Regional Evaluation Framework (REF)

REF is an essential mechanism for the Board to evaluate how local plans support the implementation of the growth plan – as reflected in directions, policies and collective outcomes.

This legislated process is designed to ensure statutory plans of member municipalities are consistent with the principles and policies of the EMRB 30-year growth plan. Through REF, the Board reviews new statutory plans and regionally significant statutory plan amendments to ensure local planning decisions are coordinated and consistent with our vision for the growth of the Region.

Land Evaluation and Site Assessment

A first for the Region, the land evaluation and site assessment (LESA) tool identifies and quantifies the prime agricultural areas for conservation, and monitors changes to these lands over time. The LESA model analysis is evidence-based and supported by local experts.

As a component of our agriculture plan (RAMP), LESA was developed to assess multiple factors affecting relative agricultural value potential across the Region to identify a prime agricultural land base.

Grain head of wheat plant against field background

Land evaluation

measures the land’s biophysical consideration, including soil, climate and topography in relation to agricultural use

Site assessment

measures other important geographic, economic and social factors

Transportation Modelling and Prioritization

Working with municipal members, regional stakeholders and Alberta Transportation, a modelling platform was purpose-built for the Region. The model is highly flexible and can be used regionally, sub-regionally, or by an individual municipality. The platform enables decision-makers to prioritize transportation infrastructure projects by regional significance.

IRTMP Transit bus bike on bus

The projects are categorized by project phase before the scoring is completed. The project phases are:

  • Advance to planning
  • Ready for design
  • Ready for construction

Each of these three categories is evaluated based on five broad categories of criteria — economic competitiveness; sustainable and resilient communities; health and environment; serving diverse needs of the region; and funding and value — with the level of evaluation detail increasing with the level of project development.

Shared Investment for Shared Benefit

The Shared Investment for Shared Benefit (SISB) tool is the framework and model for member municipalities to partner on regional initiatives, sharing costs, resources, data, expertise and benefits. It involves a rigorous process to identify initiatives that are regionally significant and to qualify and quantify the shared investment for partners.

silhouette of young designer team standing with a white blank screen laptop and notebook in hands while discussing/talking about them new project with the modern office as background.

Through coordinated investments in regionally significant initiatives, SISB improves our global competitiveness, attractiveness and sustainability. It also enables us to strengthen existing relationships with regional stakeholders and build partnerships to help advance our interests and priorities.