Awards are the candles on the icing on the cake

Birthday-Cake-With-Candles-BackgroundHere are EcoPlan, getting to work on fun, challenging projects is what keeps us excited to get to work in the morning. But we’ve often commented that the ‘icing’ on the cake is the ongoing relationships with past clients, and seeing plans come to life through actions.

And then every now and then we get some candles too, in the form of awards that celebrate the projects we worked on! Three of our projects received provincial and national planning awards last year, and we couldn’t be prouder.

Canadian Institute of Planners – Award for Planning Excellence: Aboriginal Community Planning and Development 
Cowichan Tribes Transportation and Mobility Plan
The roads, transit routes, and walking paths that connected Cowichan Tribe’s members to many of their daily destinations were in rough shape and crossed multiple jurisdictions. Rather than seeing this as an intractable mess, Cowichan Tribes saw this an an opportunity to bring people together. Very early in the project, they invited neighbouring local governments, ICBC and federal/provincial government departments to the table to talk about transportation planning – a form of ‘reverse consultation’. This early involvement built relationships, spurred new ideas, and led to an unusually actionable plan (because it already had buy-in from government partners and funders). In fact, key projects from plan were already being implemented when the planning work was wrapping up.

Planning Institute of British Columbia – Research and New Directions in Planning, Silver
Health Impact Assessment of Transportation and Land Use Planning Activities Guidebook & Toolkit
This guidebook is an innovative resource that helps planning, health and engineering professionals identify and illustrate the relationship between, and consequences of, development and transportation projects and community health outcomes. The Guide was developed collaboratively with health organizations in the province, following a survey with planners and engineers and a comprehensive literature review. This tool supports and enables more informed and transparent decision making for planners which contributes to improved standards of planning practice by ensuring that community health outcomes are more rigorously incorporated in decisions and projects.

International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Canada – Core Value Awards: Respect for Diversity and Inclusion Category

and

Planning Institute of British Columbia – Excellence in Planning Practice: Small Town & Rural Areas, Honourable Mention

Tides of Change: Cormorant Island Joint Economic Development Strategy

EcoPlan worked with the two governments located on Cormorant Island – ‘Namgis First Nation and the Village of Alert Bay – on what would become one of the first joint economic development plans between a First Nation and a municipality. The key challenge was to develop a common vision and objective, as well as community-supported actions. A new kind of public participation process was needed to achieve this goal, one which respected the uniqueness of each community, while also making it an inclusive and island-wide process and product.