Sarnia's Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) brings together initiatives already underway to optimize budgets, personnel and other resources across municipal departments.
Sarnia is the largest urban centre in Lambton County. It has had a long history of partnership with the county, as well as with the local Aamjiwnaang First Nation community of about 850 Chippewa (Ojibwa) aboriginal peoples.
While there were existing sustainability-related initiatives in the City, the ICSP is the first document to knit the existing initiatives together. It is not intended as a prescriptive plan, but rather a reference document for those developing community projects to ensure sustainability goals can be achieved.
Some specific objectives outlined in the ICSP include brownfield redevelopment, improved services for the greying population, encouragement of new green and bio-based industries, and "destination" tourism through an art gallery, a museum and First Nations culture.
- Culture as part of sustainability was a matter of significant discussion and some delay.
- In the end, culture was included as an essential element of the ISCP. Members of the community, including the local First Nations, confirmed the wisdom of this decision.
- The Plan has not yet received significant media coverage, but positive recognition is expected as sustainability projects are implemented.
- Determine what sustainability initiatives already exist in the community, what success has already been achieved, and whether any disappointments have been experienced and, if so, why.
- Ensure that municipal council, management, staff, industry and the private sector are supportive of the principles of sustainability.
- Determine in advance whether the plan is prescriptive or high-level.
- Establish ICSP development milestones, how metrics will be developed, and the budget and timeline expected.
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