Social planning for local governments

Social planning is a process that involves local governments and community members working together to address social issues and build healthy communities. Integrated with other types of planning, social planning focuses on the people themselves in a community planning context.

Official community plans

Local governments can include social needs, social well-being and social development policies in their official community plans. Official community plans must include affordable housing, rental housing and special needs housing policies.

Incorporating social planning processes

Local governments may deliver social planning services in addition to including policies in their official community plans. Some local governments feel that tackling the root of community social issues is a key component of the success of their planning initiatives. They may hire social planners and bring social issues forward into the planning process including:

  • Housing affordability and homelessness
  • Accessibility and inclusion
  • Poverty
  • Multiculturalism
  • Supporting refugees
  • Children and child care
  • Youth services
  • At-risk women and girls
  • Seniors services
  • Crime and public safety
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Food security


The B.C. government's age-friendly and disability-friendly official community plans guide helps communities incorporate accessibility provisions into their official community plans. Improved planning, design, and service provision make it easier for seniors and people with disabilities to move around their communities and participate in all aspects of community life.