RITE Richmond would work with staff to find options for a Neighbourhood Enhancement Plan that would create a hub in each neighbourhood that would result in a better community spirit in smaller pockets of Richmond. The hub would be in the form of a gathering place with a message board and seating area. Neighbourhoods would be encouraged to get involved in the planning of the project which should include the design and location of the hub.
Richmond has grown to be a very large city, and the quality of life in the neighbourhoods has been negatively affected. People who have lived in Richmond for decades remember a time when people knew their neighbours and communicated with them. The heart of the neighbourhood was usually the local school. It was not uncommon for neighbours to be helping each other, and getting to know each other was commonplace.
Revive community spirit, and build on the success we already have in some of the more connected neighbourhoods. This can be accomplished by getting back to basics, and it all starts with communication. So how do we learn from the success some neighbourhood have enjoyed to enhance all our neighbourhoods?
Here is our 22 step plan.
# 1 Identify the unique character of each area with a logo and unique signage
# 2 Name the area with a name commonly used or with one of historic significance
# 3 Construct a message centre conveniently located within the closest community centre or other requested place of interest.
# 4 Invite neighbours to post messages such as items for sale, services available such as baby sitting, lawn mowing etc. on the message board
# 5 Post all development permit applications at the message centre, and invite people to join the conversation on social media
# 6 Start a Facebook page or other Social media venue, made in, and owned by the community, to start people chatting and sharing about their area
# 7 Have police post on the message centre crimes in the area and encourage people to post for their neighbours any suspicious activity they may have witnessed
# 8 Start a community day in each area that is specially suited for the demographics and interests of the area
# 9 Involve community groups such as committees, sports groups, cub scouts, brownies. etc
# 10 Ask Neighbourhood Watch and Emergency Preparedness to help organize informational days to increase their program and involve residents
# 11 Request ICBC to post high traffic accident areas, and areas of high rates of vehicle thefts and vandalism
# 12 Reward involvement with awards and other recognition
# 13 Support local businesses by offering advertising space and asking for donations for various events
# 14 Collaborate with the Richmond School District staff to form partnerships for inter-generational learning at events with students and seniors in the community
# 15 Use opportunities like the Terry Fox run, Breast Cancer awareness and other charitable functions to create friendly competition between the various neighbourhoods to support great causes. Foster a sense of community pride
# 16 Arrange a garden tour to allow people to see what some residents have created in their private spaces and encourage others to join a movement for beautification in their area
# 17 Create localized maps that tell the story of the neighbourhood with points of interest and history of the area
# 18 Install park benches and mini gardens that can be used for gathering places, and allow for opportunities for community gardens
# 19 Ask fire department and local fire halls to invite the public in to learn about their good work and share their resources
# 20 Create buttons, t-shirts and hats etc. that identify each neighbourhood and sell these as a fund raiser to support programs
# 21 Evening dog walking could encourage a healthy lifestyle and improve security. The city could provide flashlights and other identification for walkers
# 22 Encourage programs, such as asking people to say, “hello”, to 5 people each day
# 22 Hold occasional garage sales to allow people to drop off unwanted goods and pick up those items they need
Cost: Minimal, each neighbourhood message centre could be built by volunteers, materials could be donated by local businesses and City Staff or residents could create designs.
Time line : The first steps should happen as soon as possible to create a message centre that will be operational by next summer.
Summary: The RITE Richmond team is committed to building better neighbourhoods and our Neighbourhood Enhancement Plan was created with simple, affordable and concrete plans to start the process. As the neighbourhoods work through the process, new ideas will flourish and the plan will grow and evolve as necessary and in the way that best suits each neighbourhood. Change can be a good thing, and RITE Richmond wants to work towards a better Richmond with a community spirit we can all be proud of.
Sample of some of our existing neighbourhoods:
Hamilton has faced isolation and lack of services.
Burkeville has the affects of living near an international airport and the threat of their school closing.
Shellmont has ten years of the Lingyen MEGA retreat proposals, the closing of the Shellmont mall, creation of Ironwood mall , Townhouse complexes and the creation of Gardens.
Edgmere has faced the densification of the arterial roads, mega houses and densification of future coach houses .
Brighouse has faced the densification of the area, traffic and construction of a new school.
Steveston has dealt with a huge increase in densification development of the waterway, destruction of heritage buildings, the filming of a TV series and much more.
Thompson is concerned about mega houses, densification of the area and the threat of multifamily complexes.
Broadmoor has seen the character change with many new people moving into mega houses and the densification of Broadmoor mall.
Seafair has watched as Broadmore was densified around the mall and seen firsthand how that changes the skyline. The artificial soccer fields have brought more traffic to the area and more noise.
City Centre is not recognizable, with a major influx of new immigrants, high rise towers and over 40 more towers to come.
East Richmond lives under the constant threat to farmland, with land being purchased by investment companies with a plan to develop the ALR land for other than farm-use purposes.
Garden City area has seen densification of high rise towers , increased traffic and an uncertain future.
South Richmond has been transformed from a farming area into grand estates with multimillion dollar mansions.
Terra Nova went from a farming community to a community with high end homes but have limited shopping and poor transportation options with the destruction of the river road corridor.
South Arm has witnessed old home being bulldozed and new large homes and three story townhouses popping up. Along with the increase of facilities in the park, changes have come fast and furious.
The Monds and the Mores are not the same with house after house being removed to make room for mega houses that often remain unoccupied and grass allowed to grow into wheat fields.
Blundell Centre has seen house prices soar as multifamily houses are built often occupied by transient people.