Waterloo moves forward with bold new strategic plan

Posted On Wednesday July 03, 2019

On Monday, June 24, 2019, Waterloo Council approved a new strategic plan that provides a common focus for council and staff for the next four years. 

The 2019-2022 strategic plan is comprised of mission and vision statements, and six strategic goals with 19 objectives. It also includes seven guiding principles that serve as the lens by which council and staff make decisions as they work to achieve the goals and objectives in the plan. 

“I’m very proud of this strategic plan,” says Mayor Dave Jaworsky. “It charts a bold path with equity, inclusion and a sense of belonging right at the forefront. A community is only as strong as its people, and this strategic plan keeps our citizens, and their values and vision for our city, top of mind. I look forward to working alongside staff and our community to make this vision a reality.”  

These are the strategic goals and objectives:

Equity, inclusion and a sense of belonging – Strengthen Waterloo as a diverse and inclusive community.

  1. Implement strategies and tactics that strengthen the engagement of diverse and marginalized populations, and all ages, and support an enhanced sense of belonging within the community.
  2. Incorporate best practices to maximize inclusion within all city business, operations, and service delivery.
  3. Address the needs of an aging population through responsive development, programming, and communication strategies.
  4. Focus on the economic disparity in our community by ensuring our work considers the impacts of this gap.
  5. Respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action for municipalities.

Sustainability & the environment – Transform Waterloo to be an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable community.

  1. Apply a sustainability lens on all services and projects.
  2. Enable bold local actions to address the climate change crisis.

Safe, sustainable transportation – Improve all modes of transportation to make Waterloo more mobile, accessible and connected.

  1. Adopt Vision Zero practices and tactics to enable safe travel by all modes of transportation.
  2. To facilitate a modal shift, enable increased use of active transportation and public transit.

Healthy community & resilient neighbourhoods – Position Waterloo as a strong and resilient community.

  1. Increase the amount of affordable housing in the city.
  2. Create and maintain safe, accessible and vibrant public spaces that promote opportunities for diverse use.
  3. Support the arts and culture community to enhance Waterloo’s quality of place.

Infrastructure renewal – Focus on infrastructure needs through effective planning and engagement.

  1. Optimize usage and efficiency of existing facilities and assets.
  2. Dedicate appropriate resources to plan, renew and maintain existing infrastructure.
  3. Develop engagement strategies that effectively communicate and balance community priorities with operational and financial realities.
  4. Address the infrastructure deficit.

Economic growth and development – Foster a robust and diversified economy.

  1.  Actively attract and nurture innovation among businesses to fuel a diverse economy.
  2. Align economic development and job growth with community development objectives that address economic disparity.
  3. Celebrate the connection with education partners to fully leverage growth opportunities.

The concepts of equity and inclusion surfaced as a strategic pillar, as well as one of the guiding principles, at a time when City of Waterloo staff are working to improve equity, diversity and inclusion internally across the corporation. This work will provide staff with a foundation and framework to better support each other, and the community at large, with a commitment to delivering the excellent service and quality of life that our citizens have come to expect and deserve. The quality of life that citizens rated so highly last year when we conducted our first citizen satisfaction survey. 

Next steps:

Our business plans and budgets will align with the strategic plan to ensure our programs and services aim to achieve these goals. Projects and other action items will be included, which in turn, drive the budget process, lending critical insight into how achievable the objectives are, what resources are required to act on them and how they will be accomplished.  

Throughout the duration of this plan, we will review and report on our progress, to ensure we are on the right track and that we share our progress with the community. 

We thank the community for its contribution to the development of this strategic plan. Nearly 11,000 people contributed through telephone interviews, online surveys, workshops and in-person discussions. 

To read the full strategic plan report, as well as other supporting documents, please visit engagewr.ca/waterloo



Media contact:

Shelly Reed
Communications consultant