Cambridge Connected Strategic Plan

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It is time to update the strategic plan for the City of Cambridge, and we want to hear from you!

Why do we need a strategic plan?

A strategic plan provides a foundation for decision making, priority setting and ongoing performance management. Creating a strategic plan requires connecting with the community, to ensure the City’s services reflect the priorities of the people who live, work and play here.

The Cambridge Connected Strategic Plan will: connect the community’s vision and goals with the corporate mission, values and actions of the City; guide decision-making; help direct tax dollars to

It is time to update the strategic plan for the City of Cambridge, and we want to hear from you!

Why do we need a strategic plan?

A strategic plan provides a foundation for decision making, priority setting and ongoing performance management. Creating a strategic plan requires connecting with the community, to ensure the City’s services reflect the priorities of the people who live, work and play here.

The Cambridge Connected Strategic Plan will: connect the community’s vision and goals with the corporate mission, values and actions of the City; guide decision-making; help direct tax dollars to community priorities; and allow the community to measure progress.

Where we’ve been:

In January 2016, Cambridge City Council approved the first four-year community strategic plan, Cambridge Connected: Our Voice. Our Vision. Cambridge Connected brought together stakeholders in an extensive engagement process to develop the vision, mission and values that provide a starting point for the City’s priority setting.

The 2016-2019 plan identified 7 goals and 26 objectives. We reported on the implementation of the plan using our strategic plan dashboard (cambridge.ca/strategicplan) and annual business plans (cambridge.ca/businessplan)

What are the next steps?

We are now updating the strategic plan for the 2020 - 2023 time frame. The resulting plan must meet the needs of all stakeholders – community, Council and staff – in terms of decision making, priority setting and ongoing performance management in the City of Cambridge. We will approach this project in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Understanding where we’ve been (January to March)This will include a community satisfaction survey, orientation for the project team and Council, and a public launch event.
  • Phase 2: Where do we want to go as a community? (April to November) - This phase will involve significant public engagement and will be focused on understanding community priorities. A summary report will identify the goals and strategic objectives that will be further explored in Phase 3.
  • Phase 3: Moving forward (December to March 2021) – This phase will focus on action and implementation planning, and will look at opportunities for measurement and reporting.
  • Cambridge Connected: Draft Goals and Objectives

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    23 Nov 2020

    Since we began the process of updating the City's strategic plan in early 2020, we have heard from more than 1,350 people. Now, we want to hear your input on the draft goals and objectives for the plan. This draft will be revised based on the feedback we receive before being presented to Council for approval. While the goals and objectives are still high-level, our goal with this feedback is to confirm and refine these statements so that we can proceed with more detailed action planning in early 2021. (You can take the survey and share your thoughts here until November 30th.)

    Based on the feedback received during Phases 1 & 2 of this project, the following three goals and 11 objectives are proposed:

    PEOPLE
    Goal: Foster a community with heart, where everyone belongs and is cared for.
    Objectives
    - WELLBEING - Connect people to services that support individual and community wellbeing
    - BELONGING - Be known as a safe and welcoming community where everyone feels like they matter
    - INCLUSION - Deliver accessible, inclusive services, programs and infrastructure for all ages
    - VIBRANT NEIGHBOURHOODS - Promote, facilitate and participate in the development safe and healthy neighbourhoods with a range of housing options

    PLACE
    Goal: Embrace and celebrate our city’s unique character while enhancing the spaces where people connect.
    Objectives
    - PLACEMAKING – Promote and create a wide range of destinations and activities that capitalize on the beauty of the rivers and heritage buildings
    - GREEN SPACES – Actively collaborate to protect and steward our parks, green spaces and environmental areas
    - PLANNING FOR GROWTH – Provide for a mix of development, uses and amenities in order to meet the needs of a changing and diverse population

    PROSPERITY
    Goal: Build a vibrant and sustainable city where current and future generations will live well.
    Objectives
    - A STRONG DOWNTOWN - Create an inviting downtown that connects and complements core areas and neighbourhoods where people want to live and visit
    - GETTING AROUND - Emphasize connectivity and active transportation choices to help people travel in and beyond the city without a car
    - ECONOMIC INCLUSION & SUPPORT – Establish and extend inclusive programs to support business readiness and workforce development and help local businesses to thrive
    - RESILIENCY – Use a future-oriented, proactive approach to climate action and emergency preparedness

    The city is also looking to include a new statement around PUBLIC VALUE that commits to the principles of leadership, collaboration, sustainability, engagement and communication across all the actions of the plan.

    The draft public value statement is: "We will deliver public value while providing service excellence and promoting pride of place. Our public value principles are: sustainability, leadership, collaboration, engagement and communication."

    The survey to share your feedback on these items is open until November 30th.

  • Project Update: Community Priorities Survey

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    11 Nov 2020

    Since this project began at the start of the year, we have been working to understand the emerging priorities for Cambridge residents, community stakeholders, staff and Council. We first checked in with the community through our Community Satisfaction Survey (PDF report) and public launch event in February. After pausing public engagement in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we launched Phase 2 digital engagement in August Using online surveys, virtual focus groups, and a public Council workshop (which can be viewed here) we have further refined the themes that emerged in Phase 1.

    Through it all, we have heard that government transparency, community safety and addressing social issues are top priorities for community members. Cambridge is a lower-tier municipality within the Region of Waterloo, and each level of government has different roles and responsibilities. In Cambridge, the areas of public health, community services, police services, social planning and community housing are all led by the Region, but there are still things we can do that can assist in making positive changes in these areas.

