Regulatory environment

Regulatory requirements

Municipal Development Plan

Calgary's Municipal Development Plan was adopted by City Council in 2009 and updated in 2020. It contains policies that will shape how Calgary grows and develops over the next 30 to 60 years.

The Municipal Development Plan works together with the Calgary Transportation Plan to provide multiple transportation options so all Calgarians -- whether travelling by car, bike transit or foot -- are able to travel safely and conveniently to meet their daily needs.

Read the Municipal Development Plan (PDF)

Read the Calgary Transportation Plan (PDF)

What the Municipal Government regulates:

  • Future land use, development, transportation systems, municipal services and facilities within
  • Calgary and with adjacent municipalities.
  • City’s development constraints.
  • Subdivision and development regulations.
  • Municipal, school, environmental and conservation reserves.
  • Calgary Metropolitan Region Board Growth Plan (CMRB Growth Plan) and intermunicipal development plans.

Land Use Bylaw

The City of Calgary’s Land Use Bylaw (1P2007) has been in effect since June 1, 2008. It outlines the rules and regulations for development of land in Calgary for each district (zone) as well as the process of making decisions for development permit applications.

A Land Use bylaw is required for every municipality in Alberta as per the requirements in the Municipal Government Act. This includes the division of the municipality into land use districts (zones).

Aboriginal, First Nations, Métis and Inuit

The Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee is authorized, on behalf of City Council, to investigate areas of concern to people of Aboriginal ancestry and to make recommendations on policies. These recommendations are meant to help give urban Aboriginal people a more meaningful role within the governance of The Calgary community.

Local laws and customs

Calgary Police Service

The Calgary Police Service (CPS) is among the largest and most respected municipal police services in the country and one of the most progressive law enforcement agencies in North America. The CPS is made up of more than 1,900 police officers and more than 700 civilian employees.

The Provincial Court of Alberta

The Provincial Court hears most of the criminal and civil cases in Alberta. All criminal cases start in Provincial Court, and 95% conclude there. Many traffic, regulatory and bylaw enforcement hearings take place here. Most civil cases also take place in Provincial Court, including cases involving landlord and tenant and claims involving less than $50,000. A majority of family law cases and child welfare cases are also heard by the Provincial Court.

Municipal Government

Service Plans and Budgets

The City uses a four-year service planning and budgeting approach to outline how we provide and fund services that meet the needs of our citizens and businesses. This approach allows us to find a balance between supporting the needs of Calgarians with The City’s long-term financial sustainability. Each year, council reviews and adjusts the budget.

City council

City Council consists of the Mayor and 14 City Councillors, one representing each of Calgary's 14 Wards. City Council is the main governing and legislative body for The City of Calgary and is responsible for making the decisions necessary to allow the Corporation to achieve its purposes by determining goals and priorities, developing and approving policies, raising and spending money, planning and providing services and programs and representing the municipality.

City Administration

City Administration is workforce of approximately 15,000 employees spanning over 40 different service lines. We provide quality public service to the citizens of Calgary and ensure the public receive outstanding value for their property tax dollars.