Faro, Yukon used to be a bustling northern community until the local mine shut its doors for good. I visited the town a few years ago to find a town devastated by decline.  But despite the boarded up businesses and abandoned houses there was still a palpable community spirit among those that remained who were filled with hope for the future of Faro. The teenagers learned trades, the officials promoted the quality of life and families refused to leave.

In these uncertain times, sadly Faro is not alone when it comes to community sustainability.  In Quesnel, BC, businesses struggle to survive after mountain pine beetles decimated the local forestry industry.  In Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, and Dawson City, YK, schools and municipal buildings are slowly sinking into the ocean as the permafrost melts.  In Okotoks, AB planners try to supply local residents in an area of mounting water shortages.  And across North America, we see examples of decaying public infrastructure when bridges collapse, sink holes appear and boil water advisories are issued.

Tomorrow I’ll be discussing the Faro example, among others, with a group of colleagues as we discuss the long-term sustainability of our own community.  Each place has its own characteristics that will either usher it into a happy future or stand in the way of long-term progress.  Like other communities alarmed by mounting challenges this century, we will be examining our own attributes and obstacles.   In doing so I hope we will avoid a similar fate to the one that has befallen the good people of Faro.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Our Town Faro by Mitch Miyagawa & Dav…“, posted with vodpod