Fraser Basin Council

Salmon Arm, BC / Flickr: PictureBC

For Smart Planning in Action, a project that will help 140 BC communities develop and implement sustainability plans.

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How do you plan for a sustainable community? A holistic approach includes consideration for environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability.

REFBC has given two grants to the Fraser Basin Council to help fund the Council’s three-year “Smart Planning in Action” program. The program provides resources, facilitation and mentoring to help rural and First Nations communities across BC understand Integrated Community Sustainability Planning (ICSP) and develop their own plans.  

In addition to supporting sustainability planning, Smart Planning in Action gives communities the tools they need to move from planning to implementation. The Fraser Basin Council has helped community leaders and local governments to monitor and measure their progress, access funds and best-practice research, and to forge partnerships with neighbouring communities.

More than two years later, the program has helped provide strategic support, technical expertise and training to assist 16 local governments and four First Nations in developing and measuring their ICSPs.

During the Smart Planning in Action program, Fraser Basin Council:

  • Provided input to the Province on its Infrastructure Costing Tool and BC Rural Network programming;
  • Created online resources –,, SPC’s e-Binder – that have been viewed and shared by tens of thousands of community builders;
  • Developed a research proposal to assess key factors for monitoring and implementing ICSPs;
  • Delivered four Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC (LIRN) workshops, which brought together 11 First Nations and seven local governments to foster awareness and collaboration;
  • Contributed to five workshops and conferences on community planning and rural sustainability; and
  • Provided fee-for-service sustainability planning support to local governments in Kaslo, 100 Mile House, Granisle and Clinton.

"A major roadblock that had to be resolved before we could move forward into planning processes was that our aboriginal communities and our non-aboriginal communities had little contact with each other, a lack of understanding about each other’s governance, and few examples to follow of past cooperation… Fraser Basin Council provided our team with the support of Smart Planning For Communities facilitator, Donnella Sellers, an expert in building aboriginal and non-aboriginal relations, and the rest they say is history." Together Shuswap Planning Committee

As the project enters its third year, the Council will continue to measure and facilitate progress towards ICSP plan implementation by working with rural and First Nations communities and supporting relationship-building between Aboriginal communities and their non-Aboriginal neighbours.

REFBC has been funding Smart Planning programs through the Fraser Basin Council since 2008.