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Comprehensive Citywide Growth Strategy

The City's comprehensive growth strategy work focuses on how to enable growth and development and retain investment and jobs in Calgary, while achieving the policy objectives in the Municipal Development Plan/Calgary Transportation Plan (MDP/CTP) and maintaining a balanced market. In 2018, an evaluation process centered on three primary guiding factors was developed to help make a growth recommendations to City Council. All three are important for facilitating a sustainable growth decision making process and include:

  • Municipal Development Plan/Calgary Transportation Plan Alignment
  • Market Forces
  • Financial Impacts

This process provides the necessary information and analysis required to set an investment program that will support future development. A comprehensive growth strategy also provides a clear process to determine when and where the city should grow, allowing greater certainty for private investment decisions.

The comprehensive growth strategy consists of three components, the Established Areas Growth and Change Strategy, Industrial Growth Strategy and New Community Growth Strategy. These three components were first identified through the Industry City Work Plan that arose as part of the 2016 Off-site Levy Byl​aw. Links to the last three annual update reports are included below.

The New Community Growth Strategy was brought forward in 2018 and the focus for 2019 will be the Established Areas Growth and Change Strategy with the Industrial Growth Strategy scoping proceeding later in 2019. A more detailed description of each area is provided below.

Established Areas Growth and Change Strategy

Since 2016, The City has been working to reduce barriers to redevelopment by addressing the costs of redevelopment, utility infrastructure capacity, financial tools, policy alignment and application processes. A scoping report to formally initiate the Established Areas Growth and Change Strategy was approved by Council in 2018 September. A link to the report is included below. This report identifies desired deliverables to be achieved through 2018-2020 as a strategy for supporting growth and change in existing communities in Calgary. Through this strategy, The City can better coordinate public investment while supporting existing communities through their lifecycle growth and change, linking existing policy and current policy efforts and support developers in helping build the city that is envisioned in the MDP/CTP. Upcoming deliverables are listed below.

​Key dates ​Stage
​2019 ​May ​​Project Update Report, including
  • Identifying the context of the work, including the strategy area market indicators, and influencing factors;
  • Complete best practice research on the funding, financing and planning tools available to support redevelopment and investment;
  • Identify the critical infrastructure and amenities that support redevelopment while sustaining quality of life;
  • Identifying linkages between other related initiatives such as Green Line, TOD Implementation, Developed Areas Guidebook, and Main Streets Implementation; and
  • Laying the groundwork for investment recommendations to Council in 2020.
​2019 November ​​Further the strategic thinking about growth in existing communities, and:
  • Develop an evidence-based consideration and evaluation process that supports MDP/CTP aligned growth and responds to market demand;
  • Identify opportunities to leverage other public and private opportunities to support growth and change in communities to achieve strategic goals; and
  • Outline a strategy that supports Established Area growth and change, and that aligns with the 2019-2022 Mid-Cycle adjustment process.
​2020 March ​Report to Committee​/Council: Recommend strategic actions across the Established Area​ that meaningfully supports community growth, change, and quality of life.
​2020 November One Calgary 2019-2022 mid-cycle budget adjustments ​

Established Area Growth and Change Strategy – Scoping Report​

Lesley Kalmakoff
Senior Growth Management Planner

Industrial Growth Strategy

Within the Industry/City Work Plan, the industrial growth strategy working group has focused on the need to identify opportunities to support industrial development through policy considerations and comprehensive strategies. Recent work includes research and data analysis​ to support increased knowledge and awareness of the current state of industrial development in Calgary, including the associated economic advantages that industrial/employment lands bring to the city, and the role of Calgary’s industrial sector in supporting the region’s inland port strategy.

A key deliverable for 2019 is to begin scoping a framework for an industrial strategy as part of the comprehensive growth strategy for Calgary. This will help to create jobs, diversify the local economy, and support growth in the industrial tax base. Development of a scoping report to identify the key goals and outputs of an Industrial Growth Strategy, is currently underway, and strategy development is expected in 2020.

Matthew Sheldrake
Coordinator - Growth Strategy​

New Community Growth Strategy 2020

The New Community Growth Strategy seeks to enable strategic growth in new community areas by aligning planning policy, market demand, infrastructure and servicing needs, and City budgets. In 2018, a conversation on the opportunities and challenges of new community growth was had with Council and Industry, and a framework for strategic growth decision making was built. The result was an approved portfolio of investments for 14 new communities and 27 actively developing communities for inclusion in the One Calgary (2019-2022) service plan and budget. This represents an approximate $537 million level of investment in 2019-2022.

Tentative 2020 Evaluation Details
As outlined in March of 2018 (Council report PFC2018-0200), funding considerations for new community business cases will be considered on a two year cycle in alignment with the beginning and mid-cycle of the four year budget timeframe. Establishing a two year evaluation cycle provides certainty in process, with enough flexibility to meet market demand while allowing The City to consider financial impacts at budget time.

The City expects to conduct the New Community Growth Strategy 2020 evaluation in the months leading up to the One Calgary Mid Cycle Budget review in November 2020. In 2019, Administration will work with Industry to finalize schedules, deadlines, and submission expectations ahead of accepting and reviewing new community business cases. Below is a preliminary schedule of key dates for the 2020 evaluation cycle (subject to change).

​Tentative key dates ​​Stage
​2019 September ​Issue call for business cases and communicate evaluation criteria
​2019 September - 2019 October Accept new community business cases​
​2019 November - 2020 January ​Administration evaluation
​2020 March Report to Committee/Council: New Community Growth Strategy 2020​
​2020 November One Calgary 2019-2022 mid-cycle budget adjustments ​
​2020 December Overlay removal post budget decisions​

Other Information

  • The City will be monitoring the cumulative impacts of the New Community Growth Strategy 2018, and returning to Council with a monitoring report in Q4 2019. This monitoring report will be an important tool for communicating the emerging results of the Strategy. Administration will monitor growth (absorption and revenues) and costs (delivery of infrastructure and services) associated with the 14 new and 27 actively developing communities funded in 2018.
  • The City is also interested in stakeholder feedback from the New Community Growth Strategy 2018, and will be reaching out to internal and external stakeholders, as well as Council, to collect feedback to help improve processes ahead of the 2020 evaluation. Formalized communication on this work will be forthcoming, however in the interim, if you have specific feedback on the 2018 evaluation, please contact Shawn Small using the information below.

2018 New Community Growth Evaluation Criteria​

Shawn Small
Senior Growth Management Planner​