District Wealth Creation Strategy

A District Wealth Creation Strategy was commissioned by Uptown Saint John (Canada) to establish a coherent vision for the uptown peninsula that would increase its cultural vibrancy, grow its creative and cultural economy, and provide strong cultural and entertainment experiences for both residents and tourists. Experience in other cities demonstrates that successful districts generate significant municipal revenues and are engines for growing local economies. The goals was to leverage the city’s cultural assets so that Saint John would stand out among the global competition for people and investment.

The core assignment was to identify five foundational projects that Uptown Saint John and its partners could implement to advance these goals. The strategy identified these projects, placing them in a larger strategic framework to support their implementation and, more broadly, to strengthen Saint John’s capacity to realize its potential as a creative city.

​The study took place over seven months involving a range of research and community consultation. ​The strategy comprised four elements:

  • ​​​Vision and Principles – development of a statement of the importance of creativity and culture to Saint John’s future prosperity and quality of life: Principles for Creative Place Making
  • Governance – recommendations about how the municipality could better organize to support creativity and culture, and proposals for a Leadership and Shared Governance system to support business and community partnerships.
  • Strategies and Actions – recommendations and conclusions about key projects and broader urban development approaches to different segments/precincts of the Uptown.
  • Implementation Process and Tools – a recommended path forward to implement the strategy and financial tools and investment mechanisms to support its implementation.