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StratML: sketching a start for Official Community Plans in XML

This post is a messy summary of where my thinking is at for using StratML for official community plans.

Firstly, the StratML standard is largely still being defined (their progress can be messily tracked at XML.gov). Part 1 of the standard is available as a schema and covers 7 core elements of strategic plans, and Part 2 is for performance plans. The strategic plan is organization centric. The performance plan gets into some details relating to performance indicators, value chains, and the role of stakeholders.

In the most rudimentary ways, this has some interesting applications for OCPs:

  • The 7 elements of Part 1, as I mentioned, are organizational-centric (they comprise of Organization, Mission, Vision, Value, Goal, Objective, and Stakeholder). Because of the number of groups which touch the policies affected by he organizational field feels a little funny, but everything else — the mission, vision, value, goal, objectives and stakeholders — feel like they would work pretty well.
  • Stakeholders can be either Performers or Beneficiaries, which jives with the traditional planning understanding of stakeholders.
  • Performance Indicators, which can be either quantitative or qualitative, have a couple of of Vacouverapplicable children: MeasurementDimension, UnitofMeasurement, TargetResult, ActualResult.

I decided to read over the Mount Pleasant Community Vision, recently approved by City of Vancouver, to see how it would apply to the way that document is structured. This is where it started to get interesting. The Vision document goes through Key Questions, then has some Overarching Principles. Here’s an example, using text from the vision, of how this might work:

Vision: Housing & Population Mix

  • Goal: Diversity in housing, land uses, businesses and services
  • Objective: Ensure livability for the existing types and sizes of families and households by encouraging the development of housing that addresses a wide range of affordable housing needs–including rental, co-ops, supported housing, and artist live-work housing–while seeking to provide the services and facilities that those families and households need.
  • Objective: Serve a highly diverse population mix with a mix of unit sizes and housing types, a mix of land uses across the neighbourhood and a mix of uses within many individual buildings, a mix of architectural styles, a mix of tenure arrangements (fee-simple, strata, co-op, co-housing, rental, subsidized housing, possibly land trust), and a mix of businesses and community services.

There is some question about where values come in; could “Diversity in housing…” be a value? Having gone through the values-based decision-making methodology, I am more likely to associate values with Stakeholders.

This as far as I’ve gone for now, and there’s a lot more nuance that would be required in thinking out how stakeholders would be described and for what reasons they would be included or connected with certain values and goals. It’d be interesting to think about the Performance Plans and Performance Reports standards as they would apply to urban planning rather than the organizational workflow.

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