Imagine a future Kelowna

What will Kelowna look like in 25 years?

That question was central to the largest, and most ambitious public engagement process the city has ever undertaken.

Described as a vision of Kelowna by the broader community, Imagine Kelowna engaged more than 4,000 residents over the past 18 months.  

Among those, Immaculata high school student Frida Morales. The Grade 11 student told council  the future of her generation is directly impacted by "your decisions."

"It seems to me every generation makes one step forward, but then takes two steps backwards. How? By creating temporary solutions with immediate profits regardless of future consequences.

"The next generation then has to fix the mistakes of previous (generation), and the cycle continues."

She said decisions made today should be made with future impacts in mind.

"We are the ones you should be thinking about when you make your decisions."

Morales said the city will be planting seeds to future gardens through the holistic views and values of Imagine Kelowna.

The exercise, while not yet complete, came up with four key principles and values, a connected community, smarter community, a socially and environmentally conscious community and a collaborative community.

Project manager Rafael Villarreal told council the draft presented Monday was just the philosophy for the city.

"Once we have a common philosophy, we can start aligning the plans we have, and identifying where the gaps are in the community," said Villarreal.

"This is the beginning. There is still work we have to do to answer some of the great comments we are getting to polish these values and principles."

It's not a plan, he said, it's a strategic vision.

Councillors Stack and Given both said they hoped the final vision would have a unique, 'this is Kelowna flair", but Given added this can't be detail oriented.

"It can't be to the detailed level where it excludes what the future might bring," said Given.

With a draft vision now in place, staff will go back to the community to discuss the work already done before coming out with a final plan in late February or early March.

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