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NAP meeting #2

2017 August 2
by Melissa

VPNA NAP meeting #2 – May 31st, 2017 5:30pm – 7:30pm

In attendance:

Agnes Das, Patrick Gilbride, Melissa Bowman, Rebekah Haynes, Erin Toner


Anna Maste, Anka Brozic

Our plan needs to be asset based. Last meeting, we identified many assets and categorized them into 4 areas (walkable, park, history, social/cultural).

Part One:

List of neighbourhood assets based on previous asset mapping activities (done in the neighbourhood), discussion and whiteboard brainstorming ideas by our action team.


  • Trail
  • nature
  • winter lights
  • clean walkways
  • City Café
  • Iron horse Trail
  • geocache
  • park washrooms


  • Splash pad
  • Food forest
  • Lake
  • swan
  • boats
  • clock tower
  • the Park
  • winter lights
  • clean walkways
  • fountain
  • gardens
  • playground
  • geese
  • Boathouse
  • park events
  • canoeing
  • Kaiser’s Bust
  • park washrooms


  • The Tannery
  • Schneider Haus
  • Boathouse
  • York apartments
  • Kaiser’s Bust
  • clock tower


  • Cafka Art Walk
  • Multicultural Festival
  • Craft beer and Ribfest
  • The Tannery
  • Boathouse
  • park events
  • festivals
  • Working Centre


  • Harry Class Pool
  • Queen’s Greens
  • Communitech

NAP mtg 2h

Part Two:

Reviewed neighbourhood demographic maps and information:

Agnes provided several demographic maps for us to review. She also provided a sample neighbourhood profile (see link at end of these minutes).

Hood profile 1 Hood profile 2 Hood profile 3 Hood profile 4

NAP mtg 2d NAP mtg 2c

Part Three:

Discussion of vision based on identified assets and neighbourhood demographics:         

A vision statement refers to the desired end state over the long term

We considered the following from the Neighbourhood Action Plan Guide:

  1. Develop a Communications Plan

Keep residents informed.

The creation of a communications plan will help inform residents about their work and engage more people in the process. The communications plan identifies when and how the Neighbourhood Action Team will communicate with the neighbourhood and gather their input. When to communicate should align with the key tasks and major milestones identified in the workplan. Recognizing the diverse makeup of a neighbourhood, it will be important to communicate and seek input in different ways.
Some examples could include events, meetings, newsletters, website and social media.

Tip: Always try to communicate in plain language. Use words and sentences that are appropriate for a Grade 6-8 reading level, so everyone can understand and remember your message quickly and easily.


  1. Engage the neighbourhood

Understand your neighbourhood today. Create a vision for the future.

What do residents know about their neiqhbourhood

One of the first Neighbourhood Action Team meeting agenda items should focus on further developing the asset map of the neighbourhood. The team should take some time to review the asset map that the community started at the neighbourhood gathering, discuss the information and add any additional assets that were missed. The asset map is simply one tool that the team can use to help develop a picture that represents what residents know about their neighbourhood.

A review of social and demographic statistical information may help to broaden everyone’s understanding of their neighbourhood. Information about the people who live in the neighbourhood, housing, income levels and land uses can be considered. Information about how safe, accessible, connected, inclusive, diverse and engaged neighbourhoods are will be made available and can also be considered. All of this information can be requested from City staff.

Asset mapping combined with statistical information can serve as an important reference throughout the process because it can help highlight the conditions and experiences of others. Interesting stories from the asset mapping exercise may help put a human face on the statistics.


What kind of neighborhood d0 residents want

Once residents have developed a complete picture of their neighbourhood, a vision for the future will begin to develop. The vision describes what the Neighbourhood Action Team wants the neighbourhood to be in the future.

Key question: In 5 years, what will the neighbourhood look and feel like ?

Think about the actions that can be taken to make neighbourhoods safe, accessible, connected, inclusive, diverse and engaged. An effective vision will inspire and motivate the broader neighbourhood to work together to achieve it. It will inform all goals, objectives, priorities and actions moving forward.
Remember to get endorsement by the broader neighbourhood so everyone gets behind it. Eventually, residents may want to share their vision with Kitchener City Council. City staff can help with this.


  1. Develop an Implementation Plan

Identify actions to achieve your vision.

Once residents have a vision for the future of their neighbourhood, the Neighbourhood Action Team can fine-tune its objectives in order to develop and prioritize specific actions for implementation based on the feedback from the neighbourhood. For instance, an objective may be to create an inventory of residents’ strengths while the specific steps to achieve the action may include creating and distributing a survey, collecting and analyzing the survey and sharing the information with the neighbourhood.

