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1,200 acres

of developed mixed-use community space

17 million sq ft

of real estate

Currently Viewing

The challenge

The Tsuut’ina Nation partnered with Canderel to develop Taza, one of the largest First Nation development projects in North America. Bordering the west side of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the Taza development spans 1,200 acres of land and is comprised of three areas known as Taza Park, Taza Crossing and Taza Exchange.

The Tsuut’ina Nation is independently governed, operating all of its administration, business and social service programs, including its own police (Tosguna), fire, public works and development authority. A development the size of Taza requires the careful consideration of the required laws, regulations, policies and guidelines needed to ensure it can function as a sustainable and sovereign municipality governed by Tsuut’ina Nation.  

The solution

The Tsuut’ina Development Authority (TDA) is managed via a partnership between Tsuut’ina Nation and Arcadis, formerly IBI Group. The TDA is responsible for overseeing the project's planning, development and building permits, as well as business licensing in the designated Taza development lands within the Tsuut’ina Nation. The final development is expected to span 10 kilometers by 30 kilometers in area, reflecting Indigenous culture, sustainability, a sense of location/destination, and forward-thinking solutions.

One of the project’s goals is to create a dynamic place that welcomes and connects tenants, customers, and visitors to the land. The Tsuut’ina Nation has led the development to ensure the final mixed-use community represents their Nation through language adoption, cultural placemaking/architecture, and contractor participation while creating opportunities for economic growth. As part of the TDA guiding the development, we’ve supported these efforts through our work to develop a permit application process for private parcels/subleases and public infrastructure development. Some of the guidelines, standards, and policies include the development permit application and approvals process, infrastructure design standards and specifications, addressing policy, and numerous legislative documents that have been approved and ratified by Tsuut’ina Nation Head Chief and Minor Chiefs. The required laws include zoning, public health, waste management, water/wastewater/stormwater, and community standards law, among many others.

The impact

The Taza development builds upon over 50 years of economic development by Tsuut’ina and, once complete, will offer a bustling business, retail and entertainment destination. The Nation’s commitment to energy-efficient design considers future generations and paves the way toward a low-carbon future, with a goal of reaching net zero by 2030. By creating a space for businesses to thrive, the development will have an economic impact on those living in the Taza community.

For other Indigenous Peoples looking to develop large-scale projects, the Taza development offers a blueprint for sustainable, future-forward development.

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