VISION 2020 is based on four main principles:
Fulfillment of human needs for peace, clean air and water, food, shelter, education, arts, culture, and useful and satisfying employment;
Maintenance of ecological integrity through careful stewardship, rehabilitation, reduction in wastes and protection of diverse and important natural species and systems;
Provision for self-determination through public involvement in the definition and development of local solutions to environmental and development problems; and,
Achievement of equity with the fairest possible sharing of limited resources among contemporaries and between our generation and that of our descendants.
Out of these principles, fourteen key theme areas were defined by which to focus the actions of the VISION. Specific goals were set in these areas to guide the city towards integrating environmental, social, and economic well being.
Overview - The VISION
Hamilton supports a population that allows us to maintain our environmental integrity together with our social quality and economic prosperity. People live in a city made up of compact urban core areas, surrounded by a rural landscape that includes productive family farms, hamlets and a continuous network of natural areas.
We are a caring community that gives opportunity and support to all its members, including children, the aged, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees and the disadvantaged. People live longer in good health.
Hamilton is a vibrant community, which builds on existing strengths and attracts businesses that work in partnership with government and the community to create a diverse, sustainable economy. Economic growth incorporates businesses in new and existing sectors that are leaders in creating a competitive advantage through environmental and social responsibility.
Quality of Life
Everyone has adequate food, shelter, income and education. Everyone has a valued role to play in family, work and community. Healthy lifestyles, improved safety measures and quality healthcare have progressively reduced disease and disability. We have access to affordable and appropriate health care, regardless of geography, income, age, gender, or cultural background.
All of us take responsibility for citizenship and public decision-making. As citizens, we are active participants in co-operative community planning and we take action to ensure community improvement. Government is open, accessible, efficient, effective, and participatory. Policies, plans, strategies and operations implement sustainability.
A well-educated, literate population is seen as a total community responsibility. Lifelong learning is valued and supported across the community, and educational, cultural and business institutions advocate values consistent with sustainability.
Our quality of life is enriched by a protected system of natural areas that threads throughout the City, preserving and improving our natural heritage. A recreational greenway gives residents access to this system of natural areas, in ways that do not threaten ecological processes.
As a community, we cherish a clean, healthy environment. We work to prevent ecological degradation, and waste-reduction, energy-efficiency and respect for ecological systems characterize all aspects of community life. Hamilton is a model for other communities in the way in which we integrate short-term economic benefits, long-term environmental and social costs, and indirect economic costs in our evaluation of public and private initiatives.
Rural and urban areas are designed in ways that maintain community character, respect our cultural and natural heritage, and satisfy people's needs and desires. Green corridors bring nature into the city, giving people easy and convenient access to the city's natural suroundings.
We know our neighbours. There is a full range of housing types and prices allowing people to live in their communities throughout their lives. Neighbourhoods have a central gathering place where essential services such as shopping, health care, education and recreation are clustered around an attractive, pedestrian-oriented common open space.
Employment opportunities are distributed among home-based businesses, central urban cores and neighbourhood gathering places, as well as industrial business parks that are accessible by public transit and a city-wide system of trails.
An integrated transportation system serves the entire city in an affordable, efficient, and accessible way. Public transit provides all citizens with easy access to activity areas.
Rail service brings people to Hamilton for recreation and work, and makes travel to other cities and regions easy and affordable. Our regional transportation system supports both our economy and environment. Major roads have minimal noise and pollution impacts on adjacent lands, and follow routes that cause little damage to the natural and human environment.
Hamilton is home to numerous firms that carry out research and development and manufacturing in sustainable economic sectors. Successful companies are characterized by high quality production, worker productivity and innovative employment practices. These companies provide a solid tax base for the city.
Hamilton Harbour is a base for nature-oriented tourism and recreation that includes the Niagara Escarpment, waterfalls and Carolinian forest areas of the city. The harbour is a vibrant centrepiece for the community and is accessible, clean, and humming with diversity.
We all have a role to play. Citizens, business, academic institutions and government form partnerships, work cooperatively and innovate to achieve the goals that will make our vision a reality.
The VISION is Hamilton's goal for a more sustainable future and a better tomorrow. Let's get to work making it a reality!