Strategic plans and projects


Kitchener’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan

Our vision: "Together we will build an innovative, caring and vibrant Kitchener."

Shaping our vision for Kitchener’s future into a strategic plan started with listening to our community. We asked Kitchener residents, council members and local organizations where we should focus our efforts to make Kitchener an even more innovative, caring and vibrant city. We’re prepared to act on those priorities. Through five clear goals to give us focus and 25 action statements acting as a blueprint for success, we will ensure that staff focus on the priorities that matter most to citizens. Read more about our goals and the actions that will bring them to life below.

Work has already begun for some of the actions committed to under each of the strategic goals. For projects underway, links to the relevant website page can be found in the description of the action. Subscribe to this page, using the yellow button located on the bottom of this webpage, for updates as we add additional content and provide updates on our progress towards achieving this shared vision for Kitchener.

Read the full strategic plan:

Image of Kitchener city council

Great Customer Service title and logo

Image of People-Friendly Transportation title and icon

Image of Environmental Leadership title and icon

Image of Caring Community title and icon

Image of Vibrant Economy title and icon

Image of Accountability title

Image of United Nations Sustainability Goals title and icon

 A message from Mayor Berry Vrbanovic and council

On behalf of my fellow members of council, I would like to thank everyone who had a hand in creating our strategic plan. In particular, council would like to thank Compass Kitchener, our citizen advisory committees, staff from all levels of the city and every resident who provided us with their feedback. Your commitment and investment in our city is part of what makes our community the best place to live, work and play.

Kitchener is growing, welcoming new residents from across Canada and around the world. The actions in our strategic plan will help make Kitchener a city that feels like home for everyone. The voices and perspectives of these newcomers make us a stronger community.

It gives me great pride to see how our strategic plan aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals are the product of decades of research and accumulated experience, providing a blueprint for where we can focus our efforts in building a city where everyone can access services, get an education, pursue their career and participate fully in all aspects of our society. Studying cutting-edge research and policy alternatives helps cities around the world realize their goals. 

One of the key lessons that we’ve learned both from our history and the SDGs is that a municipal government can only succeed when it works in true partnership with the entire community. From collaboration with private businesses to partnership initiatives with community organizations and other orders of government, we will continue to work with the partners that have enabled Kitchener’s growth and success. 

As we move forward, our commitment to you is that we will continue the dialogue that resulted in this plan and report back regularly. Our plan is ambitious, achievable and we invite all of you to work with us hand-in-hand as we realize our community’s plan for action. Together, I know we will build an innovative, caring and vibrant Kitchener.

- Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic


 Great Customer Service

Our goal: Increase people’s satisfaction, trust and engagement with the city by providing friendly, easy and convenient services.

  • Provide on-demand support for customer services requests in many languages through the Corporate Contact Centre by 2020.

  • Introduce a corporate-wide Customer Satisfaction Program that will allow for the collection of real-time feedback from customers accessing city facilities, programs and services by 2020.

  • Enhance the online experience for customers by delivering customized information, providing easy access to services, and allowing them to conduct financial transactions by 2021.

  • Set specific and clearly communicated service levels for frequently asked about or accessed city services, including tree maintenance, parking, property standards complaints, snow clearing and grass cutting by 2022.

  • Implement a comprehensive program of Customer Experience Reviews to help ensure services are easy and convenient to access from the customer’s perspective by 2022.
 People-friendly Transportation
Our goal: Transform how people move through the city by making the transportation network safe, convenient, comfortable and connected.
  • Develop a set of Complete Streets (safe and comfortable) guidelines and an associated evaluation scorecard by 2020 to apply to roadway construction projects. (Completed)

  • Encourage and incentivize alternative modes of transportation by developing and subsidizing a bikeshare program by 2021.

  • Install a continuous and protected cycling network that connects adjacent neighbourhoods to the downtown by 2022.

  • Improve connectivity and year-round maintenance to multi-use trails and pathways as prioritized through the Cycling and Trails Master Plan with an initial target of providing year-round access to a minimum of an additional 3 k.m. of existing trails by 2022.

  • Develop a plan to create pedestrian-first streets between Victoria Park and City Hall and between the ION and Kitchener Market by 2022.
 Environmental Leadership
Our goal: Achieve a healthy and livable community by proactively mitigating and adapting to climate change and by conserving natural resources.
  • Launch and implement a Corporate Climate Action Plan by 2019 to achieve an absolute greenhouse gas emission reduction of at least 8% by 2026. (Completed)

  • Starting in 2019, leverage the Energy Efficiency Reserve Fund and other resources to reduce consumption and emissions at our facilities and in our operations.

