The SNAP Neighbourhood Model

The Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Program (SNAP) takes an integrated approach to overcome urban retrofit challenges and address a broad range of objectives with locally tailored solutions.

The SNAP neighbourhood model uses a science-based multi-objective approach to develop and successfully implement a local action plan

Working with local stakeholders, including residents, businesses, groups, and institutions, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) SNAP team has identified strategic approaches for advancing resilience at the neighbourhood scale, where implementation ultimately happens:

How It Works

We seek to develop action plans to improve the local environment on the neighbourhood scale and build resiliency against climate change by greening local infrastructure and encouraging positive behavior changes among residents.

Each of the individual SNAP programs is unique to its neighbourhood. However, all SNAPs share a common approach.

The SNAP neighbourhood model includes the following features and outcomes:

Neighbourhood scale: Focusing on place-based solutions
SNAPs coordinate private and public actions at a neighbourhood scale, contributing to a holistic systems strategy. They identify creative retrofit solutions based on the unique environmental and socio-economic context and local community interests.

Multi-objective: Seeking co-benefits
SNAPs focus on making sustainable changes across five core theme areas: stormwater management, water use and conservation, energy, and natural heritage. The SNAPs also seek synergies with a number of complementary themes, including health and well-being, transportation, waste management, community identity and culture.

Residents work on the County Court SNAP bioswale project

Science-based: Predicting measurable outcomes
SNAPs use a science-based process for identifying and evaluating integrated solutions that have measurable impact, provide a business case for implementation and achieve multiple objectives. Performance monitoring plans measure long-term change and tracking of sustainability targets against local baseline data.

Demonstration: Showcasing innovation
Quick-start local demonstration projects such as naturalized landscaping, rain harvesting and renewable energy production help to bring the plan to life for neighbourhood residents.

Black Creek SNAP neighbourhood residents work on San Romanoway Towers revival project

Local networks: Engaging a new public
SNAPs emphasize collaboration and building partnerships with stakeholders throughout the process. Local residents, businesses, community groups and institutions are all engaged in the design of the SNAP and in efforts to build local capacity for implementation.

Social market research: Identifying local motivators
Through community-based social marketing research, social innovation approaches and extensive consultation with the local community, SNAPs identifiy and gain understanding of the barriers and motivations to behavioural change, and develop strategies to overcome these barriers.

Associated Documents

SNAP Overview
This brochure provides a concise overview of SNAP’s neighbourhood-focused approach to the challenges of urban renewal and climate action, the components of the program, and the benefits delivered to communities.

Effective Neighbourhood and Business Zone Models for Low Carbon Mobilization
Report of a collaboration of nine municipalities and TRCA as part of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Transition 2050 stream of the Municipal Climate Innovation Program.

SNAP Five Year Program Review
The Five Year Program Review Report provides more information about our SNAP approach, a summary of our findings, innovations we’re seeing in the pilot SNAP neighbourhoods and recommended directions for the future SNAP program.