The City of Revelstoke has released its Integrated Community Sustainability Plan – a three part, 179-page document that looks at the community’s priorities for sustainability, the current challenges and opportunities for sustainability and actions the community can take to ensure a sustainable future.
“Revelstoke’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan sets the framework for our future. It addresses current needs and lays out goals for the future to achieve the community we want,” writes Mayor David Raven in an introduction. “Set in the context of the changes in the community over the last two decades this plan firmly establishes Revelstoke as ‘a leader in achieving a sustainable community’ as stated in our community vision.”
The plan came about through gas tax funding from the B.C. government. The plan was put together by a team of consultants led by Cindy Pearce and guided by a 13-person steering committee that included city staff, councillors, and other stakeholders. A survey was conducted of Revelstoke residents and several open houses and meetings were held while preparing the report.
The ICSP is not an operational plan for the city but instead it is supposed to provide a long-term planning perspective on community issues.
“The Sustainability Framework will act as the highest-level planning document that sets direction for City and community plans, policies and operations,” the plan states. The ICSP should be considered when making future city decisions and reports to council should look at the consistency with the plan.
Part one of the report looks at the city’s sustainability framework and the purpose and context of the ICSP. It also identifies sustainability priorities and summarizes the main points of the plan.
Part two provides a snapshot of the community’s sustainability performance as well as challenges and opportunities. Part three provides goal statements, detailed actions, timeframes and roles.
The ICSP identifies several forces that will be at play in the future – environmental, social and demographic, economic, technological and political. It looks at Revelstok’se current strengths in those areas, as well as challenges and opportunities relating to sustainability. It also goes into a detailed look at why these areas are important for a sustainable future.
On the environment, the plan identifies healthy ecosystems and a resilient climate as a priority. It sets carbon neutral energy emission targets. It looks to minimize waste and encourage responsible water use.
On social issues, the plan identifies access to affordable housing as a priority, as well as encouraging a caring and engaged community with a strong, vibrant and creative identity; and healthy, active and safe citizens.
The plan calls for a diversified economy with strong global connections and a skilled workforce.
The ICSP calls for developing strategies that can implement several goals at once, such as building a trail network linking natural areas. This would help with goals of preserving open space, biodiversity and more.
It says Revelstoke should maintain a compact community with a vibrant downtown and mixed use neighbourhoods; this would help achieve goals in land use and transportation.
Another strategy is identified as developing resilient infrastructure that is environmentally friendly.
The plan also calls for enhancing community social systems to support all residents, to strengthen Revelstoke’s position as a cultural community; and to support a diverse economy through business development, retaining and attracting a skilled workforce, and improving global transportation and communication links.
The third part of the report looks at all the goals and sets out action plans for implementing them. It also gives each action a priority and says what community group should lead the way on implementation.
The ICSP calls for regular monitoring and reporting; it recommends holding an annual public update and a “State of Sustainability” check-in report by city hall at least every three years.