Calgary Regional Partnership GIS Strategic Plan
Client Calgary Regional Partnership
Location Calgary | Alberta | Canada
In 2009, the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) approved the Calgary Metropolitan Plan, an ambitious regional planning document addressing areas of common concern to the municipalities in the CRP. To support these activities, the CRP looked to develop their own in-house capacity for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Keeping with their role as a coordinating entity, the CRP was also interested in facilitating the use of GIS by members and other relevant stakeholders in the region. O2 and Applied Geographics, Inc. implemented a process to develop a strategic plan and implementation framework for regional GIS for the CRP, building upon an earlier Regional GIS Business Plan from 2008.
Both firms worked to engage municipal GIS staff in a needs assessment survey, followed by interviews and small group meetings to clarify main points. Interviews were also conducted with other stakeholders, such as local utility companies, university faculty, provincial authorities, nonprofit groups and other organizations that use GIS and geospatial data in the Calgary region. Workshops were held with large groups of stakeholders, first to validate the results of the surveys and interviews, and then to validate a preliminary set of recommendations. The overall focus of this work was to isolate the needs of these groups, and identify potential roles for the CRP as a facilitator and coordinator to promote GIS solutions in the region.
In this process, O2 provided their understanding of the local context and the needs of Alberta municipalities and the CRP for GIS solutions in operations management and planning. Applied Geographics drew upon their experience with previous regional GIS planning exercises to provide context and suggested directions for the Plan and Framework. In this multi-stakeholder process, it was critical to balance the needs of the different communities and other organizations outside of the CRP to develop a bottom-up system of collaboration that will result in improved efficiency, lower costs, and greater quality of service for the region overall.