When you picture Whistler in 27 years, what comes to mind?
Has the resort caved to ever-increasing pressures for growth and densification and transformed into a diverse, urban city in the mountains? Have your favourite trails been replaced with housing developments? Has Whistler lost precious parkland and habitat, while its overall carbon footprint increases?
That’s one of four scenarios outlined in “The Whistler Sessions,” a community initiative the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) launched alongside international social enterprise Reos Partners last year.
Emerging out of the Whistler Recovery Working Group formed during the pandemic and made up of a diverse roster of local leaders, First Nations, artists and entrepreneurs from across the resort, the Whistler Sessions read the tea leaves to come up with four highly-detailed scenarios imagining what the community could look like in the year 2050.
“The scenarios are not predictions about what will happen (forecasts) or what should happen (a vision),” the RMOW explains on its website. “Rather, the scenarios hypothesize different ways the future could unfold for Whistler’s communities, economy, environment, and culture.” In other words, the initiative used storytelling to highlight potential challenges and opportunities Whistler could face in the years ahead, and the various ways Whistler leaders and residents can steer the town’s trajectory towards or away from those scenarios.
The community will refocus its attention on those four scenarios this week when the RMOW presents a pair of Whistler Sessions scenario briefings at the Whistler Public Library on Thursday, May 25.
If the future described at the beginning of this article isn’t the one you have in mind for Whistler—or if you just want to be part of the conversation about where the resort is going—you’re encouraged to take part in either discussion, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday.
Each session will review all four Whistler Sessions scenarios prior to a group discussion. Attendees will also learn how a Whistler organization incorporated the four scenarios in their work, and brainstorm the personal and collective actions Whistler’s community can take to build the future it envisions.
“Finding solutions and making big decisions benefits from the input of many voices and perspectives,” the library explains in the event notice.
All are invited to participate, but registration is encouraged. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your spot for the morning or evening session.
- With files from Brandon Barrett