Kelowna’s mayor says the city is preparing to welcome an anticipated 30,000 new residents over the next 12 years.
Colin Basran said in his annual state of the city address to the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Friday, that highlites the importance of developing strategies to keep the local economy strong.
“Council understands and is reflective of our entrepreneurial city,” said Basran. “Even with all the growth we’ve experienced in recent years, we remain a diverse, small-business economy that is adept at changing with the times.”
Basran says the city plans to manage future challenges like traffic flow, housing needs, social issues and severe climate activity like floods and fires.
“One of the key areas of focus continues to be on social issues, as the city works with partners to address homelessness and develop the Journey Home strategy to develop more housing options in Kelowna.”
“As a municipality, there’s only so much we can accomplish alone,” said Basran. “But working together as a community, with involvement from the business community, the arts community, the law enforcement community and everyday citizens, we are going to create a plan and a system that ensures anyone who is homeless and looking for help will easily find it.”
A big part of the solutions will come from the Imagine Kelowna program that included more than 4,000 interactions with residents in 2017 about their long-term vision for Kelowna. That process will inform the Official Community Plan update coming in 2018, along with the Transportation Master Plan for the decades ahead.
A complete version of the mayor’s speech is available on kelowna.ca.