Sustainability refers to a way of living that lets us meet our current needs without jeopardizing the resources available for future generations to meet their future needs.

The role of government in sustainable communities

Regional and local-level government play an important role in helping communities move toward sustainability.

Wise planning decisions promote and support shifts toward more sustainable communities. Governments must provide the necessary infrastructure - along with supportive regulations, partnerships and market-based incentives - for sustainable life choices.

Peel's Regional Official Plan was recently updated to conform to Provincial policy direction and legislation. The Region saw this as an opportunity to introduce and implement a sustainable development framework to guide development decisions in Peel.

What is a sustainable development framework?

Environmental Social Cultural Economic

The sustainable development framework:

  • Provides a comprehensive approach to planning, action and measurement resulting in a strong, vibrant and resilient society that can adapt to changes while meeting the human services and infrastructure needs of the community.

Comes from 1 key concept:

    1. Meeting the needs of today's generation without negatively affecting future generations' ability to meet their own needs by taking environmental, social, economic and cultural aspects into consideration during decision-making.

Includes 4 imperatives:

1) Social

  • Create safe and healthy communities where people want to live, work and play.
  • Engage communities in decision-making.

2) Economic

  • Create a strong vibrant economy that adapts to change.
  • Provide infrastructure to meet growth pressures.
  • Help reduce energy costs.
  • Increase efficiencies through asset management (i.e. managing financial, natural, social and manufactured capital).

3) Environmental

  • Create healthy and diverse natural heritage systems that provide life-sustaining functions.
  • Ensure the long-term supply of natural resources.

4) Cultural

  • Stimulate economic growth by supporting culture and the arts.
  • Preserve cultural heritage.
  • Contribute to beautiful public spaces.

Revised: Wednesday October 19 2011

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