Vision

Bridgetown Kayak outingVision refers to the long-term sustainability vision, goals, targets, indicators, values and principles committed to in the ICSP and related policies. It is the most important element in the implementation framework as it defines the direction the municipality is going in and what it wants to achieve. The guide summarizes the leading practice for Vision as: Commit to a clear long-term sustainability vision with specific goals, targets and indicators.


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 .

The Natural Step Canada Case ICSP Studies

The Natural Step Canada has a number of case studies on the development of ICSPs, including:

  • The Story of Williams Lake’s “Imagine our future” (BC)
  • The District of North Vancouver’s Sustainability Journey (BC)
  • The Wolfville Sustainability Initiative (NS)
  • The award-winning Whistler 2020 Vision (BC)

These can be downloaded for free at www.naturalstep.ca.

ICSP Planning and Assessment Guides

There are a number of free guidebooks for developing and assessing ICSPs, including:

  • Integrated Community Sustainability Planning:  A Guide by The Natural Step Canada provides a step-by-step process with extensive appendices and tools.  The guide can be downloaded at www.naturalstep.ca.
  • The Fast Track Guide (1.8 MB) by the Alberta Urban Municipal Association provides a step-by-step process with extensive appendices and tools. 
  • The Catalyzing Change report (111.43 kB) provides a nine-part framework for assessing the potential effectiveness of an ICSP and benchmarking it against other plans. Developed by Stratos Inc. in partnership with a number of municipal associations, the report also identifies leading practices from a review of 14 Alberta ICSPs. 

Sustainability Plan Inventories

Sustainability plan inventories provide a “one stop shop” for reviewing how different communities have approached sustainability planning and the lessons learned. Notable examples include:

  • The Canadian Sustainability Planning Inventory (CSPI) is a searchable database of more than 1,000 sustainability plans and affiliated documents collected from all 13 Canadian provinces and territories by the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities. 
  • The Planning Samples eBinder by the Fraser Basin council provides ICSP examples related to four aspects of ICSP development: i) getting ready, ii) planning, iii) lessons learned and iv) further resources. 
  • Share the Wheel is a wiki website dedicated to making sustainability plans more accessible. It is organized by municipality and includes review documents and tools from across Canada.