Fraser Basin Council
Home  |  CONTACT US: Offices AND Staff  |  Site Map

Smart Planning for Communities helps Village of Kaslo develop its ICSP

Image courtesy of Sara RainfordSmart Planning for Communities (SPC) is pleased to be working with the Village of Kaslo and the community on its Integrated Community Sustainability Planning (ICSP) process.

The Village of Kaslo, located on the shores of Kootenay Lake, was developed in early 1890s as a result of the mining boom in the region. It was the first city in the Kootnay’s to be incorporated. In recent years, the Village has undergone an Official Community Plan update and has participated in a number of other regional planning processes such as the Climate Adaptation Strategy, SustainABLE Central Kootenay, and an Agriculture Plan. 

The ICSP process will help Kaslo set priorities and actions to progress along the road to becoming a resilient sustainable community. The final report is expected to be completed in the fall 2013.

Getting Ready

The ICSP process started earlier this spring when SPC facilitator Joan Chess, in collaboration with Laurie Cordell from Columbia Basin Trust, met with the Village Council and staff to discuss their vision for this plan and ways to engage community members in the process.

Work on developing a sustainability strategy for Kaslo is now well underway. As one of the first step in this process the SPC team reviewed the previous planning work done in the region looking for the synergies and complementary goals, as well as the gaps that need to be addressed and integrated into the coming ICSP. The main activities in recent months have been initiating the community involvement.  Two sessions with the focus group were organized for late June and one community event was held during the Canada Day celebrations.  Focus group participants and residents were asked to provide their suggestions in completing a sentence on each of three posters.


Community Input

Great minds think alike! There were many similar responses among the wide-ranging ideas. The results below reflect the most common themes shared by everyone.

The three best things about Kaslo are:

  • the beautiful breathtaking natural environment
  • friendly caring people who create a sense of community
  • the lifestyle in a safe and accessible community with many cultural and outdoor activities.

Three words that describe a sustainable Kaslo are:

  • collaborative, friendly and supportive people
  • natural environment and resources to meet basic needs such as food and water
  • economically resilient and diversified.

Three things that Kaslo needs to do to become sustainable are:

  • foster community capacity building, along with having affordable housing and health care services
  • continue to pursue local food security, a safe water supply, and stewardship of the natural environment
  • explore new economic drivers and encourage small businesses (eg. tourism).

The ICSP will get into full swing through community engagement and focus groups that will allow Kaslo residents to participate in defining commonly used terms, confirming the community’s vision statement, and setting goals for the four ‘pillars’ of sustainability—social, economic, environmental and cultural. For each of the goals, action plans will be established that include activities, timeframe, and responsibilities and indicators for measuring success will be developed to keep track of the progress and maintain focus. Indicators need to be relevant for Kaslo as part of a practical monitoring program. 

What’s Next  

During the summer, the SPC staff will compile the information from background reports and the community’s input; and begin drafting a sustainability strategy for Kaslo.  As well, a second round of events will be organized for the fall, to seek the community’s input. The anticipated timing will be late September or early October.

The final report will capture Kaslo’s strategy for becoming a sustainable community.


 Meet Joan Chess, Sustainability Facilitator

Joan Chess

Joan Chess is the Sustainability Facilitator for central and northern BC. Joan brings a practical approach to applying sustainability principles to community planning and is able to assist with all steps in a planning process, such as gathering information, analysis, community involvement and urban design for small communities.

Her career includes working with provincial, local and First Nations governments, which has given her a good understanding of the inter-jurisdictional nature of planning and sustainability. Joan is currently Past President of PIBC and PIBC's appointment to the Canadian Institute of Planners Council.

Joan loves the unique places and people of northern BC. When she's not on the road, she's usually playing with her horse or skiing with her family. Contact Joan

Program Vision

Smart Planning for Communities: creating stronger more vibrant and sustainable communities in British Columbia.

Our Work

Smart Planning for Communities (SPC) is a BC-wide collaborative initiative to assist local and First Nations governments in addressing their long-term sustainability challenges by providing resources and tools for planning socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable communities. Learn more about our services…

Advisory Group

To provide future strategic oversight and direction
for Smart Planning for Communities program, a specialized advisory group including funders, experts in community sustainability planning and implementation will guide the SPC Program with the necessary strategic and operational guidance over the next three years. 

Reach Us

We’re close at hand and happy to help! See our Smart Planning for Communities Contacts page to connect with facilitators and other program staff.

SPC is a program of the Fraser Basin Council, a charitable non-profit society that works to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and across BC.

For more information on the Fraser Basin Council please visit: