ABOUT THE PROJECT

The City of Calgary is consolidating our environmental strategies to provide an updated vision for protecting and improving Calgary's environment into the future.

We understand that the challenges we collectively face are complex and significant. This initiative will combine and strengthen our departmental strategies to leverage and support our strategic efforts and actions to manage our land, biodiversity, water, energy and waste resources in a much more integrated way.

To help build our guiding environmental plan, we want to learn about your desires for the environment and how Calgary’s plan can bring social, health and economic benefits to the city and our community.

The goal is to provide a unified strategy that will highlight and focus on Calgary’s key environmental issues, opportunities and priorities. This plan will help us to clearly define The City’s environmental direction and the path forward to tackle our most critical environmental challenges and improve our environmental outcomes.

The project has outlined focus areas that will help define and guide Calgary’s Environment Strategy and Action Plan:

  • Climate Adaptation - Prepare for and adapt to climate change impacts
  • Efficient Energy Use and Buildings - Reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Clean Air - Manage and protect air quality
  • Sustainable Transportation - Make walking, cycling and public transit preferred choices
  • Sustainable Neighbourhoods - Plan for a compact city and complete, healthy communities
  • Healthy Ecosystems – Protect, restore and enhance natural areas, parks and trees and provide access to nature
  • Water Stewardship - Support integrated watershed management: protect and improve the watersheds, improve water quality, reduce water consumption and flood risk
  • Zero Waste and Responsible Consumption - Reduce consumption and waste generation

Calgary has a long history of environmental conservation through both community-led and corporate-led work and volunteerism. The Environment Strategy can build on these efforts by identifying where we need to focus action into the future. The Action Plan will outline our progress to date and our approach to achieving The City’s established targets on improving Calgary’s environment over the next ten years.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS PROJECT?

  • People globally and locally have been calling for stronger action on a range of environmental issues.
  • The environmental challenges we face are significant, complex, and interrelated.
  • The City would like a unifying strategy to help alleviate some of the challenges with decision-making on environmental matters

The Environment Strategy and Action Plan will:

  • Help renew and strengthen our commitment to achieve the Citizen Priority of A Healthy and Green City which states Calgary is a leader in caring about the health of the environment and promotes resilient neighbourhoods where residents connect with one another and can live active, healthy lifestyles. [starting on page 42 of document]
  • Support The City to be responsive to the diverse and changing environment within Calgary’s context of an increasing population, fiscal constraints, changing technology, and global economies.
  • Set out a clear vision, direction and goals for improving Calgary’s environment for all Calgarians.
  • Support good health, quality of life; make the city a more sustainable and resilient place to live, work and do business; and, create economic opportunities in the green economy.
  • Provide direction to achieve our Environmental Stewardship value which states Encouraging responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices to protect and improve the quality of life in the community.

WHY YOU'RE IMPORTANT

While the Environment Strategy and Action Plan will help us set our direction to achieving the citizen priority of ‘A Healthy and Green City’, we recognize Calgarians as environmental stewards, and acknowledge your shared support of environmental assets. We value your input on how to best manage Calgary’s environment. This engagement approach ensures that The City, Calgarians and external organizations are working collaboratively towards a shared future state. We recognize the value of input from all ages and demographics and appreciate how what matters to the individual is used to build a stronger future together.

FAQ

What was the direction from Council and why is an Environment Strategy and Action Plan needed?

At the 2019, March 18, Combined Meeting of Council, City Council unanimously supported Notice of Motion C2019-0285 directing Administration to develop a City-wide Environmental Strategy and Action Plan. The motion was based on the acknowledgement that The City has a number of specific environmentally themed strategies, policies, and action plans, but lacks a unifying long-term Environmental Strategy that defines the environmental direction for The City as a whole. It was noted that the absence of a unifying overarching Environmental Strategy presents challenges for decision-making on environmental matters for both Council and the community.

What is the purpose of the Environment Strategy and Action Plan?

The intent is to provide an overarching Plan for the environment that establishes and integrates environmental protection. This work encompasses all aspects of the environment, including improving and maintaining clean air, clean and safe water, healthy soils and more biodiversity, by supporting sustainable practices for energy, water, waste, emissions, urban forests and vegetation, transportation networks and community design and construction – anything that impacts the ecological integrity and health of natural areas, ecosystems and assets. 

Who are considered stakeholders for this project?
Calgarians, internal City staff and external targeted stakeholders that represent the business and development sector, non-governmental organizations and academia, the regional and regulatory sector, community groups and environmental groups are all considered stakeholders for this project. Ultimately, those who are interested in, or impacted by, this work.

Why are you doing engagement?
Put simply... because Calgarians are impacted by the environment and the decisions we make. We want to understand how decisions may impact Calgarians before their implementation.

