Executive Summary – Results of the visual preference survey and input from Pop-up Consultation (October-November 2015) Community’s Vision for Bank Street (between Pretoria & Holmwood)
ImagineGlebe is a community visioning project that was initiated by the Glebe Community Association (GCA). In the first phase of this project we have focused on Building a Vision for Bank Street: Strengthening our Community’s Traditional Mainstreet.
Upwards of 30% of properties along Bank Street are underdeveloped or in need of redevelopment, with the recent development of Lansdowne Park signalling a period of transition for the street. This project has been designed to develop recommendations and an implementation plan aimed at reinvigorating Bank Street, including:
- urban design considerations;
- built form (building height, setbacks, stepbacks, etc.);
- land Use (new / additional businesses/services);
- public/social space; and
- streetscaping and street animation.
Through the initial consultation process, we actively and creatively sought input from a broad community that included not only residents, but also business owners, visitors to the Glebe, and those in the development community. Bank Street is successful when it serves not only the local community but the City as a whole. Recognising this, the project sought to incorporate ideas and feedback from all of these constituents groups.
How did we engage with the community?
We knew that a broad approach to engagement was needed to develop a true community vision. We valued input from those who are already actively engaged in our community’s development. But, we also wanted to reach out beyond regular contributors, to get input from youth and young professionals in our community, from families who are too busy driving kids to hockey practice to attend an evening meeting at the Community Centre, and from visitors spending a Saturday afternoon shopping or going to a restaurant in the Glebe. To make it easier for people to tell us what they thought, we needed to go where they were, rather than expecting them to come to us.
Project preparation got underway in May of 2015. The Glebe Business Improvement Area (BIA) jumped in and participated in the project – a BIA Board member, who is also a local developer, agreed to be on an Advisory Committee. Background articles in the Glebe Report presented the ImagineGlebe project and discussed key urban design elements of Traditional Mainstreets. Then we developed a visual preference surv ey that was distributed online at the end of October. It was kept live for a month. GCA members were contacted directly by email, but we also promoted it through social media and by tapping into other networks including neighbouring Community Associations, the Ottawa EcoDistrict, and the BIA. The Community Centre’s Youth Group used their youthful charm to promote it directly to people on Bank Street itself and in local coffee shops – passing cards with the survey link and encouraging people to do the survey and add their views to the conversation.
Importantly, through the generous donation of storefront space, we expanded our community consultation at a Pop-up venue on Bank St. from November 6-16, 2015. Following a successful launch, and with the help of many keen volunteers, we received feedback from a cross-section of glebites and visitors to the Glebe as they strolled along Bank Street. Visitors to the Pop-up consultation were invited to complete the survey on site using available tablets, as well as provide comments on visual elements temporarily covering the walls of the Bank Street storefront. In total, 885 people completed the online survey. Importantly, 30% of the completed surveys came from people from outside the Glebe. Roughly 1000 people visited the Pop-up venue and over 10,000 written comments were received (from the survey and Pop-up consultation).
What did we hear from the community?
A clear vision emerged from the ratings of statements about Bank Street. The vision was shared by residents, business owners and employees, people from other urban and suburban areas, and respondents of all ages. A very strong consensus emerged that in future:
- It will be a place for people to gather, not just a shopping district.
- One of the attractive things will be the variety of smaller buildings and businesses
- Buildings will be designed to reflect its historic nature as a Traditional Mainstreet
- Bank Street will be a vibrant, bustling and safe place to be.
See below for images from the survey that received strong support as elements of a future vision for Bank Street.
The next steps in this project will be to:
- refine the vision
- share the results as part of a community forum
- draft Community Development Plan (CDP)
- Implement the CDP!