City pulls together ingredients for its first Jam

October 31, 2019

Design Jam that is.

On Oct. 24 and 30, the City of Kelowna held its first Design Jam with more than 30 community stakeholders representing 17 different groups and organizations throughout the city, including ICBC, Kelowna RCMP, Block Watch, Downtown Kelowna Association, Regional District of Central Okanagan, strata councils, Journey Home, Okanagan College, residents and the City.

A Design Jam (or Jam) is a collaborative problem-solving event that uses human-centred design principles to come up with potential solutions to shared challenges.

Over the years, the city has grappled with increases in theft from vehicles, despite increased efforts in prevention and education programs. Since 2015, when the City launched its Don’t be an easy target public awareness campaign, thefts from vehicles have increased 11 per cent in the Central Okanagan and 76 per cent in Kelowna. The topic of theft from vehicles was chosen for the City’s first Design Jam in hopes that the community could get together and come up with some new and creative solutions to this challenge, to create new connections in the community and to build design thinking skills.

“I’m excited to see the City use the Design Jam format as an innovative means to address one of our community’s property crime issues,” said Darren Caul, Community Safety Director for the City of Kelowna. “Theft from vehicles is an ongoing and escalating challenge in our community, and one that everyone has a role to prevent. Incident reports show that approximately one-in-five thefts from vehicles is a crime of opportunity. We’re hoping that the Design Jam format helps us to thoroughly unpack the issue to find new and innovative ways to reduce the opportunity and the number of people who experience theft from their vehicle(s).”

Designs developed over the course of the two days will be a starting point for the City and its partners to develop innovative and new ways to work together to address this property crime issue.

This Jam is one of the first creative problem-solving initiatives to come out of the City’s Intelligent City branch. The City of Kelowna’s Intelligent City vision is to find ways to improve the lives of residents through access to online services, technological innovation and collaborative problem-solving, creating local solutions to local problems. For more information about the Intelligent City initiatives underway and how to get involved, visit kelowna.ca/intelligentcity.