Conclusion & Call to Action: A More Inclusive Dialogue
This Discussion Paper provides a compelling snapshot of the complexities involved in equity-based responses to three areas of municipal infrastructure renewal at a critical moment in Canada’s efforts to implement the SDGs and address the climate emergency.
It reveals that there are an enormous number of SDG-informed emergent, creative solutions in the areas of NZH, fleet electrification and stormwater management.
What’s also abundantly clear to us, the three project partners who implemented this research project, is that as an SDGs community we face a major challenge: engaging a broader range of equity-seeking communities in the SDGs-related planning and decision making process.
For example, NZH and affordable housing are both major challenges—yet, while the Discussion Paper notes positive first steps, for the most part in Canada, policy discussions about one are taking place without meaningfully addressing the other.
These are not zero-sum issues: the SDGs include both social justice goals and GHG emission targets. We have the opportunity to address the climate crisis, and also the affordable housing crisis. There’s a similar need for more participatory planning with both stormwater management and fleet electrification.
To achieve this is going to require a broader, more inclusive dialogue than has ever taken place in Canada around the SDGs, social equity and Indigenous reconciliation.
How do we engage equity-seeking and Indigenous communities around the broader SDGs issues and vice versa? How do we all get around the same table to envision a common future? This must be our next step.
We propose a series of dialogue events to begin to achieve this. These events should be designed in collaboration. The conversations must be focused on collective action. And they should be iterative so we can build the path towards the collective future we want.