NOW RECRUITING: TACES Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee

The Community Social Planning Council is seeking diverse voices to participate on its’ Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee for a one-year term.

The TACES Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee provides advice, insight, and recommendations to CSPC and partner organizations on:

  • Transportation and equity priorities, issues, and successes
  • Lived experiences of barriers to transportation and climate action
  • Enhancing access and inclusion of historically under-serviced communities, including Indigenous, newcomer, people with disabilities, and 2SLGBTQ+ communities
  • How factors such as race, culture, ethnicity, gender, age, income, and disability, may affect access to and participation in sustainable transportation projects
  • Best practices and strategies for engagement and program evaluation
  • Other matters that the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee deems relevant

Committee members are to represent diverse perspectives and lived experiences.

To learn more and to apply please contact: chelseap@communitycouncil.ca

A Doughnut Shaped Recovery for Greater Victoria – Event Summary

 

Event Summary 

Introduction 

On June 7th, 2021, the Community Social Planning Council (CSPC) of Greater Victoria organized A Doughnut Shaped Recovery for Greater Victoria, a speaker series event held in collaboration with Conversations for a One Planet Region, One Planet Saanich and the South Island Prosperity Partnership. The event focused on the ways Doughnut Economics can be explored and implemented by municipalities, local businesses, and communities within the Greater Victoria Region.  Amsterdam has pioneered it, other European and North American cities are following their lead, and here in Canada, the City of Nanaimo recently agreed to adopt it. Greater Victoria came together to talk about what Doughnut Economics could mean for our shared futures. Doughnut economics is a theory coined by economist Kate Raworth, it can be understood as an outline of how humans can prosper in the 21st century. “The Doughnut consists of two concentric rings: a social foundation, to ensure that no one is left falling short on life’s essentials, and an ecological ceiling, to ensure that humanity does not collectively overshoot the planetary boundaries that protect Earth's life-supporting systems”. It is between these two rings where humanity can thrive in a space that is both “ecologically safe and socially just.”

The Greater Victoria Region, with a population of about 350,000 people, is the capital of British Columbia and is located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It consists of 13 municipalities ranging in size from about 12,000 to 120,000. This event explored how Greater Victoria can build a vibrant region that is within our social and environmental limits and how a recovery that is fair, inclusive and ecologically sustainable can be promoted. It centered around questions such as how economic growth can be propelled while remaining within social and environmental boundaries and looked at what we as a region value in shaping our recovery. The event consisted of a plenary session with three speakers, Andrew Fanning of Oxford’s Doughnut Economics Action Lab, the Head of Innovation for C40 cities in Copenhagen, Julia Lipton, and city councilor from Nanaimo who is currently implementing the Doughnut model, Ben Geselbracht. The Plenary was followed by a question-and-answer period and a breakout session with three groups—municipal, community and business.  

Speaker Panel 

Andrew Fanning 

Andrew leads Doughnut Economic Action Lab's work on data analysis, research, and iteratively improving our methodologies, especially for downscaling the Doughnut to places. His research has been published in leading scientific journals, and he shares ideas and findings in many different settings. 

Twitter: @AndrewLFanning 

Click here for: Andrew Fanning's Presentation  

Andrew Fanning began his presentation by asking questions within the local context of Greater Victoria. He posed questions such as, how can everyone in the Victoria region thrive? And how can they do that within Victoria’s natural Habitat? How can Victoria respect the health of the whole planet? And how can they do that while also respecting the wellbeing of all people? The principles of the Doughnut model are all drawn from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Andrew proposed the idea that it is pertinent to leave no one in the hole of the doughnut lacking the essentials of life. That we must be thriving and in balance, maintaining the delicate balance of the planet’s nine planetary boundaries while meeting the needs for all. 

Julia Lipton 

Julia is the Head of Innovation at C40 cities overseeing the development of support programmes at the cutting edge of climate leadership in cities. Previous to C40 Julia worked for the City of Sydney developing strategy and programmes to address energy efficiency and sustainability in buildings. And before that the NSW Government and social and environmental NGO's in Australia focusing on corporate sustainability and ethics. 

Click here for: Julia Lipton's Presentation 

Julia Lipton touched on the idea that urban centers are currently home to 55% of the world's population with a projection that by 2050 they will be home to 70-80% of the world's population. These cities drive consumption beyond city boundaries. The Doughnut introduces the concept of redefining what economic prosperity means, we must redefine a ‘good life’ and create resilient, sustainable local economies where people can thrive. Julia discussed the ongoing Doughnut workshops that are starting a conversation about the much-needed transformation. The Doughnut is a framework that encompasses much of what already exists and relies on mitigation strategies to be implemented so we can have continuous local and global prosperity.  

Ben Geselbracht 

Ben Geselbracht is a Nanaimo city Councillor and Regional district Director. He is an advocate for environmental sustainability and an economy that works for everyone. Ben is passionate about the development of the circular economy and recently, the doughnut economy and is working to apply these principles both in civic governance and his tree service business. 

Click here for: Ben Geselbracht's Presentation  

Ben Geselbracht presented on how Vancouver Island’s own Nanaimo has begun implementing the Doughnut into municipal policy. He discussed a framework that is being developed that prioritizes the community as an important resource for input. A critical aspect of the framework being developed in Nanaimo is the use of targets and indicators. These targets and indicators must be allowed and used across all city and community plans for the policies to work with each other instead of against each other.  

