Urban Planning, Development Policy & Economic Strategies

We provide a full array of services to help local governments anticipate, encourage, manage, and regulate urban growth and development.

Official Community Plans and Growth Management Strategies

We help local governments anticipate and manage community development. We produce statutory plans that are adopted as bylaws as well as policy plans that are intended to guide growth and change. We sometimes provide specialized inputs to growth management plans. For example, we have developed commercial development policy or employment lands policy for incorporation into broader municipal plans.

Development Policy and Regulation

We use our knowledge of urban land economics and urban planning to help communities develop policy and regulations that guide the location, form, and character of urban development. We also help municipalities develop effective policies regarding development cost charge bylaws, community amenity contributions, and density bonusing to achieve community objectives. Our work includes:

  • Zoning regulations including density bonus zoning systems.
  • Community amenity contribution policy and procedures.
  • Development cost recovery (e.g. Development Cost Charges).
  • Heritage building incentives, including property tax abatement and transferable density.
Economic Development Strategies

We help local and regional governments understand their competitive advantages, forecast employment potential, and develop strategies to take advantage of economic opportunity. We help create economic development strategies that are practical, action-oriented, sustainable, and realistic.

Downtown and Town Centre Planning

We work with local and regional governments to develop plans and policies for high density urban centres. Our work includes:

  • Downtown plans.
  • Commercial area revitalization.
  • Regional town centre plans.
  • Planning for transit-oriented nodes.
  • Neighbourhood centre planning.
Waterfront Planning

We apply our planning expertise to waterfront locations, which require a particular understanding of the opportunities and challenges of marine, river, or lake front properties.

Integrated Land Use and Transportation Planning

We work with transportation planners on the integration of land use and transportation planning, particularly with regard to selecting transit routes, selecting rapid transit station locations, and station area planning.