Economic Development Planning

EPI recognizes that the ‘economy’ is complex. It is interconnected with many other aspects of social, cultural, environmental and physical planning. At the end of the day, a thriving economy is really about quality of life and a thriving community. We work in the following areas:

• Economic development strategies
• Guidebooks and tools
• Economic feasibility studies
• Highest and best use studies
• Sector specific (e.g., tourism, agriculture)
• Economic Development / Innovation Forums
• Regional economic development
• Economic development and reconciliation

Download the EPI Local Economic Development Brochure.

 Interested in training or capacity building? Contact us.

Our Approach

Driven by Community Values: Every community is different. We start by listening to community members to find out what is important. Then, we use the values that we identify through this process as a framework to prioritize actions that are appropriate, feasible, and broadly supported. 

Based on Local Knowledge: We work with local people who know their communities and regions and are well positioned to generate practical ideas that make the best use of local assets. We then tap into, organize, and evaluate this local knowledge, using methods and tools from structured decision making to focus investment and energy where it will have the strongest impact.

Expert Supported: We step in where expertise is needed by providing rigorous analysis, cutting-edge research, innovative ideas and over 20 years of experience in the field. We have found that top-down, expert-directed planning approaches work only in unique circumstances and typically do not produce the results communities and clients need for success.

Pragmatic and Effective: Great strategies are strategies that get implemented. We hate to see strategies that are nothing more than laundry lists gathering dust on a shelf. Our approach ensures that the people who will be implementing the plan are involved throughout its development, and that the plan lays out the implementation architecture (i.e., who will be doing what, when). We can also provide supplementary services during implementation, such as project management and coaching. We call this “surge capacity”.

Guidebooks, Toolkits and Publications

Strategic Planning Toolkit for Local Economic Development
BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

Local Economic Development in Practice

Promoting Local Economic Development through Strategic Planning
UN-HABITAT and EcoPlan International. 2005.

Local Economic Development for Yukon Communities
Yukon Government

Promoting Inclusive and Effective Local Economic Development:
A Strategic Planning Approach
Trousdale, William and Gulelat Kebede.
UH-Habitat Forum. 2007

Value-Focused Thinking in a Difficult Context:
Planning Tourism for Gulmaras, Philippines
McDaniels, Timothy L. and William Trousdale.
Interfaces-Journal of Operations Research and Management Science. 29(4) 1999.


Tides of Change: Cormorant Island Joint Economic Development Strategy
2016 Planning Institute of British Columbia Award for Excellence in Planning Practice (Honourable Mention)
2016 AIP2 Core Values Project Award for Diversity & Inclusion
2015 Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce Innovation Award

Growing Malcolm Island: Malcolm Island Economic Development Strategy
2015 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Excellence in Rural/Small Town Planning

Promoting Economic Development Through Strategic Planning:
Guidebook and Toolkit for UN-Habitat
2007 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence in Economic Development