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City of Fort St.

Committee of the Whole
Winter City Strategy Recap

Chad Carlstrom
Dan Penner
January 22, 2018
Why are we here?
• We are here to create change that embraces the winter community
we live in.
City of Fort St. John: Urban Systems:
Mayor Ackerman Chad Carlstrom
Dianne Hunter, CAO Edward Stanford
Moira Green, Director of Strategic Services
Craig Stanley, Director of Facilities & Grounds
City of Fort St. John: Urban Systems:
Mayor Lori Ackerman Chad Carlstrom
Councillor Gord Klassen Dan Penner
Councillor Larry Evans Edward Stanford
Councillor Byron Stewart
Councillor Bruce Christensen

Moira Green, Director of Strategic Services
Robin Langille, Director of Facilities & Grounds
Kylah Bryde, Recreation Manager
Lisa Rowbotham, Community Development
Changing Mindsets; Embracing Winter
Fort St. John, a good start!
Our approach:
• Not a plan, an action-oriented Winter City Strategy Team
• Shared responsibilities
• Focus on implementing small changes with big impacts
• “Micro-projects”
Winter City Strategy Team
Lori Ackerman, Mayor Nelson Stowe, Chamber of Commerce
Larry Evans, Councillor Danielle Layman, SmartyPantz
Dianne Hunter, CAO Tony Warriner, Evangel Chapel
Moira Green, Director of Strategic Services Diane Abel, Treaty 8
Jennifer Decker, Director of Strategic Services Devery Robbins, Whole Wheat & Honey
Julie Rogers, Communications Coordinator Eliza Stanford, Whickey Jack Nordic Ski Club / Arts Council
Robin Langille, Director of Facilities & Grounds Jane Drew, SD60 SWIS Coordinator
Victor Shopland, Director of Infrastructure and Public Works Adam Raeburn, Moose FM
Ken Rogers, Director of Development Edwina Nearhood, Nearhood Appraisal Services
Lisa Rowbotham, Community Development Coordinator Judah Kolie, The Beam
Patrick Fredericks, Community Member
Edward Stanford, Urban Systems Russell Eggleston, Sound in Town
Dan Penner, Urban Systems Jean Leahy, Save Our Northern Seniors
Chad Carlstrom, Urban Systems Amanda Trotter, Women’s Resource Society
Shared Responsibilities

Private Municipal
Meeting Structure
• Plan for winter in winter
• Education on 4 principles of winter city planning
• Physical
• Social
• Economical
• Policy
• Homework: be observant, and share your observations
• What creates happiness?
• What causes frustrations? What are the barriers?
• Observations + Creative Thinking  Ideas
• Ideas + Action  Change
Happiness, Frustrations, & Barriers
• Happier citizens during winter →→ Indicators of a better winter city

• Frustration – an emotional feeling caused by a stimulus, especially
because of an inability to change something.
• Barrier – an obstacle that restricts an action.

• Repeated exposures to frustrations can become a barrier.
• Some items can be both a frustration and a barrier.
What is a Winter City?
• There is no official definition
• Some typical characteristics include:
• Average January temperatures below 0° C
• Location above the 45th parallel
• Snowfall, freezing rain and slush
• Shorter daylight hours
• Wind chill and blowing snow
• Different communities experience winter in different ways
• Community perceptions of winter differ greatly
How Does Winter Affect Us?

Decreased physical activity + decreased social interaction + decrease in daylight hours =
The Winter Blues (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

• Tendency to overprotect ourselves from winter elements
• House Car Work Car House
4 Principles of Winter City Planning
Physical – How does the built environment respond to winter conditions?

Social – What social challenges emerge or are compounded during winter?

Economic – Do economic opportunities or challenges emerge during winter?

