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Building Sustainable Communities 2013. Research Project. Community Sustainability Planning and Rural BC. The Fraser Basin Council advancing sustainability throughout BC. Background. 2005 Federal Gas Tax Agreement Clean air – Clean water – Reduce GHG’s

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Research project

Building Sustainable Communities 2013

Research Project

Community Sustainability Planning and Rural BC

The Fraser Basin Council

advancing sustainability throughout BC


  • 2005 Federal Gas Tax Agreement

  • Clean air – Clean water – Reduce GHG’s

  • Also established Integrated Community Sustainability Planning (ICSP) across Canada

  • In BC, all LG’s must show that they are applying the seven sustainability planning principles, in return for receiving their per capita gas tax funding.

The challenge
The Challenge

How does this ICSP ‘thing’ work for rural regional districts and small municipalities?

Research goals - to identify for rural BC:

1) what constitutes a successful ICSP process

2) what actions are suitable for a sustainability strategy

3) rural areas’ relationship with urban and provincial sustainability goals.

Defining ‘Rural’

For this research project, rural is defined as:

All the unincorporated areas within BC’s regional districts (except Metro Vancouver); and

All the regional districts’ municipalities (except those in Metro Vancouver) with pops of 10,000 or less.

Research results highlights
Research Results - Highlights

ICSP Process (as of 2011-2012):

Completed 18.4%

Underway 19.2%

Not started 47.2%

Don’t know 15.2%

Highlights successful process

Highlights – Successful Process

Use in-house staff plus outside expertise

Develop own process

Adequate human and financial resources

Formal adoption of final documents

Community participation

Commitment to implementation

Support from elected officials and community leaders

Highlights actions for rural strategies

Highlights – Actions forRural Strategies

#1. Protecting drinking water supplies

#2. Pursuing economic diversification

#3. Supporting locally owned small businesses

#3. Encouraging health and social well-being

Highlights factors in choosing actions

Highlights – Factors in Choosing Actions

Very important/Important:

Support from elected officials and community leaders

Access to funding

Costs of implementation

Less/Not Important

Helps urban areas in my regional district and/or province

Proximity to urban areas

Contribution to provincial sustainability goals

Highlights level of realism for implementing sustainability strategy actions
Highlights: Level of Realism for Implementing Sustainability Strategy Actions

Focus groups highlights

Focus Groups Highlights

Definition of sustainability is same; crucial differences:

specific challenges or issues

application of concepts

implementation and best practices

benchmarks and indicators

Rural strategies would be different in:

values content specific

lifestyle implementation

Focus groups highlights1

Focus Groups Highlights

Strategies – priority topics:

Health care



Economic development

Issue specific findings

Issue Specific Findings

Agricultural land, local food, and rural/urban sprawl

Important actions to include in a strategy

Implementing these actions seen as somewhat, less, or not realistic

“The plan has to be believable and the public has to believe that it can be accomplished.”Questions? Comments?

Thanks to Pacific Institute

for Climate Solutions

Further information

Further Information believe that it can be accomplished.”

Joan Chess, MCIP, RPP

Research Project Manager


Program Manager, Smart Planning for Communities

[email protected]