Natural Environment

Natural environment refers to the health and well-being of the natural systems and processes that frame our lives in Nanaimo. A healthy natural environment fosters community resilience and attractive and sustainable future.

Cultural Considerations

Cultural considerations refer to a broad range of activities, events and images that promote a vibrant Nanaimo and associated conviviality by celebrating arts, culture, education, ethnicity and music. Support for cultural activities creates an opportunity to celebrate the gifts and talents of a cross-section of Nanaimo’s population.

Economic Considerations

Economic considerations refer to the economic health and well-being of the city and its community members. More and more economic well-being is related to vibrant and diverse employment opportunities and associated high quality of life for the residents of Nanaimo.

Social Considerations

Social considerations refer to the well-being of Nanaimo’s community members where people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, religions and socio-economic status are welcomed, valued and respected.

Built Environment

Built Environment refers to the area of Nanaimo that has been shaped by human activity with particular reference to buildings, public spaces and streets and roads. High quality planning and design of the built environment creates enjoyable places and spaces that produce a livable and visually enjoyable city.

Successful Cities

Many initiatives, both nationally and globally, focus upon the well-being of urban citizens and urban environments.  Health Communities and Compassionate Communities are two such examples. While each of these ‘movements’ offers significant insight into the varied aspects that affect the well-being of society in general and cities in particular, there is a parallel concept that captures the collective notions of those initiatives and brings a broader range of factors into the discussion of cities: that emerging global conversation is called Successful Cities.

The topic of Successful Cities provides a useful lens to envision the future of cities.  The planning and creation of a Successful City requires unwavering leadership, vision, persistence, determination and flexibility.  A vibrant, Successful City embraces and implements innovative concepts to ensure its future prosperity by introducing forward-thinking policies and action that include integrated cultural, economic, environmental (built & natural) and social initiatives.

Historically, the concept of Successful Cities has been examined as principally an economic consideration. In the words of Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, (1984) cities are “the economic engines of nations”.  Will Hutton, Chief Executive of The Work Foundation found that “Globalization and the knowledge economy are the defining and inter-twining narratives of the last two decades of transformation in the world economy.  The analysis suggests that both the knowledge economy and globalization happen in places, albeit unevenly, and that cities and regions often provide the nodal points where these processes interact. This means that globalization and the knowledge economy offer huge opportunities for cities.  Successful Cities will be those that recognize these opportunities and rise to the challenges of the shifting economy, building on their strengths and adapting to the changes”.  The Conference Board of Canada (2007) noted, “Canada’s prosperity depends on the success of our cities”.  But, more recent evidence points to an increased emphasis upon a range of factors that affect the success of a city.  That range of factors has been influenced by trans disciplinary considerations.  As a result, notions of a Successful City are more likely to examine the cultural, environmental, governance and social states of a city as much as its economic health. It is that breadth of factors that have led to a broader concept of Successful Cities.

Peter Hall (1998) noted, “The death of distance allows any place to compete with any other place for work”.  Charles Landry and Richard Florida linked the idea of cities that were creative (i.e., knowledge-based economies) displayed a high quality of life.  Florida in Who’s Your City explored the importance of aesthetics, values and leadership as essential differentiators between cities.  In short, those cities that displayed concerns for aesthetics (i.e., community design), promoted progressive values (support for their fellow citizens) and supportive leadership (able and willing to make important community-based decisions) were inevitably seen to be more attractive for the new economy that is based upon knowledge and the creative class.  The concept of Successful Cities builds on those and other authors and commentators.