Community Planning – Balance Model initiative
This initiative seeks to understand the changing trends in Whistler’s population - and study the capacity of services and amenities to support that population. The intent is to consider the implications of growth in the context of progress towards the achievement of Whistler’s vision – such that implications for social, environmental and economic performance are all considered.
Based on historical analysis of relationships between population changes and community performance over the past 20 years, a model is being developed to project a range of potential scenarios that may occur over the next 20 years. This will enable the municipality and stakeholders to consider the implications of shifting trends in population, and establish strategies and actions to work towards achieving goals for and with the community.
The Balance Model is comprehensive in that all population segments are considered, from permanent residents to temporary residents, both owners and renters, resort workforce and non-workforce, as well as visitors – regional and destination and both overnight and day.
This initiative is being progressed with input from the Strategic Planning Committee, a standing Committee of Council that was initiated in 2019 to act in an advisory capacity to support Council in its decision-making related to community and land use planning and growth management.
Timeline and Process associated with this Initiative
There are three key phases being undertaken in this community planning work:
- Current State Assessment
- Potential Future Scenarios
- Strategies and Actions
As of November 2021, the Current State Assessment has been completed and staff will be sharing our findings with the Community late 2021.
With this work, we are also in the process of developing and modelling future scenarios and are targeting a project completion date by Spring 2022.
Community engagement will take various forms, from the sharing of information and analysis in the Current State, to seeking community input and feedback on Potential Future Scenarios and Strategies and Actions. Community engagement will be announced as dates are confirmed.
The diagram below shows the three phases and associated timelines.
What is the Balance Model?
The Balance Model itself will be an integrated modelling tool for use in Community planning, ongoing analysis, and evaluation of progress against the goals we have set out in the Official Community Plan.It is a management tool to help inform decision making – it will not in itself provide strategies, actions or solutions, but will provide data and analysis to support staff with their work, and Council in its decision making.
What will the Balance Model do?
- Provide segmented estimates of Whistler’s current daily population levels and historical trends including both residents and visitors
- Provide potential scenarios of Whistler’s future daily population levels, including both residents and visitors
- Examine the relationship between population and indicators of community, economic, and environmental performance
- Identify implications, tradeoffs, and pain points between community, environment, and economic goals
- Predict future potential performance of indicators of community, economic, and environmental performance given possible future population scenarios
- Provide key insights to enable strategic discussion with community stakeholders on future potential implications and proactive management
How will the Balance Model work?
A conceptual diagram of the Balance Model is provided below:
The model design is described in more detail in the table below:
|Forecasted Influencers||The balance model will forecast the future population based on potential ‘influencers’ of growth. For example, the Lower Mainland population may have an influence on visitation from the region, so the expected future Lower Mainland population could be used to inform forecasts for Whistler's visitation levels.|
|Built Capacity||Future scenarios of built capacity (e.g. tourist accommodation, parking, residential housing) are considered for their ability to accommodate future growth.|
|Forecasted Population Segments||Future population scenarios are forecasted by combining the above two steps. Projections will be formed at the segment level (e.g. workforce, residents, visitors, etc.).|
|Projected Future Indicator Performance||A range of community, economic, and environmental indicators are projected 20 years into the future for each of the population scenarios.|
|Strategies & Actions||The future performance of community, economic, and environmental indicators in various population scenarios will be used to foster important engagement with community partners as to future strategies and actions.|
For questions and inquiries contact email@example.com