Edmonton Area Passes 30-Year Development Blueprint
After a few years of disagreements and internal squabbles, the Capital Region Board (CRB) has put pen to paper on a development plan that factors in all the municipalities in Edmonton Metro over the next 30 years. The landmark agreement will ensure that new homes and real estate enterprises are built around points of transit and that havens of agriculture are preserved and even bolstered. The board is now bound to create a list of agricultural areas that will come under preservation and make rules for the residential plans set to be executed over the next three decades.
There is a belief that the sources of income in the area are not exactly diversifying at the moment, which raises a need for approaches that look forward 30 to 50 years. In addition to that, the Edmonton area currently has around 1.1 million people, and this figure is projected to double by 2044. The thinking here is that by the time the 2040 rolls around, there will be enough dense suburbs for people to live in, find food and land productive jobs. The projection is that this plan will cut back on the annexation of land and save the authorities billions of dollars in costs related to development as well as general infrastructure.
While this plan has passed the test, there are still voices of dissent. The CRB has 24 members in its roundtable, and 22 voted for the project. Those who oppose it see it as not really keeping up with the needs of the people or staying within the confines of economic logic. Mayor John Whaley of Leduc County voted against the proposal because according to him, it did not factor in the agricultural area on the southern point of Edmonton. Also, Parkland County Mayor Rod Shaigec was instructed by his council not to agree to the plan.
The mandate of this project seems capped by the budget at the moment, and most members of the CRB indicate that they intend to move at a steady pace from the get go. The argument is that there is no need to introduce discussion involving the expansion of the mandate at the moment because such a decision is still way off.
Those who support the 30-year plan hail it as the gold standard for economic prosperity in the region. They believe it will protect agricultural areas that are not under immediate risk of encroachment but could come under that bracket in the future.
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