Sustainable development was adopted as an action principle by the international community toward the end of the 1980s. It was later enshrined in Quebec’s Sustainable Development Act, which was adopted in 2006. The Act describes sustainable development as follows:
“... development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development is based on a long-term approach which takes into account (...) environmental, social and economic dimensions (...).”
Sustainable development thus aims to foster the fulfillment of all members of the community through economic activities that are not harmful to the ecological integrity and resources of the planet.
For a municipality, it means offering all its citizens, both present and future, a quality living environment on the economic, social, environmental and government levels and in an efficient and coherent manner. Various processes can be implemented by the municipality to do so, and among other things, to limit its environmental footprint, operate more efficiently and enlist greater citizen participation and commitment.
Since 2010, the Ville de Saint-Lambert has ought to integrate sustainable development practices into its management methods. The Environment Committee studied the issue in order to make recommendations to City Council that would serve as the foundation for the City’s future actions regarding the environment. To ensure that it was on the right track, the City then examined the best practices of other cities in Quebec, the rest of Canada and abroad that had already begun sustainable development initiatives. Based on this study, it came up with recommendations for Saint-Lambert.
This was how, in 2012, the Ville de Saint-Lambert came up with its first sustainable development plan, in collaboration with Équiterre. Following implementation of this first plan, an assessment was conducted to determine the progress made and how issues had evolved. It determined that 79% of the planned actions had been taken or were under way.
The Ville de Saint-Lambert has adopted a sustainable land-use vision with a 20-year horizon to ensure that its land is developed responsibly and respectfully. Our city has many strengths worth consolidating and enhancing in the years ahead in order to make it a truly sustainable community.
This vision over a 20-year horizon will guide and influence all future documents concerning the use of Saint-Lambert land.
The Ville de Saint-Lambert has structured its plan around the four pillars of sustainable development:
Governance represents both the structure that supports the municipality in its sustainable development process and the goals it hopes to attain. The city is therefore pursuing two strategic orientations to ensure that it works with the community to build the Saint-Lambert of the with transparency and efficiency:
- The challenge of redevelopment through a sustainable and harmonious vision of land use and the responsible management of assets, while respecting the community’s expectations;
- A form of governance that builds trust and encourages the participation of all.
The economy includes not only the vitality of the city’s economic fabric, but also the economic viability of its activities, all with a concern for accountability and equity. The Ville de Saint-Lambert undertakes to reinforce the city’s appeal and tax equity through two strategic orientations. This condition will be attained through the following orientations:
- An innovative, local and distinctive economy to support the city’s economic vitality and strengthen the living environments;
- An exemplary municipality in terms of ensuring the long-term viability of its budget balance and supporting the local economy.
Governance and the economy must both serve social progress. For Saint-Lambert, this means reinforcing the wonderful quality of life the city offers its populations, while also striving to be ever more inclusive and accessible. It also means setting an example by supporting its employees’ growth and fulfillment. The Ville de Saint-Lambert translates this into a focus on two strategic orientations:
- Diversified, accessible, inclusive and fulfilling living environments;
- A municipality that qualifies as an employer of choice.
Lastly, the Ville de Saint-Lambert recognizes that a sustainable community can only develop and flourish within an environment that is healthy, accessible and protected by everyone. Meeting residents’ mobility needs without jeopardizing the environment, reducing the city’s footprint, helping the community reduce its footprint and valuing our emblematic forest canopy are key to the collective commitment that Saint-Lambert must make to the environment. This condition will be met by focussing on two strategic orientations:
- A city that is connected and committed to sustainable mobility;
- A green city committed to redu-cing its footprint and protecting its environment.
Sustainable development plan
The fruit of a collaborative process and inspired by its experience, the 2021-2030 Sustainable Development Plan endeavours to provide a unifying vision, anchored in today's municipal realities and focused on ensuring a quality environment for the community of today and tomorrow.
The implementation of the plan will promote the integration of these principles into all action plans, current or future, within the municipality, thus making sustainable development an integral part of all spheres of activity.