Providence University College & Seminary, where I work, is in the Red River Corridor—a region that stretches from the US border to the southern outskirts of Winnipeg and, depending on your definition, stretches about 30 kilometres on either side of the Red River.
The Red River Corridor has significant opportunities for town planning.
Many of the towns in our area are showing significant growth, as they develop to accommodate exurban migration. There is also considerable immigration into the area.
If we aren’t deliberate about that growth, the natural tendency will be for Winnipeg simply to continue its sprawl into our area. This isn’t good for Winnipeg but, just as important, it isn’t good for our region either.
Fortunately, we have a number of excellent resources that we can use to make sure that growth happens on our terms, in a way that enhances the quality of life in our communities:
- First is the Macdonald Ritchot Planning District Development Plan. This plan was developed by and in our region. One of the excellent elements of this document its key goal to “Promote Compact Development”. This is a kind of development that ensures our communities are built so that that the businesses services and amenities are all clustered together and easily accessible. It also ensures that the natural spaces and farmland that surround our communities don’t get swallowed by development.
- Second, almost all of our communities are surrounded by ring dykes. Although these were created for flood protection, they have the unintended side-effect of preventing community sprawl. (To pick just one example, the Development Plan for the RM of Morris illustrates this very well in its discussion and mapping of Rosenort.
- Third, we can access the University of Manitoba’s Planning and Landscape Design programs within their Faculty of Architecture.