For thousands of years, Indigenous Peoples gathered near what we call today the North Saskatchewan River to trade and celebrate, and to plan hunting and harvesting for the coming seasons.

They honoured the land, with a view to leave something better for future generations.

In the spirit of cooperation and building for the future, our Region has a long history of intermunicipal collaboration, with voluntary and mandatory approaches over the years to address planning issues in a more coordinated way.

Territorial Acknowledgement

For nearly seven decades, regional planning and collaboration in the Region has taken a variety of forms.


Our journey begins when we start seeing massive uncoordinated growth with the discovery of oil at Leduc in 1947, ushering in an unprecedented period of rapid growth and urbanization.


The Government of Alberta creates a provincial planning advisory board and new district planning commissions, including the Edmonton District Planning Commission. Participation is not mandatory. The piecemeal pattern of development around Edmonton and Calgary is deemed inappropriate and mandatory metropolitan planning is recommended.


The province creates the first mandatory regional planning body, the Edmonton Regional Planning Commission, with a renewed focus on the greater Edmonton region.


The Edmonton Regional Planning Commission adopts its first regional metropolitan plan.


A new Municipal Government Act dissolves regional planning commissions and transfers planning authority directly to each municipality. 

The Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Planning Commission provides a framework for continued voluntary intermunicipal agency called the Capital Region Forum, focused primarily on enhancing regional communications.


This period saw a gap in regional planning policies and some uncoordinated growth in the Region.


The Capital Region Forum is replaced by the Alberta Capital Region Alliance (ACRA), made up of 23 members. This voluntary body includes voting and non-voting members with a new governance structure of one-municipality, one-vote provisions.

Every time the question Is regional collaboration valuable? has been asked over the last half-century, the answer has been yes.

MNP Report

Early 2000s

At the turn of the new millennium, pressures from resource development, population growth, recreation and conservation are increasing, and the Province reconsiders the approach to managing land and resources. 

Two independent reports commissioned by the Government of Alberta (Hyndman & Radke reports) conclude there is a need for stronger regionalism, and set the stage for the formation of the Capital Region Board.

Strengthening the Region is not a choice, it’s a necessity.


The Capital Region Board (CRB) is established by the Government of Alberta as a Regional Services Commission, making membership and regional planning mandatory. The Board is made up of 24 entities.


The Capital Region Board delivers the regional growth plan Growing Forward.

The province approves the first Regional Evaluation Framework (REF), which requires member municipalities to submit statutory planning documents that meet the growth plan criteria. The Board can now be confident the principles and policies of the growth plan are being implemented across the Region in a consistent manner.


The first Integrated Regional Transportation Master Plan (IRTMP) is approved.


Regional services commissions are transitioned into growth management boards with the introduction of Bill 28: Modernizing Regional Governance Act.


The Capital Region Board releases the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Economic Development Strategy and Framework, which paves the way for the establishment of Edmonton Global in 2017.


The modernized Municipal Government Act (MGA) expands the mandate of growth management boards to collaborate on issues of shared importance such as land use, infrastructure and funding of regional services. It also includes the requirement to develop and implement a regional servicing plan to support the outcomes of the growth plan.

The Capital Region Board (CRB) becomes Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB), and legislated membership goes from 24 to 13 members representing municipalities with a population of at least 5,000.

The EMRB introduces a new long-range growth plan Re-Imagine. Plan. Build. With a vision for the next 50 years, the plan guides growth and development over the next 30 years in the Edmonton Metro Region.

The Re-Imagine. Plan. Build. growth plan receives the 2017 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for City and Regional Planning Excellence.

EMRB establishes Edmonton Global to position the Region to drive global investment and business opportunity in key markets and sectors. Edmonton Global is an independent entity with its own board, membership and governance structure.


EMRB delivers a Metropolitan Region Servicing Plan (MRSP) for priority service areas of solid waste, stormwater management, fire/EMS and emergency management.


The Edmonton Metropolitan Transit Services Commission is created. The Commission operates outside of the EMRB structure with a mandate of improving regional transit and mobility.

EMRB delivers the first Regional Agriculture Master Plan (RAMP), which provides direction to conserve prime agriculture lands and minimize future conversion and fragmentation to non-agricultural uses to ensure producers and processors have room to grow. 

EMRB approves the second Integrated Regional Transportation Master Plan (IRTMP), providing additional direction to support the implementation of the growth plan. 


EMRB continues to foster and strengthen regional partnerships to achieve common goals for the Region.