RCE Peterborough Kawartha Haliburton - 2020

Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Peterborough Kawartha Haliburton
Contributing organization(s) : 
GreenUP, City of Peterborough, County of Peterborough, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Otonabee Conservation, Peterborough Public Health, Nourish
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Brianna Salmon
Organizational Affiliation: 
Format of project: 
Community-Based Action Project
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Monday, September 28, 2020
Additional resources: 
Program Brochure: https://www.greenup.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SUNInfoBrochure_Final.pdf

Peterborough Region Climate Change Action Plan
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Peterborough Region
Address of focal point institution for project: 
378 Aylmer St N. Peterborough, ON, Canada, K9H 3V8
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
This project took place in two neighbourhoods in the city of Peterborough: the Curtis Creek Neighbourhood and the Kawartha Heights Neighbourhood. The Curtis creek neighbourhood is an older neighbourhood in the city's east-end that is cross-cut by a river. This neighbourhood is characteristic of many neighbourhoods in the city's centre. The Kawartha Heights neighbourhood is a newer neighbourhood that is characteristic of the suburban development around the city's perimeter.

This project also took place in the Hamlet of Warsaw, which is a rural community in the County of Peterborough that is comparable in size to an urban neighbourhood.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
These neighbourhoods were selected because of specific climate vulnerabilities they experience - primarily related to flooding, but also in the Kawartha Heights neighbourhood, related to drought. They were also selected because they have social, physical, and economic characteristics that make them similar to other neighbourhoods in the city's centre and suburban perimeter, as well as to other rural settlement areas.
September, 2017 to December, 2020
GreenUP’s Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods (SUN) program is a collaborative, neighbourhood-based approach to sustainable renewal and climate action. SUN brings together neighbourhood residents, municipalities, and other community partners to identify and support opportunities for sustainability through hands-on neighbourhood-scaled climate action demonstration projects, visioning and planning for future action, and the sharing of skills and knowledge.

Community-based climate planning and action projects are a meaningful approach to engage residents in the identification of key strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change, to demonstrate the change that is possible when communities work together, and to provide opportunities for education, training, and skill development, which is necessary for ongoing implementation.
Key objectives for the SUN Project include:
1. Collaborative and participatory engagement in identifying the key risks and opportunities connected to climate change in each neighbourhood
2. Development of a Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan for each participating community
3. Completion of climate adaptation and mitigation quick-start projects that demonstrate the potential for collective action, and that also help residents to gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to support the future implementation of the action plans.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
This project uses participatory planning approaches, or co-design approaches, to create the Neighbourhood or Community Action Plans. This involves phased approaches including community benchmarking, visioning, and action prioritization.

This project also engages the community in direction action, including community planting projects, educational workshops, and training opportunities.
Size of academic audience: 
This project has resulted in the creation of 3 Neighbourhood/Community Action Plans, as well as significant on-the-ground restoration projects. In the City of Peterborough, residents of our two project neighbourhoods have collectively planted 1,600 sq.m. (17,000 square feet) of demonstration gardens and trees! In our rural community, residents and community partners have planted nearly 500 sq.m. of demonstration gardens and trees. These demonstration projects increase biodiversity, create habitat, support local food production, and reduce the risk of flooding.
Lessons learned: 
The SUN project has been an incredible opportunity to engage residents in novel approaches to community planning and action, and to evaluate the strengths of this approach. During this project, local governments and community partners have also identified how these community-led processes can meaningfully advance municipal plans, such as the Community Climate Action Plan and the Community Wellness Plan. There is an eagerness to complete this type of community-based planning and action process in a greater number of neighbourhoods and settlement areas across the region.
Key messages: 
The Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods Project is a remarkable approach to increase community resilience to climate change, and to spark community-led innovation. Through SUN, municipalities and organizations improve efficiencies, draw strong local community support, and build partnerships for the implementation of a broad range of initiatives in the public and private realms. By reframing environmental projects to incorporate greater social and economic outcomes, SUN has helped to generate creative solutions and to broaden support and capacity for implementation.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Advances our local RCE objective of increasing community capacity and training to advance sustainable development.
Ontario Trillium Foundation and RBC Foundation. In-kind support from local governments and community partners.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level