- We are building a nimble and resilient economy that doesn’t leave anyone behind.
- Goal: Take action and be resilient in the face of climate.
- We will seize the opportunity to face climate change head-on for a hopeful and sustainable future.
- Goal: Build healthy neighbourhoods that support a variety of households, income levels and life stages.
- Everyone in our community should be able to find stable and appropriate housing.
Principle 3 – Connected: A community where residents are connected to their neighbours, their city and the wider world.
- Goal: Embrace diverse transportation options to shift away from our car-centric culture.
- Making it easy for people to choose non-driving options protects the beauty of Kelowna and makes getting around more enjoyable.
- Goal: Create great public spaces that bring people together.
- We need great public gathering places like parks, plazas and community centres where people can meet and connect with others.
- Goal: Provide opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and identities.
- We all benefit when everyone in the community has access to economic, recreational and social opportunities.
- Goal: Cultivate an accessible and engaging arts and culture scene.
- Everyone can find something that interests them to engage in, from grassroots initiatives to professional endeavours.
Principle 4 – Responsible: A community where decisions are made ethically and where social and environmental concerns are prioritized.
- Goal: Concentrate on growing vibrant urban centres and limit urban sprawl.
- Denser neighbourhoods make our city healthier, more sustainable and easier to get around. They make more financial sense, as well.
- Goal: Preserve Okanagan Lake as a shared resource.
- Okanagan Lake is the jewel that makes Kelowna sparkle.
- Goal: Strengthen the protection of our land, water and air resources.
- Our stunning environment is the foundation that all of our other aspirations stand on.
- Goal: Protect agricultural land and promote sustainable farming.
- Supporting agriculture helps ensure food security while preserving vital green infrastructure.