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Transition in Tofino and Ucluelet : using indicators to become more sustainable Bailey, Richard James

Abstract

Many small communities in British Columbia are dramatically affected by economic transition. This project discusses how two communities, Tofino and Ucluelet, have responded to transition and how indicators can lead to a more sustainable future. While the communities share several similar biophysical and geographical traits, key differences exist in their historical and socioeconomic development. The communities, dependent on natural resources throughout their history, have developed different responses to the challenges created by transition. This project will discuss the transition experiences of Tofino and Ucluelet and detail how sustainable development tools (indicators) can help the communities move towards a more sustainable future. This project is guided by three key questions. First, the project considers the factors contributing to structural economic transition in Tofino and Ucluelet within the context of British Columbia as a whole. Secondly, the project examines how the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet have addressed the challenges of economic transition and how are they planning for sustainability. Finally, the project addresses how sustainability indicators can be used by the respective communities to move towards a more sustainable future. This project drew on information from the literature related to economic transition, sustainability indicators, and from interviews with the Planners in Tofino and Ucluelet. A process for how Tofino and Ucluelet could develop indicators is provided. Additionally, key environmental, socio-economic, and tourism indicators are provided that address some of the planning issues in the two communities. The project suggests that planners need to work with communities to facilitate the development of indicators that support principles of sustainability. Finally, it is suggested that a mechanism be developed to integrate indicators into formal planning practice.

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