Community planning is a broad term, but it is often used to talk about planning processes that are holistic and seek to improve the social, cultural, and economic wellbeing of the whole community, over the long-term. As such, community plans usually try to think many years ahead and to develop a clear vision, goals, and objectives to help the community get there.
Community plans are also fundamentally about the community – the people who live and work in the area – and so are often developed with regular input from community members. A community plan may include a land use plan and may try to identify areas for certain kinds of use, but it often tries to address much more – housing, environmental concerns, cultural/social services and programming, to name just a few.
In Canada, Indigenous community planning usually refers to planning processes that are initiated and led by Inuit, Métis and First Nation peoples, and that are designed to support Indigenous self-determination. Increasingly, Indigenous community plans also represent a blending of Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge. For, as so many Indigenous Elders and knowledge holders have taught us, Indigenous peoples have planned their communities since time immemorial. Indigenous community planning is about connecting with and reclaiming these traditions.