NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the AUMA strongly encourage the Government of Alberta to work with academic institutions in Alberta to establish an accredited professional planning program in at least one Alberta University by September 2011.
WHEREAS planning is defined as “the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities and services with a view to securing the physical, economic and social efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities” (Canadian Institute of Planners);
WHEREAS municipal access to professional planners is key to ensuring sustainable Alberta communities;
WHEREAS Alberta municipal governments, planning agencies and planning consultancies currently draw the majority of their planning professionals from other provinces;
WHEREAS challenges in hiring planners from other provinces may include: drawing from a more limited number of candidates, additional training required to ensure knowledge of Alberta legislation and context, difficulty in retaining out-of-province professionals; and
WHEREAS there is currently no professional, accredited planning school located in any academic institution in the Province of Alberta.
Jun 29, 2011 - Alberta Municipal Affairs
Alberta Advanced Education and Technology (AET) acknowledges that important role of professional planners in the development of Alberta’s urban and rural communities. The advantages of training our planners in Alberta, in terms of greater familiarity with the province’s regulatory, economic, environmental and cultural context, are also recognized. As the economic recovery gathers momentum, and with the implementation of the Land Use Framework, we appreciate that the demand for qualified planners will increase. Accordingly, AET officials were pleased to learn of the University of Calgary’s decision to re-activate the Master of Environmental Design (Planning) program after a three year hiatus. Applications for Fall 2011 admission are currently being accepted.
AET has worked with other Alberta universities over the past several years to facilitate the introduction of new, undergraduate planning programs. However, the ongoing fiscal challenges preclude new government funding to support program delivery, which has delayed implementation of the Bachelor of Arts (Rural and Urban Planning and Design) major by the University of Lethbridge, and approval of the University of Alberta’s proposed Bachelor of Arts (Planning) major and Bachelor of Science (Planning) specialization.
AET has review and reporting mechanisms in place to ensure the quality of post-secondary programs, but the accreditation of ac3ademic planning programs in Canada is the responsibility of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) in partnership with its provincial affiliates; in Alberta this is the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI). CIP establishes national standards for accreditation. Accreditation reviews are conducted by APPI, in response to applications received from post-secondary institutions.
Elsewhere in government, Alberta Municipal Affairs offers the Municipal Internship Program for Land use Planners as two-year training opportunity for new university planning graduates who wish to pursue a career in municipal planning. The internship program is also open to students with a related degree (such as urban studies) who have completed at least two senior level planning courses. This group of students generally comes from Alberta post-secondary institutions. It should be noted that individuals in this group may qualify for CIP membership following completion of five years of relevant professional experiences (including the internship)
AUMA accepts this response.