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Iqaluit looks down the road for plan

Calgary, Whistler offer advice on long-term planning


It’s always a good idea to have a plan, but first you have to plan the plan.

Long-term municipal planning is all the rage these days and Iqaluit is jumping on board, getting started with a community meeting earlier this month at the Arctic Winter Games arena.

On the drawing board is a vision of what Iqaluit, which is trying to shape itself into a model of sustainability for Arctic communities, will look like in 30 to 100 years.

“I am so excited about creating a long-term vision for Iqaluit, and we must work together and involve the community,” Mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik said in a news release. She said the city will develop a process for creating its long-term vision and hold more meeting to gauge public opinion on the plan.

Iqaluit is getting advice from Calgary and Whistler, BC, two cities already well into their own long-term planning exer­cises.

The Whistler plan uses as its rationale an end-of-the-world scenario fuelled by global resource depletion and population explosion. Mayor Ken Melamed presented his city’s slide show on sustainable development, which imagines sustainable development filling the gap between more people and fewer resources.

Melamed told the crowd of about 25 that his resort municipality’s “Whistler 2020” plan has brought together citizens, business and government into 16 task forces that makes recommendations in areas like water, health, education, housing and others. The mayor also credited the plan for helping his community land part of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

“I only wish we had started on the process sooner,” Melamed said.

Both Whistler and Iqaluit are members of the PLUS Network, a global league of 28 cities from Olympia, Washington to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, which describes itself as “an international peer learning network of cities sharing their experiences, expertise and tools to undertake very long term planning for urban sustainability.”

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