Social Planning

Social Development Strategy

On September 9, 2013, Richmond City Council adopted the Richmond Social Development Strategy. The purpose of the Strategy is captured in its title: Building Our Social Future. The Strategy is intended to guide the City’s decisions and resource allocations on social development matters over the next 10 years—in essence, functioning like a social development equivalent of the Official Community Plan (OCP). It is also intended to be a resource for external stakeholders which:

  • Identifies social development priorities for City attention between now and 2022.
  • Clarifies the roles of the City (and other stakeholders) with respect to addressing particular social development topics.
  • Provides a foundation for a more integrated, coordinated, and sustainable approach for social development in Richmond for the future.

PDF Document Social Development Strategy

Why Prepare the Strategy?

There are two primary reasons for preparing the Strategy:

  • Increasing complexity of issues - As Richmond and the region continue to grow and develop, the type and nature of social issues being faced are becoming increasingly complex and challenging (e.g., homelessness, addictions, the growing gap between "haves and have nots"). Further, the City is not in a position to "do it alone" in responding to social issues – it needs be strategic, adopt appropriate roles, and work in partnership with other stakeholders. The Social Development Strategy is intended to help the City in defining its future social course.
  • Council priority - Council recognizes the importance of having a strategic document to help frame its future decisions on social matters. Indeed, the preparation of a Social Development Strategy was identified as a key Term Goal by Council both in 2009 and 2012.

Further, the City’s Vision is to be the most appealing, livable and well-managed community in Canada. The Council adopted Social Development Strategy will be a valuable resource in helping the City to realize this vision.

What were the Key Steps in the Strategy Process?

The process for preparing and subsequently implementing the Social Development Strategy involved four phases:
Phase I: Initial Community Engagement
November 2009-December 2010
Phase II: Analysis and Draft Strategy Preparation
January 2011-November 2012
Phase III: Consultation, Revision and Strategic Adoption
January 2013-July 2013 
Phase IV: Implementation, Monitoring and Reporting on the Strategy
August 2013 and Onwards *We are here
What were the Guiding Principles?
The following principles guided the preparation of the Strategy:

  • Support the City’s Corporate Vision
  • Enhance Social Sustainability
  • Engage the Community
  • Complement, interests, policies, programs, services and funding priorities
  • Be strategic, visionary and realistic
  • Focus on assets and recognize social capital
  • Be flexible and resilient
  • Provide benefits to Richmond residents and external stakeholders

What is the Social Development Strategy Framework?
The framework for the strategy consists of a vision, goals, strategic directions and related actions. A visual representation of the framework is shown in the PDF below.

PDF Document Social Development Strategy Framework

Highlights are as follows:
Richmond is an inclusive, engaging and caring community – one that considers the needs of its present and future generations, values and builds on its diversity, nurtures its social capital and treats its citizens with fairness and respect.

1. Enhancing Social Equity and Inclusion
2. Engaging our Citizens
3. Building on Social Assets and Community Capacity

Strategic Directions:
1. Expanding Housing Choices
2. Enhance Community Accessibility
3. Address the Needs of an Aging Population
4. Help Richmond’s Children, Youth and Families to Thrive
5. Build on Richmond’s Cultural Diversity
6. Support Community Engagement and Volunteerism
7. Strengthen Richmond’s Social Infrastructure
8. Provide High Quality Recreation, Arts, Cultural and Wellness Opportunities
9. Facilitate Strong and Safe Neighbourhoods

Implementation and Next Steps 
To guide implementation of the Strategy, staff will prepare annual work programs for Council's review and endorsement. The first work program, which will include time lines and resource requirements, will be presented to Council later in the year.

Who can I contact for additional information?
Sean Davies
Coordinator, Diversity Services
Phone: 604-276-4390

Additional Documents
PDF Document Planning Committee Report (October 2014)
PDF Document Planning Committee Report (September 2013)
PDF Document Planning Committee Report (January 2013)
PDF Document Planning Committee Report (February 2011)
PDF Document Planning Committee Report (November 2009)

Additional Links
Older Adults Strategy
Youth Strategy
Richmond Community Wellness Strategy
Affordable Housing Strategies 
Intercultural Strategic Plan