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From advocating on evolving legislation to well-managed boards, we take a structured and strategic approach to change.

​Scroll through the categories below to learn more about our Goverance-related Programs & Initiatives. 

Land use planning tools in the Municipal Government Act

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) provides municipalities with planning authority and several key tools to successfully enact municipal plans and bylaws.

Subdivision approval

A person wishing to divide a parcel of land into two or more parcels must apply for subdivision approval from the municipality in which the land is located. A municipality may approve the application, with or without conditions, or may refuse the application.

Municipal land use planning

Municipal land use planning is one of many activities for which the municipality is responsible. These activities all influence the style of land use planning and the specifics of the plans that are created. The figure below partially illustrates this relationship.

It is important to keep this context in mind when assessing or developing the tools and procedures for a specific municipality.

Intermunicipal Planning

Intermunicipal planning and collaboration is a major theme of the recent amendments to the Municipal Government Act. Prior to these amendments, except for the Capital Region Board, intermunicipal planning and collaboration was entirely voluntary. Municipalities were only required to consider adjacent municipalities in their planning. Formal arrangements were left to each municipality.

A word on planning terminology

As with any profession, planning has quickly developed a number of terms and acronyms that describe the tools and techniques of the profession. This section provides a short discussion of terms found in most land use plans. An understanding of these terms will greatly assist in reading any municipal planning document.

A brief history of planning legislation in Alberta

The first provincial regulations controlling the subdivision of land were passed in 1912, and further planning related legislation was passed in 1928 with the Town Planning and Preservation of Natural Beauty Act. While early planning Acts enabled some municipal control over land use, they did not reach the full extent of contemporary community plans. Instead, they were largely reserved to subdivision plans that laid out streets, lots, and utilities.

A brief history of settlement

Humans have been living together in settlements for over 7,000 years, and during that time have arranged their communities according to the values of their society and the specific challenges they face. In that regard, people in Alberta today are no different than those in ancient civilizations thousands of years ago. The leaders of Babylon in ancient times were concerned with issues very similar ones we face today, including access to water and ease of transportation. Moreover, some elements of ancient cities are still being implemented today.


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