Integrated Community Sustainability Planning: A Comparative Case Study
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Many Canadian municipalities are partaking in integrated community sustainability (ICS) planning. ICS planning involves an inter-departmental, coordinated approach using various plans, partnerships, and public participation processes in order to achieve sustainability goals at the municipal level. However, the literature is weak regarding ICS planning implementation in mid-sized (population 50,000 – 500,000) Canadian municipalities. This report examines the facilitators and barriers of ICS implementation of two mid-sized municipalities; Kingston and Markham, using a comparative case study. An analytical framework consisting of 11 themes for implementation was developed from the literature. The framework was then used to analyze the data gathered from municipal policy documents, municipal committee meeting minutes, and semi-structured interviews with key municipal staff. Kingston uses an integrated community sustainability plan (ICSP) and emphasizes partnerships and internal staff education. Markham also uses an ICSP, but emphasizes embedding sustainability principles into their OP. All 11 themes in the analytical framework were addressed to some extent by each municipality in order to make ICS planning effective. Each technique has its benefits and drawbacks, such as funding and communication problems with Kingston’s approach, and pressure to develop along with other political pressures in Markham.