From “You Should” to “We Can!”

The upcoming Sustainability Charter Implementation Fund is a great opportunity to switch our thinking from “you should” to “we can!”

It is easy to point at an issue and declare a “you should” solution. “You should” do this; “you should” do that. “You should” solutions usually involve someone, somewhere doing something. “You should” solutions are easy to come up with, but they don’t usually work for very long.

“We can” solutions can be more difficult. They require us to make individual and collective commitments and to be accountable for them. They require us to take risks, make mistakes, and experience failure. There require us to work together and make compromises.

But when “we can” solutions start to catch on, that is when communities begin to transform.

Last night we co-hosted a community dialogue on the upcoming “Implementation Fund” that is being put in place to support the City of Surrey’s “Sustainability Charter.”

The Implementation Fund will offer all of us concrete options and support for coming up with “we can” solutions.

Put yourself in a “we can” frame of mind and read over the following eight themes of the Sustainability Charter.

Inclusion: A caring community that encourages a sense of belonging and access to opportunity for all Surrey residents to realize their full potential.

Built environment and neighbourhoods: A beautiful, accessible and well-connected city of distinct and complete neighbourhoods that are walkable, engaging and resilient.

Public Safety: A city in which all people live, work and play in a safe and engaging environment.

Economic Prosperity and Livelihoods: Continued prosperity and thriving livelihoods and a strong, equitable and diverse economy.

Ecosystems: Healthy, protected and well-maintained ecosystems and biodiversity.

Education and Culture: Access to diverse, high quality learning opportunities, and vibrant arts, heritage and cultural experiences for all Surrey residents.

Health and Wellness: A community in which all residents are healthy, active and connected.

Infrastructure: Effective infrastructure and services that meet the current and future needs of the city, while protecting the natural environment and supporting urban growth.

What themes excite you? Where do you think your gifts of time, energy and creativity would make the most difference? What project or event ideas come to mind that could begin to make some of these theme a reality in your neighbourhood?

A huge thank you to the “Implementation Fund Team” for designing and facilitating this event: Kim Heron, Paul Steele, Dean Scovill and Forouzan Rezazadeh. Thank you also to City of Surrey Sustainability Manager Anna Mathewson and City of Surrey Sustainability Planner Maggie Baynham.

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