  • Develop a Community Climate Action Plan with partner organizations by 2020.

  • Implement the Sustainable Urban Forest Strategy with a focus on establishing a tree canopy target by 2020 and the current (2018) tree planting backlog eliminated by 2022.

  • Reduce waste sent to landfills by implementing new waste diversion programs at our facilities and events by 2021.
 Caring Community 

Our goal: Enhance people’s sense of belonging and connection by providing welcoming community spaces and programs; better engaging, serving and supporting our diverse populations and helping to make housing affordable. 

  • Create a comprehensive Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy by 2020 to combat systemic barriers to full economic and social participation in the city.

  • Create an Affordable Housing Strategy for Kitchener by 2020 in collaboration with the Region of Waterloo, community groups and the development industry.

  • Reduce social stigmas experienced by those living with mental illness and addiction in our community through staff training and supporting the creation of appropriate safe consumption and treatment facilities in Kitchener.

  • Better utilize existing facilities, provide relevant programming at community centres, support the equitable distribution of leisure programs and resources across neighbourhoods, start the expansion of the Mill Courtland Community Centre by 2020. Start the Rosenberg Community Centre by 2021 and complete the Huron Brigadoon Community Centre and an Open Space Strategy by 2021.

  • Engage a broad cross-section of the community, including the arts and creative industry sector and multi-cultural communities to develop a new and inclusive Arts and Culture Plan by 2021.
 Vibrant Economy
Our goal: Build a vibrant city by making strategic investments to support job creation, economic prosperity, thriving arts and culture, and great places to live.
  • Complete a new Urban Design Manual by 2019 that expresses city building and design expectations to ensure vibrant new development throughout Kitchener. (Completed)

  • Foster the creation of a citywide network of incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces by completing the buildout of 44 Gaukel in 2019, advancing work on a Creative Hub and undertaking business cases in 2019-2021 for the food, manufacturing and health/med-tech industries.

  • Develop the Make it Kitchener 2.0 Strategy by 2020 with a focus on transformative actions to ensure the attraction, success and retention of diverse businesses, talent, and arts/culture across the city.

  • Complete a comprehensive city-owned property review by 2020 to determine how properties could be effectively used to advance city strategic objectives.

  • Develop a vision for downtown Kitchener and continue to position downtown Kitchener as a leading destination for redevelopment opportunities, with at least one new city-owned property brought to market by 2020. Finalize Innovation District (Bramm Yards) Master Plan by 2021 and the Civic District Master Plan by 2022.

Through collaboration between staff, the public and council, this plan captures a shared vision for Kitchener. It was built by working together and by continuing to work together, we can make Kitchener a place to earn a good living, have a good life and love where you live.

We are committed to being accountable to the community we serve. The 2019-2022 Strategic Plan contains measurable, specific actions and a timeline for completion. Our long-term financial plan, budgets and annual business plans will be aligned to implement the Strategic Plan.

We will measure and report on our progress to council and the public throughout the life of this plan. We will report to council three times a year and share results (good or bad) with Kitchener residents. The City’s Compass Kitchener Citizen Advisory Committee will review and assess our progress, and publicly report on an annual basis how well we are doing.

Partnerships will be key to our success. The effective use of technology and innovation will be key enablers to achieve success with all five goals and in delivering each of the 25 action statements. The city’s Corporate Leadership Team personally commits to be accountable for progress towards the strategic plan’s goals and to regularly report on our progress.

Subscribe to this page to receive updates on our progress and receive a notification when additional information about our strategic initiatives becomes available.

 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, world leaders from Canada and 192 other UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality, confront injustice and tackle climate change by 2030.

The UN SDGs outline the ways to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Based on leading global research, input from politicians across the globe and hundreds of non-governmental organizations including United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the SDGs identify key factors that contribute to prosperity, inclusion and sustainability.
The City of Kitchener is committed to working with the Government of Canada in embracing the universality of the 2030 Agenda and to supporting the implementation of the SDGs in Canada and internationally. 

The SDGs are global, but with a local lens, we can do our part to contribute to their success. All of the SDGs have targets directly related to the responsibilities of local and regional governments, particularly to our role in delivering direct services and programs.

Each of the 25 action statements within the 2019- 2022 strategic plan can be connected to at least one of the SDGs.




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