The NCC’s Planning Mandate

Planning sets the blueprint for achieving a great Capital. The National Capital Act mandates that the NCC prepare plans for federal lands in the National Capital Region. Other lands in the region are planned by the municipalities, so collaboration and partnerships are important.

Federal Planning and Coordinating Agency

The federal government owns many sites and buildings in Canada’s Capital Region. The NCC is responsible for planning and coordinating the use of these assets. This involves:

  • guiding the use, physical development and management of NCC-owned lands (about 13 percent of all land in the 4,715-square-kilometre Capital region)
  • coordinating the development of lands owned by other federal departments and agencies.

The Idea of Canada’s Capital

Planning for a capital differs from city planning. While a capital evolves, there is a constant idea that guides its development. NCC planners are guided by the idea that Canada’s Capital is:

  • a place of symbols, with monuments, public art and public buildings that tell us who we are
  • a political centre and the seat of government
  • a cultural heartland, with collections, celebrations and landscapes that embody a people’s traditions
  • an administrative centre where public servants work hard to deliver services to all Canadians
  • a knowledge centre, where research and innovation set new standards.

Capital Planning Principles

To support this idea of Canada’s Capital and to meet the expectations Canadians have of their capital, NCC planners apply these principles:

Symbolism — The Capital should tell Canadians about themselves and introduce Canada to people from abroad.

Beauty — The Capital should by a physical place of high quality that inspires pride in people.

Greenery — The Capital should be a model of a healthy and sustainable environment.

Stewardship — Historic buildings, parks and archaeological treasures should be protected in a Capital.

Orientation — Visitors to the Capital should be able to find all the services they need, as well as the information they want about the Capital.

Safety, Comfort and Accessibility — Federal lands and buildings should be identifiable, offer pleasing and secure surroundings, and be universally accessible.

Transportation and Communication — The Capital should be linked by good connections, with everything from bus routes and bicycle paths to electronic networks.

More Information

Find out about the NCC’s planning process and planning hierarchy.