2013 Neighbourhood Development Category
Town of Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Qualicum Beach Sustainability Plan
Project duration: 2009–2011
Total project value: $117,885
The Town of Qualicum Beach engaged the community to create a comprehensive sustainability plan to establish a vision for Qualicum Beach in 2050. The plan sets goals to reduce energy use and GHG emissions, and emphasizes the town's long-standing commitment to compact, walkable development and managed growth. The plan was adopted by council and incorporated into its 2011 Official Community Plan (OCP).
The plan reflects a multi-faceted approach to sustainability. It includes steps to convert the corporate fleet to electric vehicles, a "Village Neighbourhood" planning project, a Sustainable Food Strategy, a Waterfront Master Plan, watershed protection measures, a Youth and Family Retention/Attraction Strategy and other projects. A Sustainability Action Plan identifies short-, medium- and long-term targets for each of these areas, allowing the town to monitor progress toward its objectives.
To avoid purchasing carbon offsets abroad and ensure that carbon neutrality measures would directly benefit the region, the town established a Memorandum of Agreement with the Regional District of Nanaimo for regional emissions reduction projects.
This project received support from FCM's Green Municipal Fund (GMF 10202).
- Tracking improvements associated with quality of life is difficult to do in the short term, especially in a community like Qualicum Beach where residents already enjoy a high quality of life.
- It was a challenge to set up the pilot project with electrical vehicle companies without a case study available to serve as a model.
- You can do a lot with a little. Share tasks among municipal staff and consultants, make creative use of media and events to spread the word, and share the costs of pilot projects with electric vehicle distributors and community groups.
- Collaborate with community groups to address concerns and to garner private sector and community support. The project's quality of life survey, large-scale meetings and stakeholder discussions were effective tools.
- Break things down into small, achievable pieces, and make progress step by step. Moving in a new direction only happens through a series of small, incremental changes and course corrections.
Partners and collaboration
- FCM's Green Municipal Fund
- BC Hydro Electric Vehicle Program and Power Smart Program
- Mitsubishi Motors
- QB Green
- Regional District of Nanaimo
- BC Climate Action Charter
- Fraser Basin Council Climate Change & Air Quality Green Fleets BC E3 Fleet Program
- City of Vancouver Electric Vehicle Pilot Program