What is Transforming Planning?
Transforming Planning is about unleashing the possibility of our planning system, both inside and outside of the City of Calgary.
Transforming Planning was launched in June 2012 by The City of Calgary’s Planning, Development & Assessment (PDA) department in response to a Council directive to undertake a broad-scale review of the planning process. Transforming Planning will engage City staff and stakeholders – industry, communities, citizens – to deliver the best possible planning system that will help build a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable city for everyone.
For a full explanation please click here.
Transforming Planning was initiated with three goals in mind:
- Improve Municipal Development Plan (MDP) implementation
- Improve planning processes
- Improve the culture of the stakeholders and their relationships in the planning system
To understand transformation versus change, check out the Core Prime, created by The Clearing, the consultants working with The City to transform planning.
Who is Involved?
City Administration invited applicants to form an external stakeholder committee to be made up of 2 community representatives, 2 development industry representatives, a planning representative, an architecture representative and a member-at-large for a total of 14 Working Group members. Federation planner, Natasha Kuzmak, is a member of the Working Group. Click here to see who else is on the Working Group.
What is the Federation’s Role?
The role of the Federation, and Natasha Kuzmak as a Working Group member, is to bring a community perspective to the Working Group discussions. Natasha intends to communicate to CAs through regular updates and coordinate events to share information and promote discussions.
Much of the work done to date is very high-level and has been completed by the Working Group. However, as the Working Group explores the details of the new planning system and process, stakeholder groups, including communities, will be kept informed and will be asked to contribute to the process.
Transforming Planning Updates
The City of Calgary Transforming Planning team creates bi-weekly updates. They will be posted here and will also be sent out to CA presidents and planners.
1. Why is it necessary to transform the Calgary planning system? What’s at stake?
The Calgary planning system is often characterised as having adversarial and distrusting relationships. Each stakeholder – communities, The City and developers – encounters many frustrations and difficulties in their role in the planning system.
From the community perspective:
- Communication is insufficient and communities often feel their contributions are disregarded by City of Calgary staff and developers
- Municipal Development Plan implementation is not well understood at the local level, therefore communities cannot prepare for change and are concerned about retaining their character
- Many community Area Redevelopment Plans and Area Structure Plans are outdated and perceived as not being recognised or useful to preserve community character
Though planning is challenging because there are so many different interests and perspectives, planning a great city does not and should not have to be this hard!
If the planning system is not improved, we will not be able to continue to build a great city, and utilise the contributions of all the stakeholders.
2. Will there be a role for communities in planning once Transforming Planning changes have been implemented?
Communities play a significant role in the planning system to:
- Provide advice, background information, community context and character, and community issues and concerns to The City of Calgary,
- Advocate for planning activities within their community, and
- CA planning committees can act as a vehicle for community improvement and as a voice for the community.
Though the role of community associations may change, the role will include the listed qualities above.
3. What is the role of the Federation?
The role of the Federation of Calgary Communities in Transforming Planning is to represent a community perspective, not to represent community associations. Furthermore, it is expected that each Working Group member also consider the city-at-large perspective. However, the Federation commits to keeping communities up to date on the work completed at the Working Group and organising opportunities to educate communities about Transforming Planning and engaging communities in meaningful discussion.
4. What stage is the Working Group at in Transforming Planning?
Phase III (January 2013-June 2013): By June 2013, through its staff-stakeholder Working Group, Transforming Planning will have completed the following: Calgary’s new planning system will be outlined, along with a new organizational structure proposed to support the process; a gap analysis completed that informs next steps; and we will have laid the foundation for a collaborative environment consistent with our vision. Transforming Planning will report back to Council in July 2013 with a proposal for the next phase of work.
- Initial City report from June 2012: Click here.
- Working Group summary to December 2012: Click here.
- Report to Council in December 2012: Click here.
- Pilot Project Expression of Interest: Click here.
Check out The City’s website here.
Follow Transforming Planning on Twitter!
Sign up for updates: email@example.com