The Planning Institute of BC has named the City of Quesnel and Urban Systems Ltd. the Gold Winner for Excellence in Planning Practice – Small Town & Rural Areas in their 2020 Awards for the work done to create the Quesnel Waterfront Plan.
The Institute (PIBC) annually recognizes the professional work and individual accomplishments of members across BC and the Yukon through its awards and recognition programs.
The group says “the Quesnel Waterfront Plan encapsulated a framework and plan to capitalize on the community’s unique location at the confluence of rivers and creeks. The project scope included eight kilometres of waterfront in Quesnel’s core and identified opportunities to improve public access to and create vibrant inclusive spaces along the waterfront.”
The Institute went on to say that building on market analysis research, this project articulated a vision and illustrated a future plan for the riverfront that is based on realistic economic development opportunities.
The plan strategies include trail renewal and connectivity, river access, riparian restoration, water celebration, indigenous visibility, public art, places to rest, brand identity, and social media presence.
It also includes an RV park, white water feature enhancements, viewing towers and an augmented reality app.
The Waterfront Plan, estimated at around 24 1/2 million dollars at the time, was adopted by Quesnel City Council in December of 2019.
The timeline for implementation is over the next twenty years.
The city received input from a variety of groups…Quesnel Downtown Association, West Quesnel Business Association, Quesnel Search & Rescue, Big Canyon Rafting, Baker Creek Enhancement Society, Friends of Quesnel Museum, City of Quesnel Chamber of Commerce, Lhtako Dene Nazko First Nation, Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance (as directed or via Lhtako or Nazko) and the Quesnel Tillicum Society Native Friendship Centre.
The general community also took part in the planning.