In my last two blog posts, I’ve discussed the importance of effective implementation, and some of its challenges. I’ve also provided a case study exemplifying HSAL’s award-winning approach to implementation. Implementation is a strong theme this year in the planning profession, and with good reason: It must be done right in order for municipalities to see long-term success.
In many cases ‘best laid plans’ end up collecting dust on shelves, as municipalities struggle to find funds for implementation. Having recognized the urgency behind this issue, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is doing something about it.
FCM’s aim is to breathe life into municipal strategic plans to fuel on-the-ground change. In 2012-13, FCM hopes to provide $6 million in grants for plans, feasibility studies and field tests that have a particular focus on implementation. Sustainable neighbourhood actions plans, community brownfield action plans and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction plans are among the eligible projects. For instance, to be eligible for the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) for a sustainable neighbourhood action, it must include:
1. A vision, and environmental, social and economic goals and targets contained in an existing municipal sustainable community plan (e.g. ICSP); and
2. Actions to achieve the goals and targets in all areas of municipal activity, including:
- Energy, waste and water management
- Sustainable transportation
- Land use
- Brownfield remediation (if applicable)
The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) is also following suit. The 2012 CIP conference ‘The Great Exchange: Putting Ideas Into Action’ is all about doing – making ideas happen and implementing plans. The Conference Organizing Committee is clear about the challenges and opportunities facing municipalities and planners:
“…despite all the talk about transforming our communities into models of planning excellence, we often lack the practical solutions necessary to implement change.”
If you’re looking for practical solutions to implementing change in your municipality, or project, contact me at Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited: 416-944-8444 ext. 224.
Andrzej Schreyer R.P.P. is a senior land use and environmental planner with Hardy Stevenson and Associates and a member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners. His experience includes developing and implementing public participation and communications plans, managing social impact assessments and land use studies in support of infrastructure projects and preparing community-based strategic plans, and helping private sector clients with the planning approvals process.