If necessary, City staff can assist with this step. When refining the objectives and actions, remember to:

  • Create objectives that
  • use action verbs (such as write, solve, build, produce)
  • are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely)
  • Ensure the objectives include quick wins, short term actions and long term actions
  • Rank the objectives in order of priority (i.e. which ones should be done first)
  • Prioritize actions within each prioritized objective

The implementation plan should:

  • consider what organizations are available to be involved in specific actions
  • identify which individuals, groups or organizations should take the lead on specific actions
  • determine what can be achieved within a short, medium or long-term timeframe
  • confirm where resources can be accessed


We also relied on Tool K from the Toolkit:

Tool K- How to Develop Vision Statements, Objectives, Quick Wins and Actions

Vision Statement

The foundation of the Neighbourhood Action Plan is the vision that is created by the people who live, work, learn and play in the neighbourhood. Residents can drive the change that they want to see when they clearly articulate a vision for the future of their neighbourhood. The vision is for the neighbourhood, created by the Neighbourhood Action Team and endorsed by the neighbourhood.

The vision should:

  • Be concise, identify what is possible and create a picture of the future of the neighbourhood.
  • Be inspiring and inspirational.
  • Explain why the neighbourhood is creating a Neighbourhood Action Plan.
  • Explain where the neighbourhood is heading and what they are trying to achieve.

Steps to create a vision statement:

  • Select a facilitator and recorder
  • Make sure sticky notes, pens, flip chart paper and markers are available

The facilitator will:

  1. Explain to the Neighbourhood Action Team the purpose of the vision statement.
  2. Ask the team to review the asset map and neighbourhood profiles. Ask the team to consider the following questions: Based on our assets and issues, what do we want our neighbourhood to look like in 5 years … 10 years … 20 years? How do we build and enhance our assets? How do we address our needs? What is possible?
  3. Give each team member a sticky note and pen and ask them to write down ONE idea of what they want their neighbourhood to look like in the future. Give the team 10 minutes to think, reflect and complete.
  4. Facilitate a “go around” by asking each team member to speak to their idea. Have the team discuss each idea. The recorder will capture the main ideas on flip chart paper. The facilitator will then ask the team to group ideas together into major themes. Get agreement on the major themes. Ask the group, “Did we miss anything?”
  5. Write each theme on a flip chart and post around the room. Give each team member one sticky dot and have them place it on the theme they think is most important. The themes with the most dots are most important for prominent inclusion in the vision statement.

It is important that the team not wordsmith a vision statement as part of this exercise. Have one or two team members, the facilitator and City staff take away the major themes, put some sentences around these themes and bring this work back to the group for discussion at the next Neighbourhood Action Team meeting. This will save the team time and frustration and allow them to move on with the development of goals and objectives. Once your vision statement is complete, do a REALITY CHECK.

ASK: Can this be achieved?


Goals and Objectives

Once the Vision Statement is created and endorsed by the Neighbourhood Action Team, the next step is to create the goals for the Neighbourhood Action Plan, based on the main themes developed during the visioning exercise. People often get confused about what is a goal, an objective and an action. Goals are general guidelines that explain what you want to achieve in your community. They are usually long-term and represent global visions such as “protect public health and safety.”

Objectives define strategies or implementation steps to attain the identified goals. Unlike goals, objectives are specific, measurable and have a defined completion date.

Actions are more specific and provide the “how to” steps to attaining the objective.

Here is an example of what a vision statement, goal, objective and action might look like.

Vision: We want our neighbourhood to be known for its safety, walkability and friendliness.

Goal: Create a safe environment for pedestrians in our neighbourhood.

Objective: Increase pedestrian-friendly features on Main Street.

Actions: Plant trees; install benches and calm traffic through bump-outs along Main Street.

Is there a Quick Win? A quick win is an action that can be achieved in a couple of months using minimal resources, shows early success in the neighbourhood and creates a “buzz.”

Important note about the process:

While the final Neighbourhood Action Plan will clearly present the vision, goals, objectives and actions in a way that makes sense to the reader, the creation of this work is often less ordered and cohesive. Often residents will focus on the immediate tasks or behaviours they would like to see change in their neighbourhood to meet their vision, without being able to speak about how these ideas fit into broader goals and objectives. Experience in other cities suggests that sometimes the goals and objectives emerge out of a number of concrete actions that can be grouped together to create the goals and objectives. Because of this, it is important to keep a record of all ideas that emerge during discussions so that no idea gets lost.

