Broadway Plan Youth Engagement Strategy

Vancouver

Broadway Plan Youth Engagement Strategy

Despite living in an era when opinions are fluidly shared in the digital world, it is challenging for the City of Vancouver to receive feedback from Vancouver’s youth. For eight weeks, Langara College Applied Planning students conducted youth engagement to support the City of Vancouver and encourage youth participation in the Broadway Plan.

School:

Langara

Department:

Applied Planning

Course:

APPL 5230

Instructors:

  • Kathryn Nairne

City of Vancouver:

  • Andrew Misiak

Student Team:

  • Zoe Greenberg
  • Miles Stroh
  • Patricia Taylor
  • Alissa Theobald

Strategy:

  • Broadway Plan

Term:

Spring 2021

Summary

In March 2019, the City of Vancouver launched a comprehensive 30-year area plan to improve the Broadway Corridor. Later, when Phase 2 of public engagement began in early 2021, input from Vancouver’s youth was significantly less than that of other demographics. To support this process, Langara College Applied Planning students were tasked with developing and implementing a youth engagement strategy; the target demographic was between the ages 13 and 30. Our goal was to increase the number of survey responses received by the City of Vancouver, and to assess the overall effectiveness of our processes with consideration for future engagement opportunities.

Engagement techniques were selected with consideration for the IAP2 spectrum, relatability to the target demographic, and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the engagement plan was to drive youth to complete an online survey. We worked in three teams, each dedicated to a neighbourhood along the Broadway Corridor: Mount Pleasant, Fairview, and Kitsilano. Core channels for driving awareness about our surveys included social media outreach on student networks, placing posters throughout each neighbourhood, promoting through a local business, and conducting an Instagram takeover on Langara Colleges’ account.

Surveys were live from March 8 to March 31 2021. We received 424 responses, with additional input collected at a virtual youth workshop we helped organize and facilitate. Feedback indicated that the most well received area-wide policy was in regards to public spaces, while housing had the least support. Responses also informed that 44% of participants were hearing about the Broadway Plan for the first time, 51% of respondents live or work in the Broadway Plan area, and that 64% of engagement was driven via student networks. Our findings suggest that capturing the attention of youth does not require large budgets, rather, that the messaging is shared through appropriate channels.