How do we build and grow?

Municipalities have powers and roles to fulfill under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) for the responsible use of land to achieve orderly, economical and beneficial development, and to maintain and improve the quality of the physical environment.

This area of the MGA involves finding the right balance between land preservation and responsible and sustainable economic development. The way land is used should improve the quality of the environment in which Albertans live, work and travel.

The MGA outlines processes for planning and development of Alberta communities, such as:

Land use planning

Land use planning affects everyone in the community: land owners, residents, businesses and visitors. That’s why land use planning is a key focus of local government.

Through the MGA, municipalities are empowered to manage land in a variety of ways. They plan where to build homes, businesses, schools and roads within their communities. And since this can affect everything from land values to the environment, this legislation outlines planning processes for municipalities.

Sometimes municipalities need to change land use plans to accommodate for new needs that may come from population or economic growth.

Planning decisions and appeals

When it comes to decisions about subdividing and developing land, municipalities establish their own planning policies. These decisions may be appealed to municipally or provincially-administered boards, depending on the situation.

Environmental considerations

Throughout Alberta, communities are growing. Municipalities plan how their land will be used to meet the needs of growing communities, now and in the future.

The MGA provides guidance to municipalities so they can support their communities while preserving our environment, including agricultural and environmentally sensitive lands.

To learn more about the Municipal Government Act, check out the MGA Review Workbook.