Growth and Development

Growth and Development

Download our full Great Calgary 2013 policy book

Plan It Calgary was adopted by City Council in 2009 and acts as a comprehensive, integrated, growth and development strategy for The City of Calgary. Plan It has since been used as the basis for city planning and development decision making in an attempt to create a more robust, competitive and complete city.

The success of Plan It has been contingent on support from City Council, City Administration, related stakeholders, and engagement from the general public to ensure that Plan It’s principles are applied consistently across the city. Should the policies and principles of Plan It be applied, the intention is to create a Calgary with a vibrant core and complete communities. Of course things are never quite so simple, and with a large strategy like Plan It, some aspects have been more successful than others. However, the intention of the policy continues to align with The Calgary Chamber’s vision of a competitive, Great Calgary.

The City of Calgary introduced its Framework for Growth and Change in 2011 to act as the criteria to determine where and when The City should develop or redevelop areas, and was intended to align with the Calgary Municipal Development Plan.  The Calgary Chamber supports the use of the Growth Management Framework and its focus on development based on consumer demand, providing Calgarians a choice of where they live and work, while ensuring that growth is not completely uncontrolled.

A major element of the Growth Management Framework has been to move from a minimum three year supply of serviced land to a minimum two year supply of serviced land, with the hope that supply of serviced land will remain around an availability of three and a half years. The definition of serviced land also now includes emergency services and transportation access, which The City has indicated will allow for more rapid development once land is serviced, but will also increase costs to fully service new land. The City has also indicated that the new two year minimum is similar to the previous three year minimum under their expanded definition of serviced land. 

However, the 2013 Calgary census noted that the city grew by 2.6%,  doubling projected population growth.  Should Calgary continue to pace the nation in annual population growth, it is expected the two year minimum on serviced land will result in a future land supply shortage that will limit the city’s ability to provide adequate levels of housing to address its labour needs.

The Calgary Chamber recognizes that smart growth is essential to maintaining a vibrant, livable city with a strong business presence, but also recognizes the potential for a land shortage that will further impact Calgary’s housing availability. Addressing these concerns requires cooperation between The City of Calgary and its stakeholders. Like Plan It, The Calgary Chamber believes that choice within communities, as well as between communities, is vital for a healthy Calgary where families can live and work. However, the provision of choice must be backed by sound planning and adequate infrastructure to support the development of new communities. It is also important to note that choosing where to live comes with associated costs, and should be considered by residents when choosing their community.

Complete implementation of Plan It for Calgary would mean a number of things for the citizens of Calgary. It would mean greater choice in where residents can live, stronger business, and greater productivity. In 2013 smart growth and strong regional planning is necessary to ensure that we have a Great Calgary. The Calgary Chamber recommends The City of Calgary:

  • Continue applying Plan It Calgary’s principles to all aspects of the city’s development.
  • Continue to collaborate with stakeholders to better apply Plan It principles.
  • Maintain a minimum three year supply of serviced land, with an optimum supply of three and half years of serviced land, using the expanded definition adopted by The City that includes emergency services and transportation access.

Download our full Great Calgary 2013 policy book

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