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Strategies for overcoming resistance to change

Quite naturally all of us take a dim view of change that costs a lot but achieves only a little. Over time we develop an automatic reaction that represents a prolonged exposure to projects that have promised a lot, but delivered little. In general, Nanaimo is in such a place right now. Downtown Nanaimo has been the victim of a long string of projects that have promised downtown revitalization, but have ended up achieving nothing. Taxpayers are justifiably weary of such efforts while large areas of our downtown still remain mostly unused. Poor planning, sketchy promoters, and uninformed leadership have taken a toll; costing us lost opportunities and wasteful effort. 

Overcoming this resistance to change to create a downtown that is more used and therefore more productive will require a considerable effort over and above the effort of building something of value.

Resistance to change can sometimes be weakened with small inexpensive successes.  Organized small interventions can sometimes stimulate development of neighbourhood amenities and imaginative programming. Perhaps citizen led events in public spaces like the hole left by the destruction of the Jean Burns Building can rejuvenate the city's interest in developing this area to the benefit of everyone. 


Unfortunately, nothing that we do or build in this area will have a significant lasting impact until the homeless are no longer living on the street and are placed in suitable shelters. Successfully, addressing the needs of the homeless would overcome a lot of resistance to change and allow for development that could actually contribute to the economy of the whole city. 

classic old frontage.JPG
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