Dawson Creek, British Columbia Road Map to Sustainability
Why Sustainability Planning?
Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A cornerstone of sustainability is the recognition that all aspects of society and the natural environment (including governance, the economy, culture, infrastructure and natural resources) are interconnected.
Sustainability planning will help Dawson Creek develop and move towards a sustainable vision for the municipality. It will provide a framework for integrating sustainability thinking into every day decision-making.
Steps in Sustainability Planning
A community sustainability planning process typically involves Council, staff, the public, community organizations and businesses in order to provide a diverse number of perspectives and to begin to build support for the long-term sustainable community vision.
Dawson Creek is including the following steps in its sustainability planning process:
Pre-planning – complete
During the pre-planning phase, Dawson Creek created its initial “roadmap” outlining how the ICSP process would unfold. As Dawson Creek’s process moves forward, adaptations are continually being made to this original roadmap in order to maintain a flexible and responsive planning process.
Phase 1 – Vision – complete
Phase 1 – The City’s Vision and Mission statements were revised during Phase 1. Council crafted the new statements based on input gathered through the 2003 public consultation process. While the old vision statement reflected the economic aspects of the community’s priorities, the new vision is designed to emphasize all aspects of sustainability.
Also during Phase 1, a representative from The Natural Step Canada was contracted to provide two days of training in Natural Step principles. This training helped to clarify a common understanding of sustainability among the people who are anticipated to play key roles in the forthcoming stages of the planning process.
Phase 2 – Baseline – June-September 2007
The City is now well positioned to embark on Phase 2 of its ICSP process. During Phase 2, the City will take stock of existing plans and policies. This information will be gathered through interviews with key staff and community members, as well as document review. The goal of Phase 2 is to determine how existing plans and policies are working together to promote sustainability, where inconsistencies may be occurring and where gaps exist in current planning work.
Phase 3 – Strategies and Actions – October, 2007 – January, 2008
In Phase 3, working groups composed mainly of key staff and community members will be struck for each gap area identified in Phase 2. The goal of the working groups will be to present specific recommendations for strategies and actions to help address the gaps.
Phase 4 – Compilation and Integration – February-June, 2008
In Phase 4 the project team will compile the recommendations from the working groups. Once the recommendations are approved, the project team will begin to integrate strategies and actions into existing planning documents in conjunction with the appropriate city staff or community members.
During Phase 4, a series of targets and indicators will be developed for each pillar of sustainability (economic, environmental, social, cultural and governance). The project team will develop a monitoring plan that will assign responsibility for any planning or other activities that have been identified by the working groups as well as responsibilities for collecting indicator data and tracking progress towards the targets.