1 The purpose of this presentation is to provide the Task Force with a deeper understanding of the details of the development of the Growth Plan, and an understanding of the policy directions embedded in the Plan to serve as a guide and context for the development of the RAMP. Sharon Shuya, Director, Regional Growth Planning November 23, 2018
2 For some of you, this may serve as a refresher, and for other it might be the first time you ve had a chance to sit down with the Growth Plan. So that you get the most out of this material I d like to encourage you to stop me at any time and ask questions. I am viewing this as an opportunity to have a more robust conversation about the Plan as a critical foundation to inform the RAMP.
3 The EMRB Growth Plan is new and fundamentally a different plan from the Board s first plan created in Growing Forward. The first Growth Plan was a series of stand alone plans focused on Land Use, Intermunicipal Transit, Housing and GIS or Geographic Information Systems, as per the Regulation and Mandate at the time. Over time the Board continued to add more plans and studies like the Integrated Regional Transportation Master Plan, Regional Economic Development Capitalize, Regional Energy Corridors Master Plan, plus numerous housing plans and studies, making navigation and the identification of a regional strategy impossible. Some may recall, the Board at that time was unwilling to address Agriculture and deferred to the Province for direction through the regional land use plans underway. With the commitment to Evergreen the Growth Plan, the 5 year update provided the opportunity to reimagine, plan and build a plan which would provide a roadmap and establish the conditions for a globally competitive region. The goal from the start was to create one integrated plan for the next 30 years defining how and where to grow.
4 The EMRB Growth Plan is the product of 3+ years of work. The process was led by a 7 member Task Force and supported by a 6 member Regional Technical Advisory Group, a team of Consultants, extensive involvement by municipal administrations and broad range of stakeholders from across the Region who provide insights and advice throughout the process. What sets this plan apart is the focus and emphasis on Regional Collaboration, Strong undertone and recognition of the importance of Economic Development & Global Economic Competitiveness, Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change Impacts and Implications and the inclusion and importance of Agriculture; and a commitment by the Board to Responsible Growth..
5 Early in the process of updating the Growth Plan, the Task Force agreed to a few planning principles that served the process well. First the policy work would be Evidence Second was to Plan without Borders, taking lines off maps and local hats off and come together to think as one integrated, interconnected region and not be distracted by municipal boarders. Third work toward Consensus throughout at the Task Force Table as well as the Board Table and eventually working across ministries at the Province. Fourth to have a comprehensive Engagement Plan involving a broad range of regional stakeholder to build awareness, buy in and support! Fifth- to build one integrated, comprehensive plan, that builds on the strengths and diversity of the Region. Lastly, to build a made in the region plan.
7 See page 13 of the Growth Plan The process started with an independent review of the 2010 Growth Plan to identify strengths and successes, gaps and areas for improvement. The review included understanding the historical nature and pattern of growth in the Region, and in context of provincial, national and global trends. Appreciating the diversity of municipalities and understanding challenges of growth from the smallest municipality to the largest, and the differences and implications between rural and urban growth. Workbooks completed by municipalities resulted in a Canvas of Regional Assets that would provide a useful framework to defining regional assets and its strengths to build on going forward. Key Themes to describe the Region included excellent quality of life; and economy rooted in the energy sector; ease of moving people, services and goods, abundance of natural and environmental assets; Legacy of agricultural resources and rural communities; choice of housing and lifestyle; and demonstrated collaboration.
9 Another context piece of work in the process was taking into account what already exists in the region. This is a great example of evidence based information and planning. This map image is called the constraints map and was used to frame many conversations regarding How and Where to Grow? This map shows different layers of information - Natural Constraints, Energy Constraints and Land Use Constraints which exists on top of a rich agricultural land base. 18 Regionally significant employment areas, 3 First Nations settlements, 5 airports and significant environmentally sensitive / protected areas. So the challenge in updating the growth plan was to navigate and a balance competing interests between Rural and Urban Growth between Growth and Conservation between Present and Future Costs; and between Local and Regional Interests And what were the trade-offs we were prepared to make to ensure a prosperous future.
10 Looking outward and forward, the Task Force spent time identifying future challenges and opportunities that would require the Region to adapt to capitalize on future opportunities. First challenge recognizes the need to ensure the region focus on overcoming impediments to economic competitiveness in areas of infrastructure, housing and transportation and ensuring the building blocks would be in place to support diversification. Second is to proactively address implications of Climate Change and the impacts of urban growth on the environment. Third, address gaps in housing to meet the needs of a growing, diverse population. Forth, more efficient use of land and integrated planning to reduce the impact associated with the cost of growth for infrastructure maintenance, renewal and consequences for future generations. Fifth, commitment to a multimodal transportation system to reduce and avoid congestion and maintain quality of life. An area we are clearly lagging behind in compared to other metro regions in the world. Six, recognize the importance of the Agricultural sector and ensure its future viability, its economic importance locally and globally for food security and environmental stewardship. Lastly, to acknowledge the environment in which we are developing a long range plan is subject to changing Political and Governance Context requiring flexibility, adaptability, resilience and strong focused regional leadership.
