Govern

Govern refers to the structures (e.g. committees, organizations, teams) and processes for overseeing ICSP implementation activities both within the municipality and in the broader community. This oversight is described at three distinct levels: decision-making, coordination and partnership. The guide summarizes the leading practice for Govern as: Create municipal and community structures and teams to oversee implementation and identify short-term actions.


Below are links to the tools, case studies and examples mentioned in the guide. UNSM's Municipal Sustainability Office invites municipalities wishing to share their own resources and tools on this page to submit them by email to .

Community Partner Programs

Numerous municipalities have created formal “community partner” programs. These allow organizations and individuals in the community to pledge their commitment to the ICSP. A few examples are provided below:

  • The Town of Cochrane (AB) S.P.U.R. (Sustainability Partners Uniting Resources) invites individuals to become Sustainability Ambassadors who actively promote the plan or Citizens of Sustainability who lead by example. Organizations and businesses can become Sustainability Champions who contribute to collective action.
  • Sustainable Kingston (ON) invites organizations to become Community Partners and individuals to make a Citizen’s Commitment.
  • Whistler (BC) has established Task Forces, formal Whistler 2020 Partners, and Whistler Implementing Partners and has a number of partnership options and packages.
  • The Town of Antigonish developed an Early Adopters Kit (254 kB) to engage community organizations in creating and implementing their sustainability plan.

Sustainability Committee Terms of Reference

Numerous municipalities have established community-based sustainability committees to oversee implementation. A few examples of committee descriptions and terms of reference are provided below:

Community Governance for Sustainability

The resource Passing Go - Moving Beyond the Plan (3.3 MB) is written by Amelia Clarke from the University of Waterloo and published by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund. It provides a framework, tools and resources for engaging and collaborating with community organizations in the development and implementation of sustainability plans.

A complementary approach to collaboration is the “constellation model” in use by the Urban Sustainability Directors’ Network (USDN). Partners are encouraged to create separate, self-organizing, action-oriented teams (or constellations) around different sustainability issues. Constellations are convened by organizations that want to take action on a particular issue and then disbanded if interest wanes.

Regional Sustainability Collaboration

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit society that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser Basin and across British Columbia. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations), along with those from the private sector and civil society. It offers a compelling and successful model for regional governance and collaboration, with programs that range from sustainability plan development to regional monitoring and reporting to issue-specific collaboration.