Neighbourhood Mapping Project

The Vancouver City Planning Commission conducted a pilot project in partnership with Smart Growth BC to explore a new approach to citizen engagement and community asset mapping. The two case study neighbourhoods selected were Grandview Woodland and Douglas Park.

YouMap Festival Storefront

Storefront location for YouMap festival

The project was based on the idea that the amenities that make neighbourhoods good places to live are a combination of traditional institutional amenities like parks and libraries, as well as ‘soft’ amenities such as neighbourhood-oriented shops and strong social networks. Many are intangible, developing organically through grassroots and private sector initiatives, without City direction. Mapping both kinds of amenities could provide a helpful foundation for conversations about change.

YouMapVancouver used a combination of traditional pubic engagement methods such as neighbourhood asset mapping with new internet-based mapping technologies within the venue of a neighbourhood festival. Residents were engaged in face-to-face dialogues about what they value in their neighbourhoods, and ideas for what could be improved and how that could happen.

YouMap mapping tool

Image from YouMap online mapping tool

The outcomes of the pilot project included information about residents’ reflections about their neighbourhood assets and amenities, and reflections on methods of engaging residents in meaningful dialogue about their neighbourhoods. The implementation of the project was supported by a website that provided information and included an interactive mapping tool for residents to use in locating the amenities that they most valued. Information from the website has been incorporated here, along with examples of communication materials.

The project has been documented in a detailed report.

Article about YouMap: Mapping Neighbourhood Needs and Assets [pdf] [link]