Land use Planning FAQ

FAQ on Land Use Planning

Land use planning is a process that considers the economic, environmental and social uses of land to maximize the preferred outcomes. Since uses of land can overlap, complement or compete, the decisions can be complex and require participation from representatives, planners and the public.

Here are the common questions about land use planning.

Land Use Planning FAQ

What is land use planning?

Land use planning is a regulatory and planning process that aims to manage how land is used to achieve the desired goals. There are different levels of land use planning, ranging from local land use planning to broader regional planning.

What is the process for land use planning in Alberta?

In Alberta, land use planning is guided by various plans for different geogrpahical scales. At the highest level, the Land-use Framework sets the broad goals and boundaries for seven regional plans. Regional plans, sub-regional plans, municipal plans and more all fall under the regional plans depending on the characterics and needs of the region.

What is the legislation and policies related to land use planning in Alberta?

Regional Planning FAQ

What is regional planning?

Regional planning in Alberta is built on the foundation to balance development and create a framework for future land-use decision while encouraging stewardship, conservation and information sharing about the cumulative effects of multiple uses on the land. Regional planning provides the basis for policy integration while increasing direction and clarity to guide land-use decision-makers while collectively working towards the values set out by Albertans.

Regional planning will not replace local decision-making, but helps to ensure that there is alignment on strategic issues and plans, recognizing that there is a limited capacity of airsheds, watersheds and land disturbances which cross multiple jurisdictional boundaries.

Who is responsible for Alberta’s regional planning?

Land use planning in Alberta is based on the Land-use Framework. The implementation of the Land-use Framework is managed by the Land Use Secretariat.

What is the history of regional planning in Alberta?

Regional planning has gone through a variety of forms and approaches in Alberta. Priorities have been readjusted along with a growth in population and changes in the economy and deveopment.

The current form of regional planning through the Land-use Framework dates back to 2006. 

See a detailed history of regional planning in Alberta.

Land-use Framework FAQ

What is the Land-use Framework?

Alberta’s Land-use Framework is the blueprint for land use management and decisoin making in Alberta. It was developed in 2007 and contains seven strategies to manage public and private land and natural resources.

What is the Alberta Land Stewardship Act?

The Alberta Land Stewardship Act sets out the legislation for implementing the strategies and meeting the goals from the Land-use Framework.

One of those strategies is developing regional plans for seven regions in the province that define the strategic direction for the next 10 years. Two regional plans (for the Lower Athabasca and South Saskatchewan regions) are completed.

How many regions are there under the Land-use Framework?

The province is divided into seven regions, based on major watersheds. Here is the status of the seven regional plans:

Where are the regions located?

The seven regional planning areas roughly follow the main watersheds in Alberta. See the maps of land use planning regions in Alberta.

More Resources

Get started with land use planning
Overview and history of land use planning in Alberta

Alberta land use maps
Maps of the regional planning boundaries in Alberta

Alberta Region Explorer 
Explore the seven Alberta Land-use Framework regions.

Information, data and maps useful for land use planning in Alberta.

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