The Regional Vancouver Urban Observatory (RVu): counting on Vancouver, “our view” of the region
The Regional Vancouver Urban Observatory (RVu) was established in 2004 to provide a new model for measuring and monitoring regional progress toward sustainability. RVu is the first indicator project in Canada to join the UN-Habitat Global Urban Observatory network. RVu takes up the challenge within sustainability assessment theory to analyze and inform at the same time as it attracts and unites the widest range of citizens possible toward the goal of improving our common future. This article presents the processes carried out by RVu in 2005-2006 to recommend sustainability indicators for the Vancouver region. While RVu’s expert process built upon rational models, RVu’s nonexpert process operationalized a systems modelling approach. RVu has aimed to mesh international expectations and regional aspirations, expert- and citizenbased views of progress, and hard line and storyline trends. The process and results hold lessons for other regions grappling to apply sustainability principles in practice.