Fostered inter-municipal discourse on land use, connectivity, sustainability, service sharing and community identity.
The preparation of the Middlechurch Secondary Plan was undertaken collaboratively with West St. Paul Council, the Selkirk and District Planning Area, and City of Winnipeg planning personnel. This plan addressed contemporary issues around the rural/urban dichotomy and fostered a discourse on collaborative planning at the inter-municipal scale on issues such as land use, inter-community connectivity, environmental sustainability, infrastructure service sharing and community identity.
A major component of the sustainability initiatives highlighted by the Plan was embedded in how it addresses environmental and growth management considerations. Community residents articulated a vision of sustainable growth management that was centered on the creation of a Greenway Network designed to inter-connect all neighbourhoods within Middlechurch while providing community-wide access to high quality green spaces, preserving the community’s open space character, and providing sustainable solutions for storm water management. The Grassmere Creek Ecological Corridor is an important part of that network that celebrates and enhances its ecological benefits while providing recreational, social and economic benefits.
Developing a secondary plan focused on sustainable growth on the edge of the City of Winnipeg provided its own set of planning and political challenges. First, it required a community engagement process that built capacity so that residents could become meaningful agents of change. As a result, the Plan was developed and validated with citizen input through a series of public engagements including: four Community Planning Public Open Houses, two Strategic Planning Workshops and web site publishing of findings and solicitation of feedback.