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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Public land-use planning for sustainable development in British Columbia : as if implementation mattered Nelson, Chad Gregory

Abstract

This study explored the nature of barriers to the implementation of sustainable development planning on Vancouver Island as perceived by land use planners. The study provides insights into strategies that planners see as useful when faced with barriers to planning for sustainable development. Recent planning literature suggested the three categories of planning employed throughout the study: political, institutional and public. Qualitative methods were used because of their strengths for producing insights into planners' decision-making in the context of their everyday work situations. The methods were also suggested by a review of planning literature and other relevant descriptive studies recently completed in the study region. The principal method used in this exploratory and inductive study was in-depth, personal interviews in which open-ended questions were asked of twenty practicing regional and city public planners from five regional districts on Vancouver Island. Respondents noted 133 challenges. These were analyzed and synthesized into 20 categories. These categories of challenges ranged from planners lacking professional credibility with elected officials and the public to institutionalized conflicts within and between municipal and provincial government departments. Respondents noted 73 planning strategies that were found to be comprised by 16 categories. The categories of strategies ranged from increasing public trust in planning through using multiple, optimal means of public consultation, to fostering interagency coordination, and educating elected officials. Possible explanations are discussed as to why respondents identified relatively few challenges and strategies explicitly related to sustainable development planning. Concluding implications are offered for professionals and agencies involved with public planning.

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