The Planning Studio (HGP 495) is a fourth year course designed to engage our students with the practical study of community planning processes, development or redevelopment projects, or other relevant case studies.

Our 2016 HGP 495 class, under the academic supervision of Drs. Sandeep Agrawal and Bob Summers, undertook contract projects for actual clients.  The four projects included Capital Region Board, Town of Beaumont Parking Study, University of Alberta District 9 Sector Plan, and Westmount Architectural Heritage Area ProtectionRead below to learn more about the projects and final reports!

1. Capital Region Board- The Capital Region Board (CRB) region includes 24 member municipalities including the city of Edmonton. CRB requires that statutory plans such as Inter-municipal Development Plans (IDP) and Municipal Development Plans (MDP) of municipalities within the CRB region must be consistent with the Capital Region Growth Plan. The students are tasked by the Board to analyze all the IDPs and MDPs within the membership of the CRB, provide a methodology and framework for regional spatial analysis, and make recommendations for a consistent regional view.

2. Town of Beaumont Parking Study – The Town of Beaumont has created a new vision for a walkable, vibrant urban downtown outlined in their Downtown Urban Design Concept Plan.  That concept plan is not viable with current parking regulations.  The project team is investigating current parking usage, the needs of businesses, the goals of the Town, and alternative approaches to parking such as the development of shared parking lots in their study.  The team will be making parking strategy recommendations that could have a major impact on the success of the downtown development of Beaumont.

3. University of Alberta District 9 Sector Plan: The province’s Post Secondary Learning Act allows the University of Alberta to prepare a Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). The LRDP provides a flexible set of strategic planning principles that support the growth of new research, teaching and support facilities, as well as upgrades or replacement of existing structures, within the context of University lands. Sector Plans are a part of the LRDP developed to guide development on University land, zoned Alternate Jurisdiction under municipal designation. Eleven sectors are identified within North Campus. Sector 9 consists of primarily operational facilities and students’ residences, but is in close proximity of major institutions such as Cross Cancer, Jubilee Auditorium and ECHA. The students are asked by the Facilities and Operations Unit to prepare a plan for sector 9, which currently does not have an existing plan.

4. Westmount Architectural Heritage Area Protection – The Westmount Heritage Area was designated with voluntary guidelines for the protection of the aesthetic provided by a cluster of homes built between 1900 and 1925 in the Craftsman and Arts and Craft styles.  In recent years redevelopment pressures have resulted in the loss of heritage homes and the guidelines have been ineffective in ensuring that new homes contribute to the character of the area.  On behalf of the City of Edmonton, the project team has analysed the changes in the area, drafted new development regulations and created a strategy to advance those protections forwards through the rezoning process.

The Planning Studio Winter 2015(pdf)