The awards are open to municipal governments and their private-sector partners. Joint submissions are welcome. Municipalities of all population sizes are encouraged to apply.
Thank you to our 2013 Awards Applicants
The application process for our 2013 Sustainable Communities Awards is now closed. We thank all of the communities across Canada that submitted applications. Our award winners are announced annually at FCM's Sustainable Communities Conference.
We invite your community to apply for our 2014 Sustainable Communities Awards. The application process will begin in June 2013.
Eligible submissions must meet the following criteria:
- Initiatives must take a holistic, systems approach* to sustainable community development.
- Initiatives must demonstrate innovation** and excellence in one of the following award categories:
Note: Please select the category that best represents your initiative. During the review period, FCM may change the selected category to give your initiative the best chance at a higher score.
- Initiatives must have been completed within two years of the date of application or be in the final stages of implementation.
- Initiatives must have measurable results, or anticipated measurable results in the case of plans (see the Application Form for details).
Award-winning projects from previous years are not eligible. Submissions that did not win in previous years may be resubmitted only if the project has demonstrated significant new results. For example, applicants who submitted an initiative shortly after implementation may have since gathered significant new data demonstrating the results of their initiative. Potential applicants may wish to contact Awards program staff to discuss resubmitting initiatives.
*A systems approach to sustainable community development integrates environmental, social and economic goals.
**Innovation is defined as the development of new knowledge, practices or advanced technologies; the application of current or emerging technologies or practices; or the adoption of an advanced technology, knowledge or practice in a region in which the technology has not been applied before.
The 2013 FCM Sustainable Communities Awards program is pleased to offer awards in the following six categories. Please note that the eligible initiatives provided are intended as examples only; other initiatives related to the category may also be submitted.
Municipally led plans, projects or programs that focus on the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites.* An award may be granted for both a brownfields plan and a brownfields project.
For projects or programs:
Eligible initiatives include municipally led programs that have created incentives for the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites, and brownfield projects that demonstrate leadership in soil remediation (e.g. presenting viable alternatives to "dig and dump") and redevelopment based on sustainability practices (e.g. LEED® or equivalent, heritage preservation, community economic development, mixed land-use and zoning, etc.). Brightfield projects (i.e. renewable energy generation on a brownfields site) and projects with a creative interim use component are also eligible. Projects and programs of all sizes and within all community contexts will be considered.
For community brownfield action plans:
A community brownfield action plan identifies priority redevelopment zones and opportunities including a framework of incentive programs and municipal actions to promote the remediation, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse, and overall improvement of underused properties in a community (such as community brownfield strategies, community improvement plans or revitalization plans). Eligible plans should include a vision, and environmental, social and economic goals and targets. These may be drawn from the existing municipal sustainable community plan or strategy. They should also include actions to achieve the goals and targets in brownfield remediation, and anticipated impacts of remediation on sustainable development.
*A brownfield site is an abandoned, vacant, derelict or underutilized commercial, industrial or institutional property where past actions have resulted in actual or perceived contamination or threat to public health and safety, and where there is an active potential for redevelopment.
Municipally led projects or programs that focus on producing, conserving or distributing energy, as well as leading community energy plans, climate change action plans and local action plans recognized under Milestone 3 of the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program, and monitoring and verification plans or reports recognized under Milestone 5 of the program. An award may be granted for both a plan and a project.
For projects or programs:
Eligible initiatives include the production of energy from renewable sources (e.g. solar, wind, geothermal, small-scale hydro), energy-efficiency retrofits, energy conservation programs, and district energy systems.
** For plans:
Eligible plans include community energy plans, climate change action plans and local action plans that establish a baseline through a GHG emissions inventory, set emission reduction targets, and outline actions to reduce GHG emissions for municipal operations and the community in all areas of municipal activity, including energy use, transportation planning, land use, waste and water management. Actions outlined in the plan include specific tasks and who will accomplish them, a timeline for implementation, and estimated costs.
To be eligible for an award, the submitted plan must have been reviewed and approved as meeting the requirements of Milestone 3 or Milestone 5 of the PCP program:
- Milestone 3 - Plans should address climate change mitigation and energy management across all sectors of municipal operations and the community.
- Milestone 5 - Monitoring, implementation and verification report documenting progress in implementing a municipality's climate change or community energy plan. The report should demonstrate measureable reductions in emissions/energy consumption and progress toward targets.
Neighbourhood-scale developments that have integrated sustainability solutions across municipal departments and service areas. These integrated initiatives address sustainable development practices in two or more areas (energy, water, waste, transportation) in relatively equal proportions. An award may be granted for both a sustainable neighbourhood action plan and a project.
Eligible initiatives include municipally led, large-scale developments that improve their environmental performance, compared to "business as usual." These developments combine efficient energy use, watershed protection and efficient land use, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
For sustainable neigbhourhood action plans:
Eligible plans focus on a neighbourhood site within a municipality and should include the following elements: a vision, and environmental, social and economic goals and targets that may be drawn from an existing municipal sustainable community plan; actions to achieve the goals and targets in all areas of municipal activity, including: energy, waste and water management, sustainable transportation, land use and brownfield remediation (if applicable). Plans could be for retrofitting existing neighbourhoods or for new neighbourhood developments.
Municipally led projects or programs that focus on reducing dependence on single-occupant vehicles by encouraging modal integration and accessibility within the transportation network.
Eligible projects and programs include those that address road design (e.g. traffic calming measures, complete streets); walking and cycling (active transportation) programs and facilities; transportation demand management (e.g. car sharing, changes to parking pricing and supply, telework, transit pass programs, etc.); conversion of vehicles to more-efficient or innovative technologies; intelligent transportation systems (to improve service); transit service development; and system-wide projects to optimize routes and enhance service delivery.