Policy – How do we factor in winter to local decision making and administration?
Principle 1: Physical
• How does the built environment respond to winter conditions
• The built environment includes:
• Streets, pathways and right-of-ways
• Public buildings and facilities
• School sites
• Parks and open spaces
• And everything in-between
• What microclimates is our built environment creating?
Street Orientation & Design
• Designing our street network to combat against prevailing winds

• Minimizing “Urban Canyons”

• Including winter friendly features into street construction/design:
• Boulevards
• Short blocks
• Bumpouts and raised crosswalks
• Trees and planters
• Street furniture and windblocks
• Wide Sidewalks
• Non-slip surfacing
Neighbourhood Planning & Land Use
• Ensuring a diversity of uses into all neighbourhoods
• Using building siting and orientation to provide protection to public
• Using buildings to promote solar capture and wind
• Rule of a coffee shop and central public space in every
• Incorporating good street design (as discussed on previous slide)
Buildings and Public Spaces
• Buildings, both individually and as a collective, should focus on:
• Capturing direct sunshine
• Mitigating/blocking prevailing winds
• Creating warmth through color and lighting
• Proper building orientation and siting = greater human comfort
• Impact of inner courtyards (mini microclimates)
• Very important in communities that receive little winter sunshine
• Lighting can have big impacts on:
• Feelings of safety
• Human emotion (darkness is a negative stimuli)
• Usability of public spaces/infrastructure
• General willingness to be outside
• Ability to take winter selfies
• Effective lighting is a simple and affordable solution
Principle 2: Social
• How do different demographics experience winter?
• How do we perceive winter and communicate with each other?
• What new social challenges emerge or magnify during winter?
• How is winter embedded in our local culture?
• What opportunities exist to educate, celebrate and recognize winter?
Social Elements of a Winter City
Local Culture Communication Safety & Well-Being Demographic Needs
Principle 3: Economic
• What are the economic challenges and opportunities experienced in a
• Macro
• Community/Regional
• Micro
• Segmental (e.g. downtown)
• Business Groups (e.g. Chamber of Commerce)
• Individual Level
• Families and individuals
• Individual Businesses
Macro-Level Winter Interventions
• Winter Promotion Events
• Community wide/regional events festivals and competitions
• High on Ice, U17 Hockey, Crystal Cup, Masters Speedskating
• Winter Tourism
• E.g. Hub for cross country skiing, ice fishing, etc.
• Winter focused subsidies, grants, or supports
Micro-Level Winter Interventions
• Winter Promotion Events
• Neighbourhood/group specific events, festivals, and competitions
• Party in the Parka
• Business Improvement Areas
• Small physical improvements
• Outdoor winter patios, additional maintenance, seasonal lighting
• Outdoor markets
• Focused incentive programs
• Façade and lighting improvement program
Individual Economic Interventions
• Transit/Utility assistance
• Retrofitting individual homes and businesses
• Seasonal employment opportunities
Principle 4: Policy
• The frameworks that shape a community’s decision making
• Processes involved in the day-to-day and long term operations and management
of a community
• Some current policy initiatives currently taking place:
• Official Community Plan update (Winter focused section)
• Rebirth of the 2000 Winter Design Guidelines
• New downtown residential zones for future bylaw amendment

• Question:
• Does your organization have policies in place that could be “winterized”?
Winter Concept Renderings
Visualizing the possibilities
Winter City Micro Projects
Implementing small changes to incrementally become a greater winter city.
Leave a light on
• Leave storefront and
exterior house lights on
to create a warm,
environment when
sunlight is limited
Free Winter Sand
Winter Park Design
Winter Park Enhancements
• Encourage winter enjoyment
and exploration of parks with
winter features
Positive Winter Communication
• Changing attitudes towards how winter is
perceived by changing how we communicate
• Words matter
Winter Walks to School
New Arrivals Winter Package
Shovel Your Street Competition
• Reduces barriers to walking in winter
• Celebrate successes with friendly competition
• Act of winter community service
• Shared responsibility
• Using bylaw to enforce action is last resort
Winter Block Captain Program
Lighted Metal Trees
Winter Themed Banners (Not Holiday Banners)
Winter Fashion Show
Winter Fashion Show
Winter Fashion Show
Indigenous Winter Village
Community Trail Lighting
Community Trail Lighting
Outdoor Winter Patio
Community Fire Pits
Winterize Your Space Program
Winter Movie in the Park
Snow Angels Program
Warming Huts
Warming Huts
City Centre Square Skating Rink
“It is the cumulative effect of small-scale interventions and incremental
responses embodied in policies and designs which will contribute to
the achievement of the livable winter city”
-Norman Pressman
How will you make Fort St. John a better winter city?

Thank You!