Social Planning
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Working together to address critical social issues

Social planning involves community and government groups and organizations working together in collaboration to address critical social issues facing a community. Social planning has also been referred to as community development or community social planning.  New sustainability efforts taking place in BC communities also involves social planning. Communities that effectively undertake these processes help to build healthier communities.  

What is a social planning?

Michael Clague defined social planning as, “a local, democratic system for setting priorities, arriving at equitable compromises and taking action. It supports community needs and interests in social, cultural, economic, and environmental affairs.”  Visit the Social Planning and Research Council of BC for more information and a report from Michael Clague. Social planning ensures that efforts to deal with social issues take place on a coordinated and community-wide basis.

What activities make up social planning?

An organization or group of people engaged in social planning may perform activities such as providing support, research, and information to a wide range of community organizations. A social planning body can provide leadership and facilitation in bringing together key people around a specific problem or issue. Social planning activities can also include providing advice or making recommendations to civic bodies regarding public policy as it relates to specific social issues.

What are the goals of social planning?

Utimately social planners aim to create healthier communities. Goals often relate to improving environments and communities for populations such as children and youth, seniors, or immigrants, or address challenges such as housing, transportation or  gambling and addiction. Regardless of the challenge a communities faces, a important goal common to social planning is  attention to the process a community undergoes to solve its challenges. Although all communities face difficulties, social planning sees collaboration as not only effective but neessary. When communities have a wide range of partnerships to address challenges, greater community knowledge and understanding is gained, strong relationships are formed and solutions can be realised.

Examples of BC communities engaged in social planning

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