11 Future Challenges and Opportunities facing the Region were then translated into Key Strategies for Planning and Managing Growth and includes specific actions to inform the How we will achieve the outcomes of the plan through a regional policy approach. Just looking down this list, you should start to get a picture of what will be important pillars and reoccurring themes in the plan In this list you will see Agriculture Viability identified as being critically important and finding its way in its own policy area of the plan.
12 It starts with a bold new Vision to anchor the Plan, elevating and focusing on the Region s strengths, attributes and aspirations. Most importantly it places emphasis on what s important about the future of the Region and describes how we are going to get there, through our shared commitment to regional collaboration and responsible growth. 50 Year Vision/ 30 Year Plan
13 See page iv of the Growth Plan There are 7 Guiding Principles that work together to achieve the Vision Each principle further reinforces what is important for creating a globally competitive and sustainable Region Embedded within each principle are the key outcomes of the Plan and are highlighted in Bold text.. and they are all equally important.
14 Edmonton Metro Challenge: As a region we have been blessed with a tremendous amount of growth both in terms of population & employment for along time. In the past 40 years this Region s population has doubled, and the urban footprint has tripled, and has resulted in consuming mostly prime agricultural land. In planning for the next 30 years, the Region has the potential to double again in population reaching 2.2 million people which would add another 470,000 jobs - for a total of 1.2 Million jobs The Board agreed that the current pattern of development meaning low density residential was simply not sustainable, neither fiscally nor practically, and in recognition of the impact on a significant non renewable resource - prime agricultural land. Once the Board could visually see the impact of the urban growth in the region, it was decided that what was needed was a strong commitment to growing more responsibly going forward.
15 See page 7 of the Growth Plan The focus of the Growth plan was to create a path to achieve responsible growth which was translated into these outcomes. a diversified, globally economically competitive region; a smaller more compact urban footprint; coordinated regional land use and infrastructure decisions; resilient, adaptable and complete communities; an interconnected multi-modal transportation system; more support for the agriculture sector; and to protect the environment.
17 See page 19 of the Growth Plan A critical first step in updating the Growth Plan was to establish the future population and jobs for the region that would inform our planning. So this Schedule can be found in the Growth Plan. We started with the 2013 population projections for CRB member municipalities and reviewed past growth rates and where available considered municipal census data to establish the base year of 2014 and then carried that forward to arrive at a projected population in 30 years (2044). The High Low Structure was maintained from previous Population Forecasts. Employment Projections- commissioned and independent report to establish future employment numbers. These numbers would be used to inform the foundational land requirement analysis for the Growth Plan. Two things to note: The Board agreed that going forward Population Numbers would be used as a general guide for planning and not used as part of any evaluation, so there is no cap. In the case of the Employment Projections they serve as a critical input to confirm employment land requirement what we have learned is that we have enough capacity and diversity of lands across the existing 18 employment areas in the region for the next 30 years. This type of analysis is important in informing policies found in the plan.
18 One of the primary tools used to support planning for growth is to undertake a land requirement analysis which through modelling different scenarios informs the amount of land needed to accommodate future population and employment. This is an important tool to inform policy direction of the plan. All the data was largely sourced and validated by municipalities throughout the process. The process was iterative involving different assumptions about where and how population growth may occur, the effect of different densities and levels of intensification to determine land requirements.
19 While the land requirement analysis was considered the primary quantitative analysis tool, other analysis was also completed. Another example being the Comprehensive Analysis of Absorption Rates of Country Residential Lots in the Region. Various research papers were specifically commissioned by SME to inform different policy areas of the plan. These Working Papers were a valuable source of information to explore different concepts, and implications to better inform decisions about policy directions in the Plan. The Working Papers were widely circulated.
20 See page 27 of the Growth Plan Given its importance to the entire process, I d like to walk you though what was done and how we arrived at Schedule 2. Edmonton Metropolitan Region Structure to 2044
23 Intent was to achieve more efficient use of land through policy framework to address growth challenges
24 See page 59 of the Growth Plan One of the more significant outcomes of this plan is the requirement for municipalities to grow more compactly, continuously, growing up before out, infill and redevelopment of sites that will conserve prime agricultural lands for as long as possible and serve other goals within the plan like public Transit, TOD and more efficient use of infrastructure. Minimum greenfield densities have increase about 40% increase for most urbans in the Metro Area, this will have a siginifcant effect on the consumption of prime agricultural land in the region. (the density levels of this plan is the upper end of the range of the existing plan) New Policies. Introduces aspirational targets for intensification within built up areas, TOD centers and sub-regional centers. The Plan also limits future growth of country residential until existing supply is almost fully absorbed at current Density of 50 lots per ¼ section. All municipalities in the rural areas are subject to greenfield density targets.
