Community Sustainability Plans in New Brunswick
People in New Brunswick are working to create sustainable communities - liveable, healthy and safe. Sustainable communities aim for a clean environment, a strong economy and nurturing of cultural and social values. New Brunswickers want clean air and water, and green spaces to recreate and protect biodiversity. They also want effective governance and a vision for the future.
The first step in achieving a sustainable community is to create a Sustainability Plan. Whether it is called an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, or a Green Plan, a successful plan will link and integrate environmental, social and economic goals.
Some New Brunswick communities have prepared and implemented plans to describe the kind of future they want (see the Table below). Other communities are in the process of creating an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan or a Green Plan, or considering when a Sustainability Plan might be right for them.
|What is a Sustainability Plan?
A community management plan that aims for environmental, social and economic sustainability in a liveable community. It is integrated and inclusive and action oriented.
Although a Sustainability Plan can take many forms, New Brunswick has a toolkit for preparing a successful plan. The toolkit stresses that a sustainability plan should:
- be comprehensive, incorporating environmental, social and economic goals and values
- include Sustainability Principles to guide community action
- include a Vision and Goals for the short and long term
- engage the public in building the plan and its components
- focus on implementation - Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound
- be linked to the municipal or rural plan to ensure implementation.
Green Plans may address many issues important to the community, including:
- Clean air and water
- Healthy citizens
- Energy efficiency
- Local food and agriculture
- Adaptation to climate change
- Coastal protection
- Flood Protection
- Economic diversity
- Poverty reduction
- Buildings and infrastructure
- Green space
- Ecosystem and biodiversity protection
- Recreational opportunities
- Building capacity
A sustainable community works to "achieve balance between overlapping values of social equity, economic viability and environmental quality . . . "
(A Case Study for the Saint John Region, 2008)