Lethbridge Integrated Growth Management Strategy


City of Lethbridge


O2 Planning and Design, with MMM Group


Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada




Regional Planning, GIS, Stakeholder Engagement

The City of Lethbridge, working with the County of Lethbridge, retained O2 and MMM Group to develop an Integrated Growth Management Strategy to develop an economically and environmentally sustainable long-term urban growth and servicing strategy in and around the City of Lethbridge, Alberta.

The team built the project's foundation on a strong baseline understand of existing priorities and potential demands. We consulted with local government and non-governmental stakeholders to understand opportunities and challenges facing the Lethbridge city-region. We reviewed existing municipal plans to understand current policy direction in terms of land development, transportation planning, and ecological and agricultural conservation.

To assist in organizing and prioritizing spatial stakeholder and policy imperatives so that they could inform the creation of an urban growth concept, I developed a custom dashboard-controlled overlay mapping tool for ArcGIS. The dashboard tool provided a means for the weighting of approximately 90-stakholder and policy imperative-derived criteria. The tool then individually mapped and combined the resulting layers according to dashboard-specified weightings into several composite defensive (ecological and agricultural vulnerability) and offensive (development suitability) strategy maps.

Informed by a quantitative understanding of projected land and servicing demand, and a spatial understanding of the available land supply, we set out to develop a complete, jurisdiction-neutral urban growth concept for the city-region. With input from MMM Group on servicing requirements and costs, we iteratively explored a range of potential growth outcomes.  We re-generated offensive and defensive suitability maps with each phase of each iteration in order to understand an optimal spatial organization. From this exercise we distilled a set of recommendations for regional planning and inter-municipal coordination over five twenty-year phases.

*Additional strategy mapping and growth concept images not shown, as the City of Lethbridge and County of Lethbridge are currently undertaking an Intermunicipal Development Plan.