The City of North Battleford is looking at establishing designated neighbourhoods throughout the city as part of its work in bringing residents together and improve community safety.
The project, called Formalizing Neighbourhoods, is a Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) Review Committee initiative.
Community Safety Coordinator Herb Sutton spoke to council and at its meeting Monday, and presented proposed plans for the project.
He said the aim of the project is to bring people in each neighbourhood together, and at the same time create an environment that is safe from crime. The project will involve giving neighbourhoods formal names and establishing the boundary for each neighbourhood.
"It's easier to create that when you have smaller areas that are identified," said Sutton. "Ideally you do it block by block and get to know your neighbours. The smaller the entities that we can create, the better and easier it is to create that sense of pride, and sense of community."
"We say repeatedly, the safest communities in the world are ones where people know each other, they care about each other, they look out for each other. If we can do that by creating formalized neighbourhoods working within those neighbourhoods that will over time help create a safer community," he added.
North Battleford Mayor Ryan Bater supports the idea.
“I think we all want to live in a city where we know our neighbours and we engage our neighbours,” he said. “Formalizing the neighbourhoods is a great initiative to engage the community, and [help] people get to know the people around them.
“The report that came [at council] was an update. I think moving forward we will not just formalize those neighbourhoods, but develop plans to have formal organizations associated with them as well,” the mayor added.
Organizers are planning two community meetings – Nov. 7 at Connaught School and Nov. 15 at John Paul II Collegiate – to discuss the project and gather feedback.
The CPTED committee will also meet with Indigenous elders in late November to further discuss the project from an Indigenous perspective.
Housing needs survey
The City of North Battleford is also involved in a community survey focusing on housing needs that's set to close on October 31.
"Affordable housing is a big issue for me," said Sutton. "When there are issues around housing security or food security, that can potentially lead to opportunities for crime. If you have people in good housing conditions, that will reduce those opportunities."
V3 Companies of Canada is organizing the project and tabulating the survey results.
The organizers will be holding an open house at the North Battleford Library from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 to discuss the study.
If anyone wants to complete the survey yet, it is available online.
On Twitter: @battlefordsnow
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