The region around Fort McMurray
Fort McMurray – Diversity and Sustainable Growth
With the region around Fort McMurray experiencing unprecedented growth around the oil industry boom, it is quite refreshing to discover the community leadership’s goals and vision for a carefully planned and systematic approach to sustainable, accountable and environmentally conscious development for Fort McMurray and the surrounding region: an on-purpose mission and vision to create a showcase for viable and responsible communities for the rest of Canada and for the future.
The economic impact of the oil business has created a centre of unprecedented wealth in this region and spreading to all sectors of the economy. A culturally diverse population has been created with people flocking to the region from all over the world – the lifestyle, and fairly young populace with a good disposable income being the magnetic attractor that has contributed to this viable and prosperous community.
With a population exceeding 100,000 people, Fort McMurray and outlying areas are anticipated to grow exponentially by 2030 to reach an estimated target of between 200,000 to 250,000 people. Fort McMurray as the expanding urban centre to the region, nestled in the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers known as Wood Buffalo, is clearly the hub of this area.
It is with this urban and economic expansion, that planning reports like the Fringe Area Development Assessment, for example, have taken into consideration the study of areas for suitability and development: environmental stewardship and geotechnical development issues, public transportation, population projections, recreation, eliminating stress on landfills, stimulating the economy and tourism, infrastructure costs and practicalities among other important and necessary forecasts and community planning issues.
A healthy community is a respectful community. From the earliest days of the late 1800s, the historic Hudson Bay Company originally founded Fort McMurray as a fur trading post. The Metis population is the foundation for an enriched diversified culture. Today the global metropolis and populace of the city draw on culturally diverse ethnicity to unify one region working and playing side-by-side. Organizations such as Immigrant Settlement services work with newcomers to support them with the resources and tools to help them find their way in overcoming language, traditional and other barriers. The logistics of diversity in Fort McMurray are addressed not only by organizations but residents themselves who embrace the philosophy of communication, collaboration and empathy under the banner of good leadership.
With expansion arises issues of housing, and although Fort McMurray’s housing prices are higher than other parts of Canada – diverse plans have also considered the option for affordable housing. Over the last decade, thousands of families have been afforded the ability to own their homes under this umbrella. Awards have been won for neighbourhoods graced with beautiful homes, wide streets, and designated green areas to complement the desire for essentially well-provided community services. The key to providing solutions for a working and viable community is the partnership of not only the province and municipality but developers as well. Here a combined direction clearly focuses on what is important and in the communities highest and best interests – all dimensions of responsible development, planning and implementation.
Cultures considered making for energized and vibrantly cooperating communities. As the economic growth continues in Fort McMurray and the surrounding locales, the promise of opportunities for everyone combines to manifest goals for a unique, diverse and prospering community.