2022 – ongoing | Ponoka, AB
The Town of Ponoka adopted its current Municipal Development Plan (MDP) in 2013. Since then, the Town has experienced significant change. These include new municipal plans, like a Land Use Bylaw, Intermunicipal Development Plan, and Transportation Master Plan, and population growth from 6,773 in 2011 to 7,331 in 2021.
Due to these changes, the Town administration initiated a comprehensive review and rewrite of the Ponoka MDP. The Town engaged McElhanney to lead this review in mid-2022. The project included extensive research, data collection, mapping, and policy writing. The McElhanney team also found creative ways to engage with the community. Alongside traditional methods like open houses, online surveys, posters, and social media, the McElhanney team also met with a group of grade four students from Ponoka Elementary School. By talking with youth, the project team was able to find creative ways to hear from Ponoka’s future residents and ensure the MDP’s values and priorities aligned with all age groups.
As noted on the Town of Ponoka’s engagement website, “The goal of the project is to create a community-driven plan that can act as a roadmap for the Town into the future. It will reflect community values and represent local needs. While the MDP document focuses on planning and land use, it will also provide strategies for government that will support community well-being, the local economy, recreation, and complete and livable neighborhoods.”
Alongside policy, the MDP presents a vision and vision story for the community. These guiding ideals shape the MDP’s priorities in a fundamental way and ensure the document is cohesive in presenting key principles and policy statements. If the Town achieves its vision, Ponoka will be the best version of itself and a supportive place to live, visit, and open a business.
Learn more about Ponoka’s “Plan Ponoka” MDP engagement process here.
- Organized and facilitated public engagement with Town Council, Administration, and Residents, including facilitating open houses, hosting a youth workshop, designing online surveys, writing social media and newsletter text, presenting to Council, and engaging with interested parties through formal and informal conversations
- Researched demographic and community characteristics, development patterns, and other background information
- Drafted MDP policy based on public engagement findings, background research, and best practice review
- Met with the Town throughout the project timeline to ensure deliverables and the project process met municipal expectations and fell within budget
- Designed MDP document to be visually appealing and engaging using Word and Adobe Suite