County of Bruce: Cultural Strategies and Revitalization
Rural communities taking initiative in regards downtown revitalization and civic beautification.
The main innovative initiative is ‘Spruce the Bruce’, which is based on the four pillars of downtown development, mainstreet programme from the University of Maryland.
Being a smaller government Bruce County decided to take this approach rather than hiring a consultant to produce a design document.
Official Plan Policy
126.96.36.199 Local Official Plans.
2. The local Of cial Plans for Primary Urban Communities shall contain, as a minimum, general development and land use policies dealing with the following issues:
i) The Natural and Built Environment;
ii) Community Improvement;
iii) Municipal Services;
iv) Heritage Resources;
vi) Economic Development; and
vii) Their share of the total future overall County growth projection.
Spruce the Bruce
This initiative entailed creating a design toolkit that is four pages long.
This toolkit guides towns and hamlets by asking the community what their unique selling feature is, what makes them different how they want to market themselves.
Some of the other elements that the programme focuses on are economic development, community marketing, and brand reinforcement.
Key Lessons and Tools
Start small and practical and then grow the initiaitves upon further support.
Projects that address multiple needs are often more politically supportable.
Focus on implementation and follow-through.
Measure results and get the results out to the public
Chris LaForest, Director of Planning