    Today, we’ve launched a brief survey aimed at understanding what actions the City should take in order to do its part to improve and address these priority issues in our community. Please help us shape the next steps of our strategic planning process and “Tell Us About: Community Priorities”.

  • Introducing the Cambridge Connected graphics!

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    18 Aug 2020
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    As part of updating the Cambridge Connected strategic plan, we are also updating its look and feel. The new Cambridge Connected icon set will be used in all future communications about the plan as well as in the final document and reports.

    The main Cambridge Connected graphic forms a double-span bridge inspired by the City of Cambridge logo and the Main Street bridge, while the two colours of blue below connote the two rivers. The shape forms an infinite loop while also retaining the form of two “C”s for Cambridge Connected.

    Additional graphics developed for the themes of PEOPLE, Place and Prosperity use the same base treatment as the Cambridge Connected, creating a recognizable and cohesive look and feel.

    The PEOPLE graphic re-imagines the bridges and rivers as two figures holding each other:

    In the PLACE graphic, the bridges and rivers are reoriented as four arrows converging at a single point:

    For PROSPERITY the bridges and rivers are connected with an 8-point star that expands in all directions:

    Look for these graphics as we move forward with our Phase 2 engagement planning.

  • Project Update: What's next in Phase 2?

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    14 Aug 2020

    As the City settles into new routines and realities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to share that the progress of the Cambridge Connected 2020-2023 strategic plan is continuing. On July 14th, Council received staff report 20-067(CRE) (starting on page 21) summarizing all Phase 1 activity, including engaging with more than 1000 people through events, presentations and surveys. This report includes the results of the City's first Community Satisfaction Survey conducted by Forum Research in February. You can also download Forum's final report in the Document Library section of this project page.

    In the month of August you will see increased activity on this project page as we initiate our second phase of community engagement. Stay tuned for regular project updates and digital engagement opportunities, including questions and polls that will help to further expand on what we've heard from the community so far!

  • April Update

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    17 Apr 2020

    The City of Cambridge is continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and, in consultation with Region of Waterloo Public Health, taking steps to help prevent the spread of infection in the community. City Hall is currently closed to the public until May 4th, however City staff in corporate divisions are currently working from home where possible and can be contacted by email or phone on city-related business. For full updates on the City of Cambridge's COVID-19 response, please visit www.cambridge.ca/COVID19

    As a result of facility closures and social distancing requirements, community engagement activities and events for the strategic plan are currently on hold until further notice; however, we continue to work on the review of existing plans and strategies, as well as plan ahead for future opportunities. This page will remain active, and we encourage you to reach out anytime with ideas or questions.

  • Heading into ‘Phase 2’: Understanding where we want to go

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    06 Mar 2020

    The month of March marks the beginning of our second phase of Cambridge Connected strategic plan development.

    We are now moving from reviewing the past four years and understanding where we’ve been, towards refining our goals and understanding where we need to go in the future. All of the feedback received to date will be part of this process, and a full summary report of all Phase 1 activity will be brought to City Council in April.

    We are also pleased to announce that Openly Inc. has been awarded the contract to assist with the strategy development, data analysis and community consultation for Phases 2 and 3 of this project. This is the result of a competitive process following a request for proposals that was issued in January 2020 to seek consulting services. Openly is a certified B-Corp company based in Guelph, with experience in strategy, stakeholder engagement, research and evaluation.

    Stay tuned for more engagement opportunities and information in the coming weeks!


  • February Wrap-up

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    29 Feb 2020

    We've come to the end of our first month of sharing this project through EngageCambridge!

    Thank you to all who came out to the Cambridge Connected launch event on February 26th at the Old Post Office. We were very pleased to see more than 55 people in attendance, despite the snowy weather. If you missed it, don't worry -- this was just the first of many opportunities you'll have to connect with us in the coming months.

    Speaker Sylvia Cheuy of Tamarack also shared her keynote slides from Wednesday's presentation with us, which you can find as a PDF download in the 'Document Library' on the main project page.

    We also wrapped up the community satisfaction survey on Friday, February 28th and will be analyzing the results and sharing them in the next month. We received more than 540 responses to the online survey, as well as 400 hundred results in the telephone survey conducted by Forum Research. Thank you for your participation!

  • Join us for the Cambridge Connected launch event on February 26th

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    10 Feb 2020

    Event Details:

    • Date Wednesday, February 26, 2020
    • Time 6:30PM to 8:30PM (Speakers start at 7:00PM)
    • Location Old Post Office - IDEA Exchange, 12 Water St. S., Cambridge
    • RSVP This event is FREE, but please register through Eventbrite to help us plan

    Join us for this free event to learn more about the process for updating the Cambridge Connected strategic plan and how you can get involved!

    Featuring keynote speaker Sylvia Cheuy from the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement. Sylvia is Consulting Director of the Tamarack Institute’s Collective Impact Idea Area and also supports Tamarack’s Community Engagement Idea Area. She is an internationally recognized community-builder and trainer. Over the past five years, much of Sylvia’s work has focused on building awareness and capacity in the areas of Collective Impact and Community Engagement throughout North America. Sylvia is passionate about community change and what becomes possible when residents and various sector leaders share an aspirational vision for their future. She believes that when the assets of residents and community are recognized and connected they become powerful drivers of community change.