myMH Medicine Hat Master Plan wins Alberta Professional Planners Institute Planning Award of Merit

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat’s myMH Master Plan won a Planning Award of Merit from the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI) in a virtual ceremony on Thursday, October 21.

The City of Medicine Hat was one of three recipients selected out of 13 submissions for the prestigious award. The other two winners were the City of Edmonton for their Open Option Parking Study and CPP Environmental for the Pigeon Lake Watershed Management Plan.

“On behalf of the Awards Committee I congratulate Medicine Hat on a project that advances the field and profile of community planning in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut,” said Kellie Lau, Chair of the APPI Awards Committee, in the letter announcing the victory.

Each year the APPI recognizes exemplary work within the planning profession. The Planning Awards acknowledge meritorious plans and projects, undertaken in whole or in part by members of the Institute, that significantly contribute to the livability of communities in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

“This is a significant achievement for our planning department. Our entire team was instrumental in delivering the end product, but specifically Robert Sissons, Shawn Champagne and Marty Knutson from the policy and design team, who put endless hours into Medicine Hat’s newest municipal development plan (MDP),” said Amanda Brinda, City Planner and Director of Development Services. “We’re excited to see the execution of this plan develop.”

Submissions were judged on the following criteria:

Planning Process

Public and stakeholder engagement included brainstorming sessions, kitchen table conversations, open house events, and the myMH webpage on Shape Your City.

Originality, Innovation, Creativity

The myMH development process included:

  • Photo Contest: The "My Big Picture" photo contest created public awareness of the plan, giving residents an opportunity to submit local photographs to be included, strengthening the home-grown nature of the document
  • Innovative Infrastructure: For the first time, an "urban transect" was included in the MDP, which will help guide the city in providing appropriate services that meet the actual needs of residents.
  • Going Virtual: The pandemic made it challenging to meet with the public in person when unveiling the MDP. Instead, staff created a series of videos, hosted on the City’s YouTube page, to introduce the MDP to the community.


Challenges facing Medicine Hat, like an aging population, climate resiliency, and the popularity of greenfield development, are similar to those facing other municipalities in Alberta. The methods employed in the myMH Master Plan can be used to inspire sound planning practices elsewhere in the province.


The MDP has already inspired a number of municipal projects in Medicine Hat, including the implementation of multiple development incentive programs, a new Fire Services Plan, and an updated Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Many policies of the MDP were drafted to address several challenges at once. For example, xeriscaping in Medicine Hat’s parks can help promote drought management and the financial benefits of low maintenance landscaping.


This is the first MDP to be drafted entirely by City staff, garnering trust and support for the policies in the document by those who are charged with implementing them. This improved resident's awareness of a City Planner’s role in acting in the public's interest.

Clarity of Presentation

The myMH Master Plan was written in a way to make the document accessible to all residents. Using simplified maps, infographics, plain language, and real-world examples ensures readers can have faith in the policies of the MDP.

“We’re honoured for this opportunity to remind to our residents that there are people hard at work every day ensuring the strategic developmental direction of Medicine Hat is guided and governed by policies set out in a structured, innovative, and now award-winning municipal development plan,” adds Brinda.

For more information about the APPI Planning Awards, please visit

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