The Town of High River has picked up a couple of awards in recent weeks for an innovative land use bylaw.

The award from the Alberta Professional Planners Association came this week, while the first award was in Manitoba back in July.

The Town's Manager of Planning and Development Services, Khalid Mohammed, says the newly implemented land use bylaw completely changes how the town will look in the future.

"They created and designed communities where the focus was only on infrastructure. On roads, on bridges on parking, on only cars. So, it became car-centric communities. Where people have no space. So now we are reversing the gear here."

Mohammed says the whole idea of the bylaw is to make town planning moving forward more about people.

"Everything is about how can we make sure that whatever we're building, whatever we're designing, or whatever we're developing in our communities, that really makes sure it takes into consideration, in a big way, people first."

planning award july 2018Mohammed accepting national Award of Merit for planning excellence on July 20 at the Canadian Institute of Planners and Manitoba Professional Planners Institute National Conference in Winnipeg. Photo Courtesy the Town of High River.

Mohammed, says since winning the awards, the bylaw has drawn some notice.

"I've received calls from the City of Edmonton, City of Calgary. They're asking questions about how did we get here? They just love it. They say this is absolutely something that is innovative, creative, something that really makes us think outside the box."

The bylaw is intended to offer more flexibility and chances for collaboration between the Town, developers and citizens.


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