(Cochrane, AB) – Cochrane Administration prepared an update to Council to share the Cochrane Growth Study (CGS) findings-to-date. The study’s data-collection includes 10-year historical growth data in Cochrane and the Calgary Metro Region to predict population and employment growth and associated land requirements over the next 25 years.
The CGS began in 2022 to forecast what Cochrane’s population could look like over the next 25-years. The findings showed that Cochrane has experienced rapid growth in recent years, surpassing previous Growth Management Study predictions (2010 and 2013). The Study also predicts trends in the demand for the places and industries that people live and work.
“The Growth Study findings confirms information that Cochrane Council, Administration, residents and businesses already recognize; Cochrane is a community of choice and will continue to grow,” says Drew Hyndman, Executive Director Development and Infrastructure Services, Town of Cochrane. “The Study will serve as a valuable tool for Cochrane to proactively navigate future growth. It highlights the need for thoughtful planning and development now to ensure that growth benefits the community as a whole in the future.”
The Study addresses Cochrane’s current land supply, land within the municipal boundary, and the demand for land to support population and industry. Continued growth in Cochrane’s employment and residential opportunities, results in an increased demand for land to support this growth. The CGS shows that within Cochrane’s current boundaries, the land available is estimated to reach capacity between 2037-2041.
“Growing on purpose is important to Council and Administration. As part of our Strategic Plan, Cochrane is determined to preserve our unique identity and ensure Cochrane is a complete community for residents, visitors and businesses to live, work and thrive,” says Mike Derricott, Chief Administration Officer, Town of Cochrane. “Considering the data and upcoming analysis of this study will help us become more informed stewards for our community, guiding upcoming development decision-making that will allow Cochrane to reflect the community’s vision for the future as we grow.”
The Growth Study update to Council marks the completion of its data-collection stage. The Study’s data analysis and reporting stage is anticipated to be completed by Summer 2023. The Cochrane Growth Study is a preliminary step to renewing Cochrane’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and other future master plans that shape Cochrane’s neighbourhoods, business and economic opportunities and quality of life. The public will be invited to engage in opportunities for public feedback on Cochrane’s growth and development during the MDP creation, starting later in 2023.
The Study takes into consideration the booming growth holistically over the past decade in the entire Calgary Metro Region. Cochrane has seen significant growth and is expected to continue to receive a large share of the regional growth. The CGS provides a range – using multiple population projection scenarios – of what this expected growth could entail, ensuring that the projections appropriately reflect historical growth trends.
The Cochrane Growth Study aligns with the following Town of Cochrane plans and policies including:
- Cochrane Strategic Plan – Built Environment: “Cochrane is planning for the future needs of our growing community today, ensuring our built environment can facilitate this plan.”
- Municipal Development Plan – Section 8.3.4(a) – “The Town of Cochrane will monitor the undeveloped land supply within its jurisdiction and endeavor to expand its limits to ensure a thirty-year land supply.”
- Cochrane Sustainability Plan – Pathways to the Future #10: There’s enough room for everything a community should have: “Cochrane maintains an adequate supply of planned land to accommodate future growth, including balanced inventory of residential, non-residential and natural open space.”