Social Sustainability Strategy

The Township of Langley’s Social Sustainability Strategy establishes a clear vision for our future — a connected, inclusive, and resilient community where everyone can enjoy and contribute to a great quality of life — and sets a course to get there. While many people in the Township currently enjoy a great quality of life, not everyone is thriving. Rapid population growth, climate change, technological advancement, and unexpected events like the COVID-19 pandemic necessitate a strategy to guide us toward our vision. The Social Sustainability Strategy identifies six priority areas with actions to pursue in partnership with other organizations and groups. By working more collaboratively, thinking big, and being open to doing things differently, together we can realize our social sustainability vision.

Read the Township of Langley's Social Sustainability Strategy, including goals and priorities endorsed by Township Council in early 2022.

Public Engagement

The Township invested two and a half years into the planning, research, and community engagement process to create the Social Sustainability Strategy. It was important to take the time to listen to local residents and organizations, allowing us to learn more about our community’s existing strengths and challenges, as well as hopes and fears for the future. This Strategy — its vision, goals, priorities, and actions — is an outcome of this effort. The Township’s engagement process for the Social Sustainability Strategy was featured by PlanH as a success story on its website and in its Healthy Community Engagement Action Guide.

Social Sustainability Strategy

Social Profile

The Social Profile is a background document that was prepared in 2019 to support evidence-based decision-making in the development of the Social Sustainability Strategy. It contains a variety of information, including data on social issues and trends, an overview of related Township plans and programs, and an inventory of local social service organizations. While some things have changed since 2019, the Social Profile remains a useful reference document for planning purposes.

Read the Township of Langley’s Social Profile.

Implementation

The Social Sustainability Strategy’s action plan is designed to be implemented over a five-year timeframe. A number of actions are currently underway or have already been completed. This table was last updated in June 2022.

REF # Action Implementation
1A

In partnership with local First Nations and Indigenous organizations, explore opportunities to:

- support and implement initiatives that raise community-wide awareness and understanding of local Indigenous histories, cultures, and issues

- implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action related to municipalities and related initiatives that support building and sustaining meaningful relationships

- develop a communications guide with information and protocols to assist Township Council, staff, and the broader community in building partnerships with local First Nations and Indigenous people

In progress – A number of initiatives are currently underway, including the construction of Salishan Place by the River: a new arts, culture, and heritage facility being developed in collaboration with Katzie, Kwantlen, Matsqui, and Semiahmoo First Nations. The Langley Museum’s Curator of Indigenous Arts and Culture has taken a lead role in establishing communication protocols with local First Nations, and is serving as a key Township liaison to facilitate discussions on projects that affect First Nations and their communities.

1C

Provide cultural awareness education to all Township staff and offer cultural safety training to Township Council and staff working with local First Nations and Indigenous organizations, and explore opportunities to extend education and training to local businesses and non-profit organizations by, for example, sharing resources and onsite training, as appropriate.

In progress – Cultural safety training for select staff engaging with Indigenous people is being scheduled for fall 2022.

2B

Address community space needs through initiatives such as:

- preparing and publishing an inventory of low-cost space available for community use, and working with local organizations, including FVRL, School District 35, local businesses, and strata corporations to explore opportunities to make more space available for community use

- exploring opportunities to support community hubs that offer a range of community programs, services, and gathering places

- exploring smaller neighbourhood-based centres with amenities like exercise equipment, games areas, and meeting space

In progress – The Township has leased the former Aldergrove firehall at 2900 – 272 Street to Langley Meals on Wheels Services Society for the Aldergrove Community Station House: a community hub offering a range of community programs and services. Work is currently underway to explore additional opportunities for community gathering places.
2C

Refine and share the Township's best practice guide for engaging sub-populations to build capacity within the organization and community on best practices for inclusive community engagement.

In progress – The work to refine the Township’s best practice guide for engaging equity-denied groups is nearly complete.

3B

Review and update the Housing Action Plan to explore:

- opportunities to increase the number of market rental units, including rental apartment units and secondary suites

- policy and regulatory tools to further protect existing rental housing

- opportunities to facilitate more non-market rental, supportive housing, and emergency shelter options

Completed – The Township’s Housing Action Plan was updated in late 2021.

3D

Support initiatives that raise awareness and address misinformation about homelessness in the community (e.g. local events and advertising campaigns).

In progress – With the support of federal and provincial grant funding, work is underway to develop initiatives that address misinformation about homelessness.

4A

Promote bc211 as a centralized source for information about community, government, and social services to help build community capacity through access to services.

In progress – In collaboration with bc211 and community organizations, work is underway to better promote this community resource.
4B

Support initiatives that build the capacity of public, private, and non-profit organizations to address community issues and innovate in a more collaborative way, such as:

- piloting tactics to strengthen local business engagement in social sustainability, such as promoting social purpose business as an emerging business trend

- working with business, post-secondary institutions, industry associations, and non-profits to collaborate on research and projects that advance social sustainability

- incentivizing partnerships across organizations and sectors in the delivery of special events and projects through the community grant program

- sharing more Township data in an open source format

In progress – The Township is developing an innovative assessment tool to help new community collaborations set themselves up for success and existing collaborations evaluate their effectiveness and impact.

5A

Develop a Transportation and Mobility Strategy that will explore and enhance opportunities for active mobility, connectivity, safety, and accessibility, including the identification of priority areas for capital improvements.

In progress –The Township has retained a consultant to develop a scope of work for a new Transportation and Mobility Strategy. A staff working group has been formed to assist in this development.  The current work is intended to guide the Township in the development of a future Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Strategy.

5B

Prepare amendments to the Zoning Bylaw to incorporate bicycle space and storage regulations consistent with the Cycling Plan.

Completed – Requirements for bicycle parking and end of trip facilities were added to the Zoning Bylaw in late 2021. Further refinements to the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw and the Zoning Bylaw may be considered as part of the upcoming Transportation and Mobility Strategy.

6A

Strengthen the relationship with Fraser Health Authority and other community partners involved in the delivery of health care to improve access to health services including mental health and substance use through initiatives such as:

- supporting the development of a community health plan through the Langley Healthier Community Partnership

- enhancing collaboration during community planning processes to identify where health can be integrated into policies and assess anticipated health care needs

In progress – The Township continues to collaborate with Fraser Health Authority on a number of initiatives, including the current process to develop a Langley Poverty Reduction Strategy.

6D

Consider accelerating the future initiatives identified in the Fire Master Plan related to emergency preparedness to, among other items, strengthen community engagement in preparedness planning and facilitate regular updates to the emergency response plan and incident-specific guidelines.

In progress – The Langley Emergency Program, a joint program between the Township and City of Langley, is in the final stages of reviewing and updating its response guidelines for an extreme heat emergency.

7A

Develop a social equity policy and handbook that would serve as a lens to help ensure Township policies, services, programs, facilities, and infrastructure are inclusive of the full diversity of residents, and develop a work plan to review existing policies with this lens.

In progress – Consistent with Council direction in early 2022, work is underway to prepare a report on potential next steps for an equity, diversity, and inclusion framework.