The Community for All: Parks and Buildings Assessment was an action item of City of Kelowna’s recently adopted Community for All Ages Action Plan. In working towards becoming a city that is healthy, safe, active, and inclusive for seniors, children, and those with diverse abilities, the Community for All: Parks and Buildings Assessment measured all public parks and buildings in relation to age and ability friendliness.
This project included the creation of checklist, one for both parks and buildings, that were used by staff to properly assess each site. The checklists were created by referencing the following information: design standards applied in other municipalities; the BC Building Code’s Access Design Standards; World Health Organization’s ‘Checklist of Essential Feature of Age-friendly Cities; best practices of environmental design; and stakeholder engagement feedback.
Prior to completing the assessments, staff went through a training exercise that included lectures on Environmental Design for Dementia and Alzheimer’s, a study of the various guidelines listed previously, and on-site training through lived experience. In the lived experience training, members of the stakeholder group provided a real time version of their experience visiting City Park and City Hall. This helped the assessors understand the depth of challenges faced by those with varying physical and mental abilities.
With the data now collected, which consists of a completed assessment checklist and site photographs for each park and building site, staff are working on preparing a final report which will identify areas for improvement as well as areas in which we are succeeding. This report will be used to guide staff in planning infrastructure improvements across the portfolio of parks and buildings.
Lindsay Clement, MBCSLA, CSLA
Park and Landscape Planner | City of Kelowna