A Comparative and Critical Analysis of Integrated Community Sustainability Plans and Governance Models in Ontario

Authors: Sabrina Guvenc*, Ryerson University, Sara Edge, Ryerson University , Chris Gore, Ryerson University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Sustainability Science
Keywords: Sustainability Planning, Environmental and Social Equity, Environmental Justice,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Cabinet Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The concepts of sustainability, and sustainability planning, have become prominent in the last thirty years. Nations around the world have been using sustainability planning as a way to consider planning practices more holistically and to consider environmental and social equity in their decision-making. In 2005, the Canadian government created a budget plan that funded sustainability planning within municipalities across the nation. In order for municipalities to receive the funding they needed to create Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSPs) or strategic sustainability plans. This paper will examine the current state of sustainability planning in the Province of Ontario, Canada. Specifically, focus will be placed on how and whether ICSPs addressed goals related to advancing social equity in sustainability planning. The central goal of the paper is to examine how ICSPs in Ontario have responded to the range of social needs and interests in municipalities, particularly goals of addressing social equity in sustainability planning. Ontario is a valuable case to consider because there is a gap in the previous ICSP research in regard to Ontario’s ICSPs engagement with equity principals. Two questions drive the research: 1) How have ICSPs considered equity principles in their design and implementation; and, 2) How does variation in the degree of community involvement in sustainability planning influence how equity is addressed? These questions will be answered by conducting a comparative and document analysis of ICSPs in Ontario, specifically examining the documents.

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