What is Social Development and Social Planning?
Social development refers to addressing the health and positive development of a community and its citizens by addressing the social issues that impact the people who live there. Quality of life is integrally linked with the sustainability of our economy, our physical environment, and the health and well-being of our community. This includes all aspects of living in a community: safe neighbourhoods; services and supports for community members when they are vulnerable; accessible transportation; meeting places; affordable housing; citizen engagement; and a sense of belonging and inclusion for everyone.
Social planning is about building community well-being. Other forms of planning focus on land, buildings, or streets. Social planning focuses on people and their relationships, and it brings people together to enhance a community’s quality of life. Social planning is also community development and capacity building, as it brings together individuals, groups, communities, and governments to work toward enhancing a community’s quality of life. Social planning encourages residents to become active in their community and to develop their full potential.
The Role of Social Development in Municipal Government
Historically, municipal governments in British Columbia have not had any mandate or responsibility for addressing social concerns. However, as the level of government closest to the community they were often faced with dealing with the results of social issues, with limited capacity or tools to do so. Local government has the ability to bring together key players who can take action on social issues. This positions municipal government to play a key role in facilitating collaborative approaches to complex social issues.
The Social Development Manager works in the Planning and Operations department and is responsible for bringing a social lens to a variety of municipal and community issues. Key responsibilities include:
• Applying a ‘social lens’ and providing input and recommendations to senior administration and Council with regard to municipal planning, development and policy issues.
• Working with community based organizations, federal and provincial ministries, the Social Planning Council, and other community networks to support and facilitate collaboration in identifying and addressing a range of social issues.
• Positioning the City of Williams Lake as a leader in working collaboratively to address social issues, advocating for social change, and improving individual and community well-being and quality of life.
Social Development Current Priorities
The City of Williams Lake is in the process of developing an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP). This plan is about creating a long-term vision and integrating our plans for social, environmental, economic and land use priorities so that we have a balanced approach to planning for our community. Over the next 18 months, we will be developing a specific strategy for Social Development within the ICSP.
For more information, please contact:
Manager of Social Development
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