What will you do with the results of this engagement?
Input from phase 2 will be shared with the project team for use with internal and targeted stakeholders in phase 3 so they can better understand your ideas as they identify issues and opportunities to refine Calgary’s proposed environmental framework and actions.

Will I have other opportunities to provide my opinion?
Yes. We will be coming back to Calgarians in phase 4 to gather input for prioritizing proposed actions.

Why do I have to provide the first 3 digits of my postal code?
We use this information to better understand who is participating in engagement. Responses to the postal code question will not be linked to responses to the engagement questions.

Given the global pandemic, why are you doing engagement on this project now?
While Calgarians’ priorities are widespread during the pandemic, work at The City continues and people still want to be involved in decision-making processes. During a recent survey conducted by The City, released to Council June 2020, a majority of respondents agreed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, The City should still continue with online public engagement on projects and services.

So much research has already been done on environmental issues. Why are you writing a strategy rather than taking specific actions?
There is a lot of great research that has been done and we are using this as a foundation for this work. The goal of the Environment Strategy is to help us prioritize actions and unify existing work that is happening across our internal City departments and in our community. By taking this approach, we can be more intentional in how we focus resources and be more efficient in how we respond to environmental issues.


WHAT IS ENGAGEMENT AT THE CITY OF CALGARY?

Your input, and the input of other citizens and stakeholders, helps The City understand people’s perspectives, opinions, and concerns. Input collected in each phase of the project will be compiled and shared through a What We Heard report. Personally identifying information, profanity and comments that do not meet The City's Respectful Workplace Policy or the Online Tool Moderation Practice will be removed.

Although it would be a great outcome, the goal of public engagement is not to reach consensus or make everyone happy. Public engagement is also not about voting or collecting representative information. Public engagement is about considering the input, ideas and perspectives of people who are interested or impacted by decisions, before decisions are made.

To learn more about engagement at The City, visit engage.calgary.ca/about.

ENGAGEMENT OBJECTIVES

Objectives for Public Engagement for this project are:

  1. Understand Calgarians’ shared values related to Calgary’s environmental future.
  2. Understand what topic areas within the environment strategy Calgarians feel most impacted by and are most concerned about.
  3. Prioritize solutions/actions identified by internal and targeted stakeholders.

ENGAGEMENT PROCESS

The engagement process for this project begins with work set out by the project team which has been ongoing and sets the parameters for phase 1 and 2 engagement which seeks to understand what environmental factors matter most and are most concerning to Calgarians. Input from phase 1 and 2 will then be shared with internal and external subject-matter experts to identify issues and opportunities to refine Calgary’s proposed environmental framework and actions. Proposed actions will then be shared with the public in phase 4 for prioritization, at which point there will be the final refinement to identify strategies and initiatives of greatest impact that the corporation and community can action.


YOUR INPUT

In phase 2 engagement, we wanted to:

  • Understand what a healthy, prosperous and resilient environmental future for Calgary looks like to you
  • Understand the local environmental areas that are important to you
  • Understand what environmental areas you are most concerned about and why
  • Understand what you think are the barriers that prevent you and your close contacts from acting in a way that has less impact on our local environment

Thank you for for taking the time to share your ideas. Phase 2 engagement is now closed. The What we Heard report will be shared here when it is available. The next opportunity to participate in engagement will be in March. We look forward to more engagement with you.


You were invited to participate by clicking on the [individual tab] if you were visiting this site to provide your own opinion or clicking on the [business or organization tab] if you were providing an opinion on behalf of a business or organization. These feedback forms are now closed.


INDIVIDUALS

Graphic recordings from the 2019 Mayor’s Environment Expo

These images are to be used to help you answer Question #1 in Part 1

Click to enlarge images


QUESTIONS

BUSINESS & ORGANIZATIONS

Graphic recordings from the 2019 Mayor’s Environment Expo

These images are to be used to help you answer Question #1 in Part 1

Click to enlarge images


QUESTIONS


NEXT STEPS

Your input will be shared with internal and targeted stakeholders for use as they identify issues and opportunities to refine Calgary’s proposed environmental framework and actions. Actions will then be brought back to you to prioritize before internal and targeted stakeholders make a final refinement to identify strategies and initiatives of greatest impact that the corporation and community can action. The proposed Environmental Strategy and Action Plan will then be presented to the Executive Leadership Team before being presented to SPC on Utilities and Corporate Services followed by City Council in Spring 2021.


DEMOGRAPHICS AND EVALUATION

DID YOU KNOW?

We want you to feel included in engagement. This means that we want you to feel respected; we want you to know your opinion is valued; and, we want you to be supported to participate in The City’s engagement process. We do not want you to experience any difficulties to sharing your ideas and opinions with us. We try to design engagement activities so that everyone that wants to be involved, can be.

We use your answers to the following evaluation and demographic questions to understand which voices from the community are missing so we can be better at including them next time. We work with internal and external colleagues to help ensure that our engagement activities are welcoming to all.