Steps to develop goals, objectives and actions:

  • Select a facilitator
  • Make sure flip chart paper, markers, pens and sticky dots are available

Session 1

  1. Using the main themes developed during the visioning exercise; break the Neighbourhood Action Team into small groups (ideally 4-5 residents).
  2. Give each group one theme each and have them brainstorm as many ideas as they can think of that would help achieve the vision/theme. Have the group record all these ideas as clearly as possible on flip chart paper and appoint a spokesperson to present these ideas back to the larger group.
  3. Once all groups have reported back, post each flip chart paper theme with ideas around the room and give everyone a chance to walk around, make comments or additions to each piece and discuss informally.


  1. Give the flip chart paper themes, including any additional ideas, back to the small group and have them group the ideas that seem to go together into broad objectives. Next, discuss the objectives and come up with some ideas on potential goal statements. If the group does not have time to refine the goal statement and objectives to their satisfaction, have them get together between meetings to work on the statements (or ask a facilitator or City staff do this).

Session 2

  1. Start the meeting with a quick reminder of the vision and themes that were created at previous meetings. Present and explain that the dotmocracy tool will be used for each goal statement and each objective.
  2. Re-convene the same small groups and have them review the work from the last meeting, make any changes and then present the goal statement and objectives to the larger group for clarification. Do NOT wordsmith the goal statement during the discussion but do ask “So what?” – what is the difference that this goal/objective could have on the lives of residents or the neighbourhood?
  3. Have each group use the dotmocracy tool for each of the goal statements and objectives. Post each goal statement around the room, give the residents 2-3 minutes per goal statement (so if there are 6 goal statements, allot 15 – 20 minutes for this exercise) to write any comments or revisions on the statement and fill in their dot. Have them initial the sheet.
  4. Post the objectives under the goal statement and again give the residents time to walk around the room, read each statement, add any comments and fill in their dot. Make sure they initial each sheet they vote on.
  5. The facilitator will wrap up the meeting by summarizing where the major priorities in the group are and let the group know that at the next meeting the goals and objectives will be presented back, in order of priority, as identified through the dotmocracy tool.
  6. The facilitator, City staff and one resident from each small group take away the goal statements and objectives, with comments and revisions, to prioritize and wordsmith before the next meeting.
  7. Present back the first draft of the goals and objectives, with preliminary action ideas captured within the objectives. Once agreement is reached that these are correct, it is time to consult with the community to get their input.

This is a good time to take your vision statement, goals and objectives out to the neighbourhood for consultation. You can use this consultation to refine the goals and objectives and collect more ideas for actions for achieving the vision and goal statements. This consultation should let the group know if they are on the right track. If the consultation gives you results that are very different from the vision, goal statements and objectives drafted by the group, the group needs to take this new information into consideration and “course correct” their vision and goals.


Discussion points:

Do we want to reference the characteristics of a great neighbourhood here? No, but let’s include them in our goals.

Let’s bring suggested vision to VPNA June 6th meeting. Also, what of the 4 categories (walkable, park, history, social/cultural) do we want to focus on? Melissa will add this to the June 6th agenda.

We reviewed the VPNA’s constitution in our discussion of our vision.

ARTICLE II – Aims and Objectives

  1. To be non-denominational and non-partisan.
  2. To create a friendly community spirit.
  3. To preserve and enhance the quality of life in the Victoria Park Neighbourhood.
  4. To promote the availability of a quality residential and social environment in the community of the Victoria Park Neighbourhood.
  5. To study and evaluate the community, its needs, and the services which exist to meet those needs.
  6. To stimulate awareness of community problems and provide consulting and advisory services to the neighbourhood.
  7. To encourage and facilitate co-operation among agencies and organizations providing service to the neighbourhood.
  8. To provide when feasible such common services or facilities as are deemed in the best interest of the neighbourhood.
  9. To engage in such other activities related to planning, co-ordinating and implementing joint action as may be deemed to be in the best interest of the welfare of the neighbourhood.
  10. To promote recreation activities with the community with the objective of encouraging participation of all residents of the area and in all age groups.
  11. To encourage the best use of present recreational facilities and the development of new facilities.To work in close co-operation with the Kitchener Parks and Recreation Department in providing public recreation.

We want our neighbourhood to be known for it’s unique character. We want to preserve and enhance (as per section 3 of aims and objectives) those 4 areas – walkable, park, history, social/cultural in the neighbourhood.

NAP mtg 2e NAP mtg 2f

Decisions agreed upon:

Vision to recommend to the VPNA: The Victoria Park neighbourhood is an inviting community that connects people through history, culture, and nature.


Do we want to hire someone to create a neighbourhood profile? Here is a link to a neighbourhood profile for the Mount Hope neighbourhood.  Melissa also has a hard copy in case link disappears.

Next steps:

  • Bring others into the conversation (neighbours, organizations, businesses, etc).
  • Remember to continually document our processes.

Next meeting:

  • June 21st, 5:15pm
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