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Land use and community strategy: what makes coordination more likely? The Alberta Experience

Land use policy should be embedded in broader strategies of community development.

We identify enabling factors for strategy formation and for coordination between land use policy and such strategy. In analysing eight case communities in Alberta, Canada, we discerned several types of non- coordination involved: non-coordination between institutions organizing land use (‘land use tools’), non-coordination between land use tools and broader development strategies and non-coordination between such strategies and circulating narratives on the long-term. Higher level actors, single sector economies, prior strategies, strength of local administration, identity and ideology are factors shaping the formation of strategy and the coordination between strategy, long-term perspectives and land use tools. If strategy emerges, it can compete with others, it can still be ignored, or undermined through exceptions, not communicating and not- updating. Local government does not always have a grip on its own future. Strategy is presented as both narrative and institution and slowly reveals itself as a function, not a form.

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