Participation, Planning and Sustainability: Case Studies from Hinton and Wood Buffalo, AB

  • Author / Creator
    Dipa, Nusrat J
  • The Government of Canada introduced the federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) during 2005 as an initiative to improve sustainable development in rural communities. One of the main requirements for accessing this fund was that each municipality formulate an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP). As part of creating these sustainability plans, both the federal and provincial governments made citizen participation an important requirement of the planning process. The main objective of this thesis is to understand the nature of citizen involvement in developing the ICSPs. This is achieved by focusing on two case studies, The Town of Hinton (2008-2011) and Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (2009- 2010). This research has adopted a qualitative method, and used secondary data followed by 24 telephone interviews (2014) to learn more about the, methods, successes and challenges of citizen engagement. These case studies on citizen engagement in sustainability planning contribute to our understanding of theories of citizen participation, deliberative democracy and technocracy. Specifically sustainability planning in the Alberta appears to be a broader process of consultation. However, citizen participation frameworks such as Arnstein’s Ladder of Participation do not necessarily account for all of the socio-economic factors (e.g., busy lifestyle, transient population, , citizens’ lack of understanding of technical and complicated concepts, time and financial constraints, poor road and weather conditions) that affect people’s engagement in planning processes. Sustainability planning is better understood as a longer term process of social learning; simple consultation processes cannot necessarily facilitate the deep goals of sustainability.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
  • Specialization
    • Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Hallstrom, Lars (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
    • Parlee, Brenda (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Rude, James (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
    • Parkins, John (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
    • Hallstrom, Lars (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
    • Parlee, Brenda (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)