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Learning from LoLo: neighbourhood sustainable development in the City of North Vancouver

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This research investigates the integration of policies, processes and priorities in planning for sustainable development. Following case-study methodology at the neighbourhood scale in the City of North Vancouver, assessment and governance frameworks are used to understand planning for sustainable development and its outcomes. The findings uncovered rigorous planning processes that prioritized form-based planning alongside a systematic pursuit of public amenities. This was complemented with policies requiring sustainability focused items. Together these contributed to a LEED-ND comparable neighbourhood which was achieved in the absence of any 3rd party neighbourhood assessment frameworks. Other findings included: a purposively opportunistic planning practice that avoided structured assessment or monitoring; a planning process and governance arrangement that relied on a shared understanding of sustainability amongst City staff; and facilitation through leadership and a supportive political regime. The research highlights the risk and opportunity associated with the political nature of governing for sustainable development without assessment frameworks and emphasizes the importance of leadership, policy frameworks, and corporate culture.
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