This report is an important first step in better understanding the Region’s competitive strengths and determining where we can improve and grow.

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EMRB Benchmarking the Edmonton Metro Region ReportCover

These are exciting times for the Edmonton Metro Region. One of the youngest, fastest-growing, and dynamic regions in Canada, we’re on the cusp of transformative change driven by unprecedented population growth and significant economic shifts.

As a Region, we need to be planning today to determine what our tomorrow will look like. Attainable housing, good-paying jobs, and social, cultural, and natural amenities can’t be left to happenstance. They require an ambitious vision supported by a comprehensive plan based on quality data. That’s why the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB) retained Resonance to benchmark the Region across a wide range of factors to determine where it stands relative to peer and/or aspirational regions across Canada, throughout North America, and around the world.

Insights from this report will help the EMRB and other regional leaders improve quality of life and enhance the Region’s competitiveness. We recognize that this report assesses a number of indicators, some of which the EMRB can lead on, and others where we can support our regional partners and stakeholders in driving collective goals.

“The view from the runway shows you little. It’s only when you take off that you get a sense of perspective. That’s what this report does. Analyzing data from a range of reputable sources, it shows us where we are today so we can plan where we need to go tomorrow. The Region’s future is too valuable to leave to chance. Parkland County is excited to seize this opportunity.”

Mayor Allan Gamble, EMRB Chair

The report highlights that the Edmonton Metro Region punches above its weight in 5 key areas:

  • Affordability: is a key advantage for our Region as it helps to attract and retain a skilled workforce, and is also a key factor in enhancing the quality of life of residents.
  • Higher education opportunities: the Region is well equipped in this regard, and access to high-performing higher education institutions improves not only the Region’s ability to produce talent, but its attractiveness to future skilled generations as well; employers have multiple talent pools to pull from, depending on their labour needs.
  • Population growth and share of prime age (25-44) residents: the Region’s prime age population is expected to grow nearly 8%, and this is important for a Region like Edmonton Metro whose key industries are continuing to invest in the Region and grow here.
  • Access to sport complexes: among its ‘quality-of-life’ assets, the Region boasts a high number of sports venues/stadiums, arenas, etc.; the more vibrant a region is in terms of its culture, sports, dining, and nightlife, the more visitors, young professionals, and large corporations it attracts.
  • Inclusive economy: income inequality in the Region today is much lower than in most of the comparable peers evaluated and that is a key strength relative to other global metropolitan regions.

In our increasingly interconnected world, we can no longer afford to think and act in silos. Competition is heating up, and business as usual will no longer suffice. Jurisdictions need the right talent, smart infrastructure, forward-thinking policies, and a collaborative mindset to succeed. Faced with this ever-more competitive environment, the Edmonton Metro Region needs to be ready to compete with the best and come out on top. We can’t do that, however, unless we know where we stand against our key competitors, and what it will take to meet our aspirations.

Resonance is an internationally recognized adviser in economic development, real estate, and tourism. Its Best Cities rankings quantify the relative quality of place, reputation, and competitive identity for metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 people.

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