EMPLOYMENT LANDS PROJECT
From the very beginning, the Rural Development Institute’s Employment Lands Geospatial Inventory project presented a number of unique challenges to researchers. The project’s end-goal was to provide local governments and the business community with a clear understanding of the region’s capacity to match potential economic investment or expansion with the land necessary to accommodate that growth. But any attempt to formulate a conclusion depended on the research team’s ability to collect and manage vast quantities of data.
The process of identifying and classifying employment land data throughout the region was made easier through a partnership with the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre that led to the creation of a web-based Employment Lands Inventory and Site Selection Tool. These development efforts allowed researchers to map a growing database of regional commercial, industrial and agricultural ‘wealth generating’ lands and share their findings in an accessible format.
Phase 2 of the project has now concluded. The research team worked hard to fill gaps in local government GIS data and a series of stakeholder forums was held in the Spring 2014 to discuss opportunities, gaps and possible future links to regional land use planning. Phase 2 also involved final stages of development of the Digital Basin site selection tool which now allows investors, economic development practitioners, planners and existing business owners to search and query the lands inventory by pre-determined criteria such as zoning, proximity to services and transportation routes, land gradient, and parcel size.
Briefs, Reports and Videos:
- Employment Lands Final Project Brief
- Employment Lands Final Report
- Retail Trade Area Maps (Appendix B)
- Employment Lands and Site Selector Presentation