Alison Gill


A Framework for Evaluating the Planning and Development of a New Community


The planning and development of new communities is a challenging and expensive venture. This article describes the framework and methods employed to evaluate the use of socially sensitive planning in the development of Tumbler Ridge, a new coal-mining community in northeastern British Columbia. The authors describe how a set of social principles and design elements were used to develop an overall framework and detailed strategy for the evaluation. Central themes that emerged from this experience included the importance of documenting the development processes and context of the community; the utility of a multiple-method, multiple-perspective approach; the appropriateness of both quantitative and qualitative information; and the necessity of grounding such an evaluation in the community through discussion, negotiation, responsiveness, and timely provision of results.