Established in 1957, the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA) is Greater Toronto’s largest landowner, with 40,000 acres under conservation management across nine watersheds, and a staff of 475 full time employees. Yet as the region increases its ambitions to be a leader in urban and regional sustainability, the TRCA’s historic statutory mandate limits its ability to fulfill the region’s need for a comprehensive regional sustainability agency. Undaunted, in 2013 the Authority and its governing board representing six municipalities adopted a 10-year strategy, Building The Living City, with the aim of “a new kind of community…where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature’s beauty and diversity.”
The TRCA engaged The Next Practice in 2014-2016 to explore and test practices for the successful fulfillment of that strategy. Projects have included a framework for the comparative benchmarking regional sustainability progress, the design of a technical services enterprise to help area businesses adopt new green tech solutions, and the development of a regional stakeholder alliance to support implementation of the region’s growth management plan.