As part of its long-term strategic plan for the oil sands, the government of Alberta is partnering with the Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality and various local groups to develop two new communities in Fort McMurray. The new townships at Parsons Creek and Saline Creek Plateau will house 40,000 people on 4,000 acres of land. The holistically planned developments will include schools, health clinics, recreational facilities, parks and other community services.
“A project of this magnitude is a significant undertaking, with the end result creating neighbourhoods where people will have homes to raise their families and opportunities to contribute to their community and the province,” noted Lloyd Snelgrove, Treasury Board president.
For Saline Creek Plateau, the government is seeking Expressions of Interest for a world-scale public-private partnership to provide a “master planned” community with comprehensive services, eco-friendly design and reasonably priced housing. The Parsons Creek project will be managed by a community development board with representatives from the Government of Alberta, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and various local stakeholders. Revenue from the development will be used to support social needs such as affordable housing.
Remarking that the development would help create spaces that Albertans could call home, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Yvonne Fritz added: “I especially look forward to the affordable housing that will be built here, and all of the services and amenities that will form part of a vibrant Fort McMurray.” Construction will be completed in phases and the first housing will become available in 2010.