26 Summary Policy Direction: Compact development and efficient infrastructure A multimodal and integrated regional transportation system Complete communities and housing diversity A diverse, globally competitive economy and prosperous Region Healthy natural living systems and climate change adaptability A thriving agricultural sector and an integrated regional food system
27 7 See page 23 of the Growth Plan Here is where the Growth Plan left off. In addition to the challenges of urban growth, rural growth also makes it increasingly difficult to assemble large contiguous tracks of land for crop farming. This map shows how current policies and practices allow for rural subdivision of ag parcels and rural settlement in the form of country residential development (or rural acreage lots) The darker red areas indicate parcels of 80 acres or less. The yellow areas are Country Residential Areas which often have low absorption rates, and may or may not still be farmed. RAMP will explore the effect of these policies and the need for change.
28 Through the Agriculture POLICY AREA of the Growth Plan, the Board has elevated the importance of conserving agricultural lands for economic, social, environmental and historical and cultural reasons It responds directly to one of the 7 guiding principles in the Plan: to ensure the wise management of prime agricultural resources And it identifies 3 objectives that set the stage for future regional work and collaboration, identifying key issues facing the growth of the Agricultural Sector the issue of Prime Agricultural Land Conservation, the issue of minimizing the future Fragmentation and Conversion of Prime Ag Land, and the issue of how best to support the Diversification of the sector by focusing on infrastructure Embedded in this policy area is the need to develop a Regional Agriculture Master Plan along with a supporting, made-in-this-region Land Evaluation and Site Assessment tool 11
29 The impact of the Growth Plan will ensure a savings of upwards of 250 quarter sections of land over the current development pattern. Another benefit is the potential to realize upwards of $5 billion dollars in land and infrastructure savings due to more efficient use of land. The integrated policy framework within the Growth Plan sets the conditions for long term sustainability (fiscally) while balancing the interests for both rural and urban communities.
31 The Planning approach/ structure identifies three tiers the Rural area, Metropolitan area and inside the Metro Area a Metropolitan core each with a set of tailored growth policies. The Plan is built on the concept of levels of services to respond to the different roles municipalities fulfill in the Region. It s not a one size fits all approach. Metropolitan Area encompasses the highest concentration of existing and future urban development in the Region, and reflects the general direction of future urban growth. It is not intended that the metropolitan area form a growth boundary, or that all the lands within the metropolitan areas will be urbanized by I think you can tell by the general location of the policy line it is heavily influenced by existing 18 employment areas in the region, existing zoned / or designated CR, and natural living systems and first nations lands.
32 See page 23 of the Growth Plan Looking at each of the policy tiers, they are uniquely defined including specific characteristics along with specific growth direction. Policy Direction - Rural Growth The Region s land base is 9,439 square KM ( square miles) or 943,900 Hectares, of that 90% is the Rural Area (or 847,261 Hectares) and 77% of the Rural Area is in Agriculture. (654,030 Hectares)
33 See page 24 of the Growth Plan
34 See page 25 of the Growth Plan
36 1. Under..Economic Competitiveness and Employment Policies support economic diversification, job growth, regional infrastructure and connectivity, and the liveability of the Region 2. Under.Natural Living Systems The emphasis is on the protection, conservation and health of the environment, ecosystem and responds to climate change 3. Under Communities and Housing Policies support the development of a range of housing types as part of complete communities providing residents access to jobs, transportation choices, parks, open spaces, community and cultural amenities 4. Integrated Land Use and Infrastructure Introduces a range of growth targets to achieve compact and contiguous growth making efficient use of infrastructure 5. Under Transportation Systems The emphasis is on building an integrated and efficient multi-modal transportation system to support the growth of the economy and improve quality of life including needs in the rural area 6. Lastly, under Agriculture The emphasis is on the viability and growth of the Ag Sector, reducing fragmentation and conversion to non-agricultural uses and promoting the diversification of the sector
42 I really like this Quote by Albert Einstein, because it reinforces the notion that we need new tools to address new challenges before us. That starts with looking at problems differently and finding new ways to solve them. That takes leadership, courage, and a willingness to make the tough decisions for the greater good! The Growth Plan is an example of this with all the Credit going to the Capital Region Board
43 Similar to the Growth Plan, we have created an Agriculture Constraints Map to sharpen our focus on the challenges and opportunities to enabling a thriving agricultural sector. With the growth direction for Urban Areas being well defined in the Growth Plan for the next 30 years, specifically for how and where to grow, the work before this Task Force is to do the same for the Rural Area Policy Tier, for all those lands that fall outside of the urban areas, which the Growth Plan Task Force was unable to complete due to time and resources. We all know Agriculture has prevailed for more than 100 years, we are all aware of its future demand and our ability to service that demand as long as we can ensure the sector has what it needs to be successful land, water, predictable climate.