UFV: Community Planning and Policy: Community Needs and Sustainability

 A blog post by Rajneel Reddy for GEOG 360: Introduction to Regional and Community Planning and Policy at UFV, facilitated by Dr. Cherie Enns MCIP, RPP and Dr. Afia Raja. 


As a student at University of the Fraser Valley, I am grateful for the opportunity to utilize campus resources located on the Stó:lō land in Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada. 


Building a community and/or revitalizing an existing community is often seen as big responsibilities carried out by experienced professional planners. Challenges such as climate change, housing affordability, socio-economic crisis, poverty, and accessibility are some issues that require knowledge and skills to mitigate. Being a student at University of the Fraser Valley, I have experienced these issues being discussed holistically in courses to build better solutions for a sustainable future. Over the duration of the Fall semester, Community Policy and Planning course provide me the opportunity to attain experience to explore history of community planning and propose strategic directions for sustainable development plans. UFV’s association with real planning projects in the local community is remarkable to help plan communities on what they need. 


As I reflect on my course learning and experience working with classmates on planning policies for Mission Waterfront Revitalization project, I understand the concept of concept of solving present problems and avoiding future problems. (Hodge, Gordon, & Shaw, 2021). 

Transformation of communities into vibrant hubs where people live, work and interact with each other at affordable cost is the modern-day urbanism needs. One concept that I took away from the course is that as communities evolve to accommodate present and future needs an ideal community intertwines on sustainability, resilience, and livability determinants. Ideal communities give a sense of belonging to those who live and work there. 

Planning Experience Today. Raja, 2021 


Interaction with diverse people and learning perspectives to incorporate life in communities is the most intelligent thing to begin with for an urban planner. By interacting with local planners and participating in the Mission Waterfront project facilitated by UFV, I learned the breadth of community planning. Moving forward as I transition to further learning and implementing planning, I believe it is crucial to understand relationship interface of between planning areas and its surrounding (residential, commercial, environmental, cultural, and geo-spatial). (Daamen, 2007). Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) in practical means commence with small scale projects and a step at a time. Community planning for me will always include engagement with professional planners, all levels of governments, people who live in the community and those who would like to live there. One vital role in planning is to understand the diverse needs of the community and to apply planning knowledge and skills in the real world will require acceptance of other people’s perspectives. 


Daamen, T. (2007). Sustainable Development of the European port-city interface. ENHR Conferencehttps://www.academia.edu/3298415/Sustainable_development_of_the_European_port_city_interface?email_work_card=title 

Hodge, G., Gordon, D. L. A., & Shaw, P. (Eds.). (2021). Planning Canadian communities: An introduction to the principles, practices, and participants in the 21st century (7th ed.). Nelson Education Ltd. 

Raja, A. (2010, Oct. 4). History of Community Planning: The Beginning of Todays Cities [PowerPoint Slides]. Blackboard@University of the Fraser Valley. https://myclass.ufv.ca/webapps/blackboard/execute/content/file?cmd=view&content_id=_1853282_1&course_id=_52126_1&framesetWrapped=true 

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