Between 2013 and 2016, Urban Strategies was retained by Strathcona County to assist them in planning for future growth. The County’s existing urban community, Sherwood Park, was nearly built out, and two potential new growth areas, Bremner and Colchester, had been identified. Urban Strategies was first retained to prepare a Growth Management Strategy (GMS) for Bremner, a 4,175 hectare area to the north east of Sherwood Park. We were later retained to prepare a GMS for Colchester, a 2,291 hectare area approximately three kilometres south of Sherwood Park. Finally, Strathcona County asked Urban Strategies to prepare an “apples to apples” comparison of the two growth areas to assist Council in making a decision about where future growth would be accommodated in the County.
The Bremner and Colchester projects followed very similar processes. For each, the team undertook a series of community and stakeholder visioning sessions to develop a vision and set of principles, a technical analysis of opportunities and constraints, the development and evaluation of alternative community design concepts, and the combination of the best elements into a preferred community design concept. Both projects included an intensive program of stakeholder and public consultation that ensured that the plans were grounded in local values and reflected the aspirations of the community.
The comparison of Bremner and Colchester took the form of a matrix of key data on each area and its GMS to assist County Council in making a decision between them. Data provided included number of existing properties; area of environmental features; agricultural soil classification; non-developable land; population, denisty and jobs accommodated in the GMS; and infrastructure costs to implement each GMS.
Based on the Growth Management Strategies and comparison matrix prepared by Urban Strategies, Strathcona County Council selected Bremner as its next urban community in March 2016.
Bremner Community Design Concept