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Open AccessArticle

Sustainable Development Compromise[d] in the Planning of Metro Vancouver’s Agricultural Lands—the Jackson Farm Case

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Urban Studies Program, Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3, Canada
2
Urban Studies Program and Geography Department, Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4843-4869; https://doi.org/10.3390/su5114843
Received: 13 August 2013 / Revised: 24 September 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 12 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
This research provides analysis of the case of the Jackson Farm development application, embedded within the particular dynamics of the municipal, regional, and provincial sustainability land use policy culture of the Metro Vancouver region, in Canada. Within a culture of appreciation of the increasing need for sustainability in land use policy, including the protection of agricultural lands at the provincial level through the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), to urban intensification and protection of the green zone at the regional scale, lies a political conflict that comes into focus in individual land use decisions, within municipalities struggling for autonomy. This case is neither driven strictly by “the politics of the highest bidder” nor by policy failure; the case of the Jackson Farm is instead a case of the challenges of implementing inter-governmental coordination and collaborative governance in a context of both significant sustainability policy and urban growth. The process can be seen to follow an ecological modernization agenda, seeking “win–win” alternatives rather than recognizing that typical compromises, over time, may tip the direction of development away from sustainability policy goals. Understanding the twists, turns, and eventual compromise reached in the case of the Jackson Farm brings to light the implications of the shift in the regional planning culture which may necessitate a less flexible, more structured prioritization of competing goals within plans and policies in order to meet sustainability goals. We highlight this, and present an alternative implementation process within the existing policy regime with potential to aid the specific goal of agricultural land protection. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable development; farmland protection; food security; urban sprawl; agricultural land reserve; regional planning; Vancouver; Canada sustainable development; farmland protection; food security; urban sprawl; agricultural land reserve; regional planning; Vancouver; Canada
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Jackson, J.; Holden, M. Sustainable Development Compromise[d] in the Planning of Metro Vancouver’s Agricultural Lands—the Jackson Farm Case. Sustainability 2013, 5, 4843-4869.

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