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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Regional planning in Alberta : The evolution of Alberta’s system of regional planning commissions Dragushan, Graham N. G.

Abstract

Planning legislation in Alberta, particularly in the area of regional planning, has long been thought to be in the forefront of planning efforts in Canada. However, Alberta's experience has also been described as a lost opportunity and with the enactment of Alberta's new Planning Act, it is now appropriate to review the system of regional planning in Alberta. The objective of the thesis is to provide an understanding of the system of regional planning in Alberta by analysis of the evolution of the structure of the regional planning commission - the institution responsible for regional planning. In this thesis, a sequence of theoretical perspectives was identified including: Regionalism (establishing the concept of regions and regional evolution and identifying centralizing and decentralizing strategies for government organization); Regional Planning (defining criteria for successful institional [sic] arrangements for regional planning); and Representation (providing a context for analysis of political representation of regional authorities). This was followed by a description of the evolution of the regional planning commission system in the province, especially that of the Edmonton Regional Planning Commission. It was traced through statute research, relevant literature, and strategic interviews with authorities and participants within the regional planning system in Alberta. From the application of the theoretical perspectives, it was then possible to assess the structure of the regional planning commission system as it has evolved in Alberta, and to generate some general observations related to regional planning in that province. In addition, the theories themselves were reviewed for relevance in light of the thesis research.

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