Omnibus: Becoming a Good Sustainability Planning Practitioner

13th September 2010

Session 4: 4.15 - 5.00

Introduction to Sustainability


In this final session of the first class we will initiate our exploration of sustainability and sustainability planning. Each of the SCARP faculty members has drafted a brief statement that summarizes their perspective on sustainability planning. These can be found on the School's web site. Below is a link to the most recent version of my own statement, which you should read in preparation for the discussions in this session. It will introduce you to key ideas that I see relating to the challenges in defining and implementing sustainability and sustainability planning that we will be examining during the course. The second preparatory reading by David Runnalls provides a brief summary of Canada's role in articulating and advancing the concept and strategies of sustainable development going back to the path-breaking UN Conference on the Environment in Stockholm in 1972. The next two readings introduce the ideas of "weak" and "strong" sustainability that we will elaborate throughout the course. The last reading is a link to the re-development of Vancouver's South East False Creek (SEFC) including Olympic Village that is promoted as the leading local example of sustainability planning incorporating cutting edge green buildings. Please think about how you would respond to the questions listed in the Agenda that I will use to lead a discussion during the final session.



Dorcey, T. 2008. Challenges of sustainability planning: Living dangerously in worlds of theory and practice. (pp. 1-5). SCARP Faculty Perspective Statements on Sustainability Planning.

Runnalls, D. 2008. Why aren't we there yet? Twenty years of sustainable development. International Institute for Sustainable Development. (pp.1-10)

Pearce, D. 1993. Blueprint 3: Measuring Sustainable Development. (pp.15-19) Omnibus Materials

O'Riordan, T. and Voisey, H. 1998. The Transition to Sustainability: The Politics of Agenda 21 in Europe. (Table 1.1, p.16) Omnibus Materials

What is YOUR model of sustainability?

South East False Creek (SEFC) and Olympic Village


How does your perspective on sustainable development, sustainability and sustainability planning compare and contrast with mine? To what extent is SEFC a "sustainable development"?

Do you share David Runnall's views on Canada's earlier major contributions and recently tragic fall from international leadership?

Do you share my view that the sustainability planning agenda in Canada falls far short of what is needed to meet the global challenges in prospect (we need to move from "weaker to stronger sustainability"? If yes, then what needs to change and what is your responsibility as a planner in making this a reality?

"Sustainability through the democratization of planning", SCARP's Vision - Is it realistic?