Environmental planning balances ecological considerations with
community development and economic demands. This requires developing
both short and long-term strategies that will minimize environmental
impacts associated with urbanization.
Environmental planning works across a range of scales, from detailed site specific plans to regional and more comprehensive plans such as:
Identifying and effectively addressing environmental issues does
not happen in isolation. It requires working with an
interdisciplinary team that have expertise in biology, planning and
engineering and consulting with various groups including developers,
stakeholders, community associations, city councils, special
interest groups and non-profit organizations.
Integrating environmental values and goals into all planning
processes will help ensure that environmental risks are identified
and that mitigation strategies are developed and implemented.
Proactive environmental planning is essential if urban development
is to proceed in a sustainable and environmentally sound way.
Local Government Division
The Local Government Dvision participates in the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of environmental initiatives in conjunction with other ministries and organizations at the provincial and local level.
The Division helps local governments advance community sustainability by promoting comprehensive plans and developing legislation, regulations, tools and strategic polices that support effective environmental management practices, including recovering resources from waste and designating development permit areas for climate action.
The Division represents the Ministry regarding major projects reviewed
by the BC Environmental
Assessment Office under the Environmental Assessment Act and works with local
governments to ensure that infrastructure projects funded under the
Division's Capital Grant
Programs meet environmental and resource conservation conditions.
Local governments undertaking long-term comprehensive plans or related
feasibility studies are eligible to receive funding up to $10,000 from the Local
Government Division's Infrastructure
Planning Grant Program. Joint initiatives that encourage
innovation and capacity building in local government planning and
decision-making may be eligible to receive funding from the
Partnership Program. In addition, tools such as the Community Infrastructure Planning Decision Support Tool enables local governments to determine the long-term lifecycle costs of alternate development scenarios.
Environment Planning Policies and BylawsLocal governments are increasingly developing polices and bylaws that promote ecologically responsible development and show a commitment to environmental, economic and social stewardship. Land use planning and decision making is strengthened by having policies and bylaws that recognize the value of a healthy environment. Local governments across B.C are establishing policies and bylaws that: