UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sustainability action planning of small communities in British Columbia Luther, Elliz Allisha


Environmental changes associated with climate change have caused planners to incorporate sustainability into community planning processes. As a result, long term community sustainability has become an important objective to help mitigate the changes to the external environment. Issues surrounding land use, water quality, air quality transportation and waste management have been identified by communities as target areas for sustainability planning. This thesis examines the role of sustainability in the planning processes of small communities in British Columbia using Peachland and Armstrong as case studies. Small communities in particular have faced great challenges when developing objectives for long term community sustainability with varying levels of civic engagement and cultural capital. While federal and provincial governments have developed toolkits to help assist communities in planning sustainably, most of these toolkits have been developed for larger communities whose governance structures differ and where scale and intensity for community planning issues are very different when compared to small communities. Therefore, this thesis also investigates the role of governance in the planning processes of small communities. The governance structures of municipal governments have undergone a transitioning order to understand how sustainability is achieved in small communities, systems for decision making, accountability and responsibility must also be examined. Federal and provincial governments have been downloading more responsibility to municipal governments and dispersing more responsibility to the public sector. This thesis further investigates how shifts in governance falls align with neo-liberal strategies that force the community and the individual to take responsibility for decision making and accountability surrounding community planning and the overall welfare of the community.

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