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Sustainability planning and assessment: Identifying and evaluating community capital in the district of North Vancouver

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Author: Ross, Daniel
In order to achieve global sustainability targets, there is a need for concerted effort at local and global levels. To date, there has been no consensus regarding the tools that should be used for sustainability assessment at the local level. While sustainability assessment and monitoring tools that are easy to understand and agreed-upon have been proposed, implementation has been challenged by the complexity of local planning, with its diverse stakeholders as well as a myriad of social, economic, and environmental factors and departmental silos. In this mixed methods research project, an opportunity was taken to operationalize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in a local setting. One multi-criteria analysis sustainability assessment approach, the Community Capital Framework and associated tool, the Community Capital Scan, aligned well with the Sustainable Development Goals and subsequently was tested as a sustainability assessment tool by a Canadian community, the District of North Vancouver. The implementation strategy, the challenges and successes, and the results of the sustainability assessment are described. Findings will be useful for others committed to contributing locally to global sustainability goals.
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