The WOW Project, a component of the Regina Downtown Plan, plans to expand Victoria Park into a focal point and festival space for downtown Regina. The project has become a reality in City Square. A significant element in the City Square project was to consult and inform those people who will be the park users once the project is completed. CES engaged in an extensive stakeholder consultation process termed WOW2 with the objective of:
“Helping us to make better decisions about expanding Victoria Park into a vibrant city square.”
The purpose of the stakeholder consultations was to inform, consult, listen and learn. The stakeholder consultations occurred in two rounds. The first round methodologies included random surveys, one-on-one meetings, formal and informal meetings, telephone interviews and web-based surveys to identify their opportunities, challenges and recommendations. The second round methodology consisted of numerous roundtable discussions to confirm what was heard during the first round and to develop the program of uses for the park.
108 various stakeholders were engaged during the first two rounds of consultations, which included:
- 40 park users
- 45 stakeholder groups
- 10 residents
- 13 arts and culture groups
Hundreds of stakeholder comments were received during the first rounds of consultation, which were analyzed and categorized into recurring topics. The recurring topics were further distilled into 11 common themes. From these themes, 4 pillars were developed to serve as guiding principles in the design, expansion and end use of City Square.
The stakeholder consultations culminated in a final public viewing and neighbourhood celebration in Victoria Park. The neighbourhood was invited to Victoria Park to view the various components of City Square including the stakeholder consultations, traffic and transit and the conceptual design plans for City Square. People in attendance were given the opportunity to provide feedback of the event and the project to date. The event was very well received and attended with over 400 residents of Regina attending.
The stakeholder consultation process was an integral part of the City Square project as it provided a forum for which stakeholders could voice their opportunities, challenges and recommendations for the park as it related to them. It provided a context for which the citizens of Regina could help create a park that will become the jewel of downtown.