Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Langley City council adopts new comprehensive vision for community

Langley City: Nexus of Community

Langley Prairie was founded at the crossroads of Yale and Glover. The introduction of BC Electric Railway passenger and freight service turned Langley Prairie into a commercial hub in our region. Over 100 years later, rail service may once again transform our community with Langley City being a terminus for rail rapid transit.

Around a year ago, Langley City council and staff started the process of defining a vision for our community. With continued redevelopment, social challenges, changing demographics, and the future arrival of rail rapid transit, we decided that it was time.

While we have an Official Community Plan, and various other plans such as the Downtown Master Plan and Parks, Recreation & Culture Master Plan, there has never been an overarching vision that glued them all together.

Langley City: Nexus of Community was adopt at Monday night’s council meeting. The vision including four key themes:

Community is the place where everyone knows you. The place where you say hello to your neighbours and the clerk at the local store. Where you raise your children. Where you grow old surrounded by your support network of friends and family. Where residents and visitors alike feel safe, capable, valued, and held up. Community is what gives us strength, feeds our hearts and minds, and supports us to reach our potential.

We are all looking for more from our cities. Young adults are seeking authenticity and uniqueness in their lifestyle and the desire to connect in a concrete and personal way. Employers are looking to locate in areas with transit-oriented developments because employees are demanding it. Connection requires easy access and pedestrian-scale, walkable areas across the city not just in the heart of downtown. Whether it is along the Nicomekl Flood Plain, or a residential street in Uplands we want to move between the different areas of our life with ease.

People need a reason to come to our city. It is not enough to give them the means – we must also provide them with culture, entertainment, recreation and places to meet. Developing lifestyle is as important to a city’s health as developing infrastructure. Langley City experimented with destination entertainment, food, activities and retail and showed that it is possible. The key is to create things that are truly unique and appeal to locals and tourists alike and build on the work we have already done.

Integration is the comfort of knowing that your city possesses the employment and services to provide for all residents according to their needs. It is a place where you live, work and play, and a place where everything you need is close by. We strive for a city that is self-sustaining, efficient, and welcoming. A place where city government partners with business and industry to build places where people want to be, where it’s easy to do business and where community funds offer benefits to all.

This vision and its themes are just the beginning. There are 24 recommended implementation tasks that are associated with these themes. Moving forward will require collaboration with our residents and business community. As noted in the implementation plan, “a successful process will require extensive consultation and should not be rushed.”

This council has set the table with a new vision. I hope that the next council will continue to move forward with this vision. Langley City: Nexus of Community, and its implementation plan, can be downloaded for the city’s website.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting about the specific initiatives in the implementation plan.

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