In 2018, the CVRD released Cowichan 2050, a regional, integrated planning strategy that involves new levels of consultation and collaboration between local governments (staff and elected officials) and communities in the region.
The strategy provides a comprehensive overview of the social, environmental, and economic forces shaping the region. It also provides insights into how local governments within the Cowichan Valley can best collaborate with regional stakeholders and partners to better manage the growth of our region.
Economic Development Cowichan was actively involved with the creation of Cowichan 2050, which is both a regional planning framework and a commitment for the various jurisdictions within the boundaries of the CVRD to work together more effectively.
The Cowichan 2050 initiative recognizes that the region is changing. With a 4.5% population increase from 2011 to 2016, growth has been steady, particularly in places like Cowichan Bay, Ladysmith, and Lake Cowichan where growth has been nearly double this rate. The economy has been shifting away from forestry towards service and retail sectors. Demographics are changing, housing costs are rising, and people are increasingly experiencing climate change impacts. These changes are putting rising demands on management of water resources, infrastructure investments, and land use decision-making, among other local government responsibilities. A regionally coordinated approach offers a more effective and efficient way to respond to these challenges.
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The Cowichan 2050 Framework received an honourable mention at the UBCM’s Excellence in Governance awards. It is acknowledged as a leading-edge policy tool for collaborative and regional decision-making.