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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Implementing visions for sustainable development in regional land use planning Käärik, Aili R.


Large scale natural resource policies, which focus on environmental objectives from a global perspective and cut across sectors and disciplines, are often motivated by a desire to find general models for resource use. These large scale policies, in this thesis refered to as Grand Visions, focus on sustainable development which is now a priority issue of governments. However, visionary policies often fall short of providing workable "how-to" solutions for practitioners. This interdisciplinary thesis bridges the gap between visionary policies and regional planning by developing a "road map" for practitioners which addresses the priorities of global concerns while maintaining practicality. Planned management of land resources is an essential part of implementing sustainable development concepts. The challenge was to find a means of implementing sustainable development in a regional land use planning context. The link between large scale policy and regional implementation was forged through translating broad qualitative guidelines into actions for regional and local planning. The schema was developed through literature, interviews, and case study analyses, and was tested through application in regional jurisdictions. An evaluation framework to compare the case studies was developed from the literature. It consists of twenty parallel principles: ten for Grand Visions and ten for regional planning. The research was focused on natural resource policy and planning in Sweden and Canada. Regional planning examples from Anuner An and Kluane were analysed. Analysis revealed overlaps and inconsistencies between Grand Vision and planning principles. Despite the gaps, bridging was found to be possible. To counteract the inherent imbalance between visionary policies and practical planning approaches, a reversed emphasis is proposed. Resource policy objectives, structures and implementation processes need go beyond reflecting Grand Vision principles by emphasizing planning objectives more explicitly as well as institutional and process factors. On the other hand, planning approaches need to reflect Grand Vision principles, emphasizing substantive objectives. In summary, this thesis addresses the problem of implementing large scale visionary resource policies through developing and utilizing analytical frameworks from both theory and field situations in two countries. Its major contribution is the identification of gaps between visionary policies and planning and specification of means of bridging these gaps.

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