On June 15, 2023, the Urban Development Institute – Edmonton Metro and Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board jointly released the State of Growth report.

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State of Growth 2023 Report Cover

This report provides a snapshot of land development trends and demographic profiles for the region’s 13 diverse urban and rural municipalities around four themes – people and housing, economic competitiveness and employment, land use and development opportunities, and quality of life.

At $107B in GDP, and a current population of 1.5 million, the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is the fifth largest economy, and the second-fastest growing region in Canada. Projections suggest that over the next 25 to 30 years, our population is expected to increase by approximately one million, and with it, add 470K more jobs. The region is on the cusp of transformative change.

“The report draws attention to the important conversations that need to take place among regional leaders, community builders, and stakeholders to ensure the region’s ongoing vibrancy, livability, and overall economic success,” said Karen Wichuk, CEO of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board. “We need to prepare our region for this growth – with intentional, proactive planning and investment. We need to look at big questions like: How do we plan for the housing needs of the next one million people? How do we create thriving and welcoming diverse urban and rural communities?”

The report shares reasons why investors and developers are choosing to make their big bets here. Among these, is the region’s growth enabling regulatory framework, which is built upon the award-winning regional growth plan Re-Imagine. Plan. Build. It is about optimizing what the region has, unlocking additional investment opportunities, and while keeping life affordable. The region remains laser focused on talent and job creation, working together to unlock the development of high potential industrial lands and major employment areas, while conserving prime agricultural lands and stewarding our natural assets.

In 2022, the population of the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area was 1,516,719, up 2.5% from the previous year. Total net migration into the Edmonton Metropolitan Region amounted to 36,650 newcomers, up from 6,692 in 2021, which represents an impressive year-over-year surge. The region is attracting a great proportion of these new arrivals to Alberta – through public-private collaboration, a supportive regulatory framework and commitment to innovation, and affordable housing options.

While national discourse has focused on development innovation occurring in larger markets across Canada, the State of Growth report punctuates how local actions and strategies, when coordinated and integrated as part of a regional market, can yield big impacts – or unlock benefits that no one municipality could achieve on its own. From residential to industrial to commercial, municipalities throughout the region are bringing forward innovations and efficiencies in their regulatory environments, processes, and tools to foster growth.

“From some of the quickest development permit approval timelines in Canada to record-setting fibre-optic investments, the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is finding new ways to set itself apart. At the centre of all this success is a shared community-building mindset and a desire to collaborate.”

Kalen Anderson, Executive Director of the Urban Development Institute
Edmonton Metro

The State of Growth report provides key findings on:

  • Population size
  • Age-friendly planning and design
  • Housing diversity and choice
  • Combined value of building permits
  • Development permit timelines
  • Development processes, approvals
  • Diversity of land uses (residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural)
  • Assessment base (residential and non-residential)
  • Investments in broadband and other public infrastructure
  • Investments by the private sector (combined value of building permits)

In addition, the report shares reasons why developers are investing in the region, key strengths and advantages that the region has to offer, and ways in which industry is supporting affordability, economic development, efficient design, and sustainability.

The State of Growth report can be downloaded at www.emrb.ca/state-of-growth. Hard copies can be accessed by contacting info@udiedmonton.com.  

Barb Smith
Senior Communications Advisor, EMRB
780-910-5539 bsmith@emrb.ca

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board unites the decision-makers from 13 rural and urban municipalities in the region. With populations ranging from 6,500 to 1M, these municipalities are at the forefront of shaping the region’s future. The Board assumes a pivotal role in ensuring the region’s growth is both intelligent and sustainable. Our visionary blueprint, Re-imagine. Plan. Build., an acclaimed growth plan, encompasses six interconnected policy areas that address the region’s opportunities and challenges until 2044. Through deliberate and proactive planning, investment, and construction, we steadfastly maintain the region’s attraction as a prime destination for businesses and individuals to forge their destinies.

Jason Syvixay
Director of Metro Strategy & Advocacy, UDI Edmonton Metro
204-997-3040 jason.syvixay@udiedmonton.com

The Urban Development Institute – Edmonton Metro is a non-profit, member-driven organization representing leaders in the real estate development industry in all communities throughout the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Our members are development companies and the professionals involved in our industry, including planners, surveyors, landscape architects, engineers, contractors, finance managers, and others. Together with municipalities who regulate and set policy related to land use, we are important city builders. We build the communities where people live, the roads they travel, the buildings they work in, and the parks where families gather.

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