Sustainability expert launches Whistler's OCP update 

Apres in Action session Wednesday, 3:30 p.m. in conference centre

As Patrick Condon sees it, there are few things more inspirational than charting a course for a community's future and making it law through the Official Community Plan (OCP).

Condon, an expert in sustainable urban design, said this is the time when the community can create the blueprint for the future. It can decide about its growth potential, about issues of fair housing and jobs, about how its neighbourhoods will be built and what makes this an equitable place to live over time.

It's been 17 years since Whistler's last major update to the OCP. Now it's time for the community to think about how it wants to see its future unfold.

"What should people care about more than that?" asked Condon.

"Really, nothing on the planet is more inspirational than that."

Condon, a senior researcher with the UBC Design Centre for Sustainability, is scheduled to be the guest speaker at Apres in Action Wednesday.

The event is designed to launch Whistler's comprehensive update of its OCP and how it relates to Whistler2020, the community's comprehensive sustainability plan. The Whistler Centre for Sustainability will be taking a lead role in the process.

"I think the Whistler2020 process is one of North America's vanguard visioning processes," said Condon, highlighting the contribution from the community to that process.

"I think that's all been very inspiring."

From his experience working with other communities, Condon used the example of what a place would look like if it decided, for example, to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 80 per cent.

There would be an increase in the number of commercial services in neighbourhoods, he said, and perhaps an electric bus system, among other things.

The key, he added, is that the community itself must decide what it will look like in 20 years time.

The OCP is a provincially mandated regulatory document and set of high-level plans and policies.

Wednesday's Apres in Action event launched Whistler's OCP update, which will take place over the next year.

A 20-person OCP Community Advisory Group has now been struck to advise municipal staff. It includes representatives from all the Whistler2020 community task force groups.



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