Community & Regional Planning

EcoPlan offers a wide range of community planning expertise and experience. We have used our community-based, participatory, strategic planning approach with municipalities, regional districts, and First Nations governments on a wide range of planning initiatives, including:

• Regional Growth Strategies
• Official Community Plans
• Neighbourhood Plans
• Design Guidelines and Site Plans
• Inter-regional Monitoring and Evaluation Programs
• Service Delivery Reviews

With in-house GIS, urban design, policy development and community engagement capacity, EcoPlan has the capacity to develop actionable plans and strategies that meet the needs and objectives of all project stakeholders and partners.

Photograph by Kellan Higgins

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

Planning for Climate Change: A Strategic, Values Based Approach For Urban Planners|

Built Environment and Active Transportation: Neighbourhood Assessment
BC Recreation and Parks Association.


Cowichan Tribes Community Transportation Plan and Mobility Plan
2016 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Community Planning and Development

Regional District of North Okanagan Monitoring and Evaluation Program
2014 Planning Institute of B.C. Gold Award for Excellence in Planning Practice in Small Town and Rural Planning

Giiwedaa – Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishnaabek (AZA) Comprehensive Community Plan
2013 Canadian Institute of Planners Excellence Award in Aboriginal Community Planning and Development

Comox Valley RGS

Tla’amin Land Use Plan