Breakout Sessions and Next Steps 

The event led to discussion and questions surrounding how the Doughnut could be implemented within Victoria and offered possible concerns and critiques of how this would play out. Many thought-provoking questions were proposed such as how we can ensure that the Doughnut image does not give support to the idea of a choice between economy and environment? Or, how the Doughnut model can be promoted with consideration to ongoing population growth in urban centers.  

In the community breakout session of the event, led by Trevor Hancock, Kate Raworth debunking the concept of homo economicus was discussed, adding how community and interdependence must be prioritized above self-interest and independence. In the local context of Victoria, community must come together and help each other. When a community is involved in the conversation, they will support what they have built and feel strongly towards the success of implementation. At the city level, the community should be engaged while the community interacts and engages with each other.  

The municipal breakout session, led by Cora Hallsworth, focused heavily on the importance of thinking and acting locally through using the Doughnut model to interact with and rely on local businesses. The lack of cohesion among municipalities on Vancouver Island was agreed upon by breakout participants, concluding that there must be some form of connectedness across the Island and its sustainability. We must consider the scale of the island and promote actions that connect the local and regional aspects as well as Vancouver Island as a whole. 

The business breakout session, led by Dallas Gislason, looked at how Victoria can make a strategic choice around what is going to be done to reduce impact and create benefit for people. It is important to consciously shift and localize supply chains that function around planetary boundaries through connecting with businesses that support people living more sustainable lifestyles. There must be more circular practices that challenge the societal habit of always wanting to sell new things. These changes may not be asked of businesses to take on independently but should be based on a larger system change overall. Through looking at the larger picture, businesses will see the incentive of adapting to a more circular practice. 

So, how can Greater Victoria take its next steps towards a Doughnut shaped recovery? This can be done by beginning the process of creating Greater Victoria’s city portrait, seeing where our metrics land within the Doughnut model and through using broader regional relationships to develop this portrait, promote action, and provide an understanding of how climate equity and social justice can fit together.  

To watch the webinar, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM4Nizhag3I

Resources 

  • WEBSITE: Centre for Ecocities  we have these consumption based emissions impacts available for Greater Victoria, Saanich and Victoria through work we do at the BCIT Centre for Ecocities (we’ve now done these inventories for 30+ BC communities). We find emissions for a community here double when you look at consumption-based emissions vs a standard inboundary inventory.  
  • PDF: Saanich One Planet Sustainability PlanAs part of One Planet Saanich we did a sustainability scan using the lens of the 10 one planet living principles. There is significant overlap in the approaches to the city snapshot. Results are here:  

 

Fixing housing affordability: Non-market solutions

Join us to learn about European and American non-market housing models and envision a future of affordable housing across British Columbia.

This event is hosted by the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria in collaboration with Island Social Planners Connect. If you have the means, your donation helps support this event, which is running without funding.

It’s hard to admit that without changing the status quo, a healthy housing market may never come back to communities on Vancouver Island. As evidence of market failure becomes more and more apparent, do we need to look to a broader set of solutions?

This workshop will explore options for non-market housing solutions locally by first investigating examples from elsewhere—including Vienna, where over 60 per cent of residents live in city-built, sponsored or managed housing—and then imagining what role such models could play here at home to solve our affordability crisis.

Agenda
8:00-9:00: International Speaker Panel and Q&A
9:00-10:00: Local Panelist Discussion
10:00-10:30: Optional breakout room discussions, led by Island Social Planners Connect

International Speakers
Glyn Robbins, London
Shane Phillips, Los Angeles
Gabu Heindl, Vienna

Local Panelists
Penny Gurstein, UBC
Steven Pomeroy, Carleton
Marc Lee, CCPA

This event will be hosted virtually from our work spaces on the traditional territories of the Lkwungen (Songhees) peoples, who have a historical and ongoing relationship to this land.

Register Now

🚨NEWS: CSPC is launching a Greater Victoria Housing Relief Fund & Rent Bank Program

The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria and BC Rent Bank are launching a Rent Bank which will provide short term financial help for low-to-moderate income households at risk of losing their housing due to a temporary financial crisis. In conjunction with this the Community Council is also launching the Greater Victoria Housing Relief Security Fund, a one-time housing grant program between February and the end of April to provide eligible applicants with support for rent, essential utilities, and basic needs.

Media Release

Media Coverage:

Chek News

CFAX 1070

Business Examiner

CTV News Vancouver Island

For more information on this program and to view eligibility requirements, please visit: https://communitycouncil.ca/rentbank/

Point-in-Time Homeless Count Report 2020

2020 Greater Victoria Point-in-Time Count: The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC) coordinated its third one-day Point-in-Time Count of homeless people in the region on March 12, 2020, a count and survey of homeless individuals in sheltered and unsheltered locations that provides a snapshot of where people slept on the night of March 11, 2020. The Count was sponsored by the CRD, as the administrator of the Reaching Home Program, and funded by the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.

Over 50 shelters, transitional facilities, and healthcare facilities participated, providing data on the number of people experiencing homelessness spending the night at their facilities. The following day, approximately 175 volunteers and homelessness facility employees completed over 850 surveys of people experiencing homelessness at various indoor and outdoor locations across the region.

Report

Media Release

Technical Appendix

FAQ

Point-in-Time Report Infographic