Award-winning community plan integrates climate considerations

The Planning Institute of BC (PIBC) presented the Silver Award for Excellence in Policy Planning to SSG along with an incredible team of consultants and the Town of Ladysmith for the Town’s Official Community Plan (OCP) Ladysmith Unparallelled. We are thrilled to see this collaborative project, which integrated climate considerations throughout the entirety of the process, be celebrated and recognized by the planning community. 

Development of the OCP was a collaborative effort with seven consultancies (SSG, WATT Consulting Group, Sanala Planning, Matthew Thomson Design, Licker Geospatial, Colliers, and DIALOG) bringing their various expertise to the project under the guidance of Jake Belobaba (Town of Ladysmith) and Jennifer Fix (Ahne Studio). 

Traditionally, OCPs guide land use and building and infrastructure development. Over the past 15 years or so, communities and urban planners have increasingly recognized that land-use planning is also climate planning. OCP policies help dictate whether neighbourhoods are low greenhouse gas emitters or high emitters, and whether they are vulnerable to increasingly frequent and intense climate change impacts or are resilient communities. 

SSG helped quantify the greenhouse gas impact of land-use policies by modelling future scenarios for housing development, transportation, and energy generation and use. These explorations indicated which policy approaches could produce energy efficient and low emission land uses in the form of compact, complete communities. The modelling informed policy directions in the OCP. The Town plans to adopt higher energy efficiency and low-emission building codes sooner than originally planned. The Town also increased emphasis on infrastructure and land-use design to support walking, biking, and rolling. 

Insights from SSG’s modelling and analyses was incorporated throughout the OCP and in the Development Permit Areas policies, as opposed to a section specific to climate action. This ensures that as the Town grows and changes, it will do so in a climate-conscious manner that avoids locking in land uses that require fossil fuel use and allows the Town to achieve its climate action targets.


Want to learn more about how SSG can support the development of your OCP? Give us a shout at