The ICSP Process

Integrated Community Sustainability Planning can involve a continuum of three phases; Assessment, Core Planning and Implementation.


The Assessment/Preparing phase can involve a number of different activities from education of the community, staff and local government elected officials to assessment of planning capacity and what is needed to move ahead with ICSP. An ICSP community assessment enables local governments to develop a sense of where they are with current planning and what their capacity is to move forward with ICSP. It allows them to determine their gaps and where they need to start in order to move ahead.

Some communities might start by educating staff and council about sustainability; others might determine ways to ensure their planning processes are more integrated. MCRD has designed a template to help local governments to identify where to begin in this first phase. GTA funding up to $5000 is available to do a community assessment.

Consult the Capacity-Building and ICSP program guide on the UBCM website for information on how to apply for community assessment funding.   

Core Planning

The Core Planning phase can be approached two ways: develop a sustainability plan OR apply sustainability thinking /principles to existing plans and policy documents. For several examples of processes and plans visit the Smart Planning E-Binder


The Implementation phase moves plans into action and ensures that plans and actions remain fresh and relevant over time. Beyond the application of a sustainability planning “lens,” local governments are demonstrating that current decision-making frameworks and/or administrative processes may need to be revised to ensure successful implementation of new approaches.  Improved governance is one. A number of communities in BC are developing Sustainability Checklists, measures and indicators to help guide decision-making. 

Smart Planning for Communities    

Smart Planning for Communities (SPC), a program of the Fraser Basin Council, is a BC- wide, collaborative initiative providing resources and tools to local and First Nations governments for planning socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable communities.

Contact us for further information.


This has been adapted from the “The Integrated Community Sustainability Planning (ICSP) Initiative Backgrounder: