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5 McGill Int'l J. Sust. Dev. L. & Pol'y 115 (2009)
Re-Zoning Alberta: Smart Regulation for Smart Growth

handle is hein.journals/mcgijosd5 and id is 107 raw text is: Re-Zoning Alberta: Smart
Regulation for Smart Growth

Matti Lemmens*

Euclidean zoning is a dominant planning tool for many
Canadian municipalities, resulting in an overbearing
focus on managing land uses. This article assesses recent
reforms made to a provincially-coordinated land use
framework in the Canadian province ofAlberta. Several
key federal, provincial, and municipal planning laws are
relevant to this process, and are outlined in the article.
The Government of Alberta was the first in Canada to
adopt carbon emissions targets, subsequently revising
its climate change strategy to encourage environmental
planning strategies which conserve and use energy effi-
ciently. The article evaluates current practices, as imple-
mented in Edmonton, and concludes that the Euclidean
zoning technique allocates land use in a manner incon-
sistent with these environmental goals. Alternative plan-
ning techniques, including form-based code and perfor-
mance-based zoning, are put forward as methodologies
better suited to the environmental goals promulgated by
La contribution du zonage euclidien pridomine tou-
jours les outils de planification urbaine dans plusieurs
municipalitis canadiennes, ce qui risulte en une concen-
tration dsmesure sur la gestion des terres. Cet article se
concentre sur les municipalitis albertaines et les reformes
rs'centes qui sont le produit de nouvelles politiques coor-
donnes par la province. Plus spicifiquement, l'article
se penche sur la ville d'Edmonton et son nouveau plan
municipal et intermunicipal innovateur. L'article offre
un survol des lois frdrales, provinciales et municipales
sur l'ams'nagement du territoire. Le Gouvernement de
lAlberta fut le premier au Canada d adopter des objec-
tifi pour l'imission de carbone et a encouragi l'adoption
des  stratgies  de  planifications  environnementales
afin de conserver et utiliser l'inergie de fafon efficace.
L'auteure fait une ivaluation des pratiques courantes
telles qu'implanties par la ville d'Edmonton et diter-
mine que l'emploi des techniques de zonage euclidien
mine l'utilisation des terres h aller h l'encontre des objec-

the Alberta Legislature. Historical development ofplan-
ning techniques and examples of their application in
Canada are discussed. The article then analyzes currently
available planning legislation, and suggests that it is pos-
sible to incorporate the alternative planning practices of
form-based code and performance-based zoning into the
Euclidean framework. It is, however, unlikely that the
Euclidean framework will be completely overhauled due
to entrenched political attitudes. Nevertheless, the tools
for smart growth are available, and for the sake of the
environment, municipal development bylaws and plans
must evolve.

tif environnementaux. Des techniques d'amdnagement
alternatives, telles un code bass sur la forme et le zonage
basi sur la performance, sont examinies et mises de
l'avant comme de meilleures me'thodologies pour attein-
dre les objectifi environnementaux promulgus par
lAssemblke ligislative de lAlberta. L'auteur analyse les
lois actuelles sur l'aminagement du territoire et suggre
qu'il est bien possible dincorporer les pratiques alterna-
tives de code bass sur la forme et le zonage bass sur la
performance dans le cadre euclidien. Ultimement, les
attitudes politiques non informies font qu'une reforme
complete du cadre euclidien soit improbable. Toutefois,
les outils pour une croissance intelligente sont disponibles
et les changements doivent avoir lieu dam les statuts et
les plans municipaux.

Matti Lemmens received her LL.B. with an environmental specialization from Dalhousie University.
Her degree included academic exchanges at Oxford University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and the
University of Alberta. She is currently articling at the Calgary office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. She
would like to thank Howard Epstein and Chad Manley for their helpful contributions to the drafting of
this article.

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