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What does Edmonton look like with 2 million people?

Even as the city of Edmonton reaches a milestone of 1 million people, we need to keep looking forward. We need to plan for the future and we need to decide what sort of city we want to create for a potential population of 2 million people. Join us in developing our future Edmonton by contributing to the City Plan.

What is the City Plan?

The City Plan charts out how we will get to a future city, a city that has the benefits we enjoy today with new opportunities for the future. The City Plan is about our spaces and places and how we move around the city. It is about our community and what we need to do together to grow, adapt and succeed.

  • What kind of city will Edmonton be in the future?
  • What about a future city could make you feel more connected to your friends and family?
  • What is Edmonton’s city story?  


It’s been almost ten years since Council approved Edmonton’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP), The Way We Grow (2010) and Transportation Master Plan (TMP), The Way We Move (2009).

A lot has changed since then, including the advancement of LRT planning and construction, major developments in the urban core, catalyst projects like Blatchford, and new strategies guiding Edmonton’s transit, open space, and infill development.

It’s time for a refresh of those plans, especially as we move towards a city of 2 million people. We need to talk about the many challenges and opportunities that come with a changing and dynamic Metropolitan Region.

The City Plan will combine the MDP and TMP into a single, unified plan about the spaces and places in our city.

An icon graphically depicting Edmonton Muttart pyramids.The City Plan will show how we build and grow in a more compact and efficient urban form.



An icon depicting a curled document.All municipalities are required, by the Municipal Government Act, to produce a Municipal Development Plan and Transportation Plan that is approved by City Council.


A icon graphic showing a bar graph indicating growth.The City Plan will establish new and renewed objectives and policies to address the future growth of the city.



Using Council's goals, it will show, through networks, systems and nodes how the city will be built and will grow.



An icon depicting a clock in front of a calendar.We need to align with Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan by October 2020.



The City Plan will align with Vision 2050 and leverage the work completed to date on that project.



Edmonton’s City Plan is part of a larger story. It will be guided by the four goals of Council’s Vision 2050: Healthy City, Urban Places, Climate Resilience and Economic Prosperity. It will also guide the upcoming rewrite of the Zoning Bylaw

The City Plan will detail how we build, grow and move around our city, while Edmonton’s Zoning Bylaw will set out the rules for how buildings are built - the location and shape of the houses and buildings, as well as the amount of parking and landscaping provided. 

Get Involved

The City Plan is Edmonton’s plan, and we want you to help write it! 

The City of Edmonton is committed to creating opportunities for the public to contribute to the creation of the City Plan. We’ll show you how we’ll collect and use your input to help City Administration and Council make their decisions in the future.

There will be many opportunities to engage with the City Plan throughout the 5 project phases. Currently, we are in Phase 1, and we’re looking forward to launching public engagement in September 2018. 

Engagement and Decision Process

Phase 1: Groundwork

Timeline: August 2018
Commitment: We will keep the public informed on what the City Plan is and upcoming opportunities for engagement.

Phase 2: Foundations

Timeline: September-November 2018
Commitment: We will adjust desired city building outcomes to reflect public input, to the maximum extent possible.

Phase 3: Framing the plan

Timeline: January-June 2019
Commitment: We will work with public to create various scenarios, measures, and trade-offs.

Phase 4: Building up

Timeline: November 2019-February 2020
Commitment: We will work with the public to create action plans for preferred scenarios, adjusting policy decisions to the maximum extent possible.

Phase 5: Plan approvals

Timeline: March-May 2020
Commitment: We will inform the public on how their input was used in decision making throughout the City Plan, and provide updates in regards to the approval process. 


Graphic outlining timeline for City Plan implementation.

