Community Hub exploration continues

October 24, 2018

Community Hub exploration continues

On October 23, 2018, Strathcona County, together with its consultant Intelligent Futures, presented a report to Council reflecting community engagement during the exploration of the design, functionality and feasibility of a community hub model to help meet rural and urban resident needs.

The Strathcona County Community Hub Study report is an important milestone for continuing the Social Framework’s four outcomes of affordability, access to programs and services, safety, connectedness and inclusion, as well as meeting goals listed in Strathcona County’s strategic plan. The community hub could serve as a central space for residents to access needed social services and programs in a timely manner, while creating opportunities for community agencies and public services to work in new ways together.

To honour the Social Framework’s co-creation principle, 175 attendees from potential non-profit and government partners were invited to work alongside Strathcona County in workshops and dialogue during a three-phased community hub conceptualization process. In addition, over 630 people who live or work in Strathcona County responded to an online survey to share their ideas on the possible mix of services that could be available in a community hub. The study also examined existing community hub models throughout Canada for best practices.

The study provides an overview of the following key elements for a potential community hub to meet the needs of Strathcona County residents: synergy, service and space. Synergy refers to the dynamic that exists between everyone who participates in the community hub; service refers to the recommended core services for all stages of life; space refers to the physical areas that define the spaces of the community hub.

During the engagement process, many ideas surfaced about amenities that could be included in the space, such as a community kitchen, drop-in childcare, lend and swap shop, job training and an art gallery. Ideas for exterior design include comfortable outdoor spaces, community garden, play space, event space, community libraries or pantries and public landscape or art feature.

In addition to exploring the above key elements, the study provides direction on the community hub’s location; including consideration of transportation options, proximity to other services and amenities, as well as delivery models that serve rural residents. Governance considerations were also explored, including models ranging from single funder to shared contributions of multiple organizations.

Moving forward, the study will help guide the exploration, assessment and consideration of possibilities as Strathcona County and its community stakeholders consider the potential of a community hub. Next steps include broader public engagement, potential partner exploration, business planning, potential site location and refined design planning.

More information or call 780-464-4044.

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of over 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.


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Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595