Big Picture

In our interconnected world, it’s no surprise that we often draw upon the experiences and practices of other countries like Australia and the United States, where similar government processes abound. As we delve into our local area plans, such as the Official Community Plan (OCP), we find a reflection of various topics tailored to our unique community. Recognizing these familiar terms allows us to gain a clearer perspective of where our city or town stands on the larger scale.

Within the fabric of our community, global or federal agendas leave their mark, shaping the path we tread. Influential forces present top-down directives to our local government, guiding decisions that impact us all. And as citizens, we ought to be aware of the responsibilities our local government has signed onto, ensuring that the well-being and future of our beloved community are protected.

Which global or federal agendas can be found in your town.

To be honest, this is a massive undertaking. You’ll need to pull all your research skills and resources into watching the world stage and training your mind to catch terms, keywords, and agendas. In many cases these translate word for word to your local community, but that’s not always the case. The only way to stay up to date on these topics are to follow international news and consistently follow your local council agenda. Over time you’ll see the two pair together, most often your local agenda is at least a few months behind.

Who influences or presents top-down directives to your local government.

These are a throwback to the stakeholders we outlined in another post. Sometimes these are Universities or special interest groups from outside your community. These entities have an invested interest in selling your municipality on their design or plans, for either economic, environmental, or other reasons. You are likely able to find who is calling the shots, as it were, by checking your local council meetings for delegations, as well as motions brought forward. As general feedback, most organizations from outside your community will be bringing a top-down directive to your community. You’ll want to spend some time to determine what that means for locals.

What responsibilities have your local government signed onto.

The majority of these will be found in your local minutes and transcript of council meeting. Sometimes they make their way to local news and may even have surveys attached to them. Other groups, corporate entities, or governments may have established funding with conditions. We see a lot of these related to carbon emissions, water levels, and housing. Promises for top-down funding as long as your local municipality complies with certain reporting conditions are very popular for these.