2018 - Phase 1: Groundwork
  1. Initial research and scope
  2. Establish project resources
  3. Establish governance
  4. Detail research planning
  5. Communications and engagement
2018 - Phase 2: City Move/Policy Shifts
  1. Set the context
  2. Interpret the vision
  3. Develop goals
  4. Research and analysis baseline
  5. Communications and engagement
2019 - Phase 3: Framing the Plan
  1. Big moves/policy shifts
  2. Key measures
  3. Scenario setup
  4. Building and testing scenarios
  5. Draft policy and planning framework
  6. Communications and engagement
2019 - 2020-Phase 4: Building up
  1. Draft the Plan
  2. Circulate the Plan internally
  3. Develop Action Plans
  4. Communications and engagement
2020 - Phase 5: Plan Approval
  1. Produce final deliverables
  2. Pulic Hearing preparation
  3. Public Hearing
  4. Follow-up motions
  5. Implementation

City Realities and Considerations

A Growing City, A Growing Boundary
Constant Growth
  • Edmonton has always been growing. In 1916, Edmonton was home to 53,846 people and in 2018 our city was 932,546 strong.
  • To accommodate that increase in population and the essential commercial and industrial growth needed to support it, Edmonton has expanded its physical boundary through periodic annexations. Annexation processes are currently underway.
  • However, if growth happens in the same way it has in the past, the current annexation lands will not be sufficient to accommodate future growth needs of the City beyond 2039. To change this outcome, we need to shift how we grow and develop our city to make better use of our existing land.
People Choose Edmonton
  • Just over 20% of us are new immigrants, and more than 1500 refugees have settled here since November 2015, bringing the richness of cultural diversity. This also presents the challenge of supporting new residents and ensuring we develop a connected community to reduce the likelihood of stress, depression, loneliness and isolation.
  • Addressing connection, community and inclusion will become ever more important as we grow.
A Changing Climate
Edmonton Declaration
  • On May 29, 2018 Edmonton signed on to the Edmonton Declaration in recognition of municipalities’ critical role in reaching the targets of the Paris Agreement.
  • In Edmonton, our built environment is a critical player in advancing these targets, with 36% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 42% of our city’s energy consumption from all buildings (homes and large buildings).
  • Large commercial, institutional and industrial buildings use 23% of energy and produce 19% of GHG emissions.
  • On-road transportation also has a major impact on energy consumption and GHGs responsible for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions and consuming nearly as much energy as all of our buildings combined.
  • A major change to our building technologies, our development form and mobility options and patterns will be needed to meet our reduction targets.
Driving Business Forward
Gross Domestic Product
  • Edmonton thrives on a strong and collaborative business environment. Our strong GDP growth between 2013 and 2016 ranked Edmonton in the top two of 13 metropolitan areas in the country.
Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Edmontonians are known for their entrepreneurial spirit with small businesses accounting for approximately 95 per cent of all business in Edmonton, ranking the number of small businesses per capita third among Canadian cities.
  • Keeping Edmonton’s climate for businesses competitive while supporting innovation and risk taking is going to be critical to the success of the city and region’s shared prosperity.
Transportation Options
  • Over the last 20 years the total number of trips made by Edmonton residents increased by approximately 40% to 3.14 million trips per weekday. Combined with a growing population and development outside our inner core, the result has been  longer daily travel distances for the average Edmontonian, particularly for commute trips to work and school.
  • This situation highlights the need for choice in the transportation options available to our citizens. However, our current modal split does not reflect the availability of these choices. 
Proactive Planning
  • Combined car driver and passenger mode share still dominates at 77.6% of all daily trips in 2015. If we act to curb this trend by acting proactively now to provide more viable choices, we will be in a better position to tackle the congestion and commuting problems currently faced by other large municipalities as Edmonton grows to 2 million people.
Designing for Health and Beauty
Population Growth
  • Over the last decade, over 85,000 new housing units have been added to our city, over 900 kilometres of streets expanded and over 725 hectares of parks and open space provided. Since 2011, around 13,000 more people are living in core and mature areas.
  • As we grow, we need to ensure the design of buildings and open spaces, including streets and parks, maximizes the economic, environmental and social benefits which come with densification.
Designing for Livability
  • Investment in both the public realm and private spaces has been rapid. For example, the Neighbourhood Renewal Program has improved old streetscapes, the funicular has increased access to the river valley, and new towers are bringing more offices, homes and businesses are making our downtown more vibrant.
  • The built environment influences our health outcomes and impacts the way we feel, both physically and mentally. Thoughtful design choices promote our wellbeing by creating places that are attractive, vibrant and child-friendly, with access to sunlight and nature, and in turn, increased security and reduced isolation.

Stay Connected to What's Happening

Get the latest news in the City Plan Newsletter.

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