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TDC101 TDC 101 - The Basics

What is a Transfer Of Development Credits Program?

The Transfer of Development Credits (TDC) tool is designed to help communities deal with the rapid conversion of their valued landscapes, while simultaneously promoting appropriate landscape development. The tool allows for the transfer of development potential from areas less suited to development (based on a community desire to see its character and function maintained), to areas more suited to increased development (based on their capacity to accept greater development activity).

A market-based structure facilitates the transfer of the development potential through private or brokered transactions. Parcels in areas designated both for increased development (TDC Development Areas) and for valued landscape conservation (TDC Conservation Areas) are zoned for a base level of development potential and permitted/discretionary land uses. Overlaying these land use rules is the voluntary opportunity for those in the ‘development’ area to acquire additional development potential (in the form of credits) from those in the ‘conservation’ area. The bonus development provides a financial incentive to developers involved in the program to build in the TDC Development Areas, while the payment for credits provides a financial incentive to landowners in the TDC Conservation Areas.

A long-term conservation mechanism protects the essential nature of the valued landscapes. A restriction is registered on title once development credits are transferred from conservation land parcels, providing protection that endures beyond zoning and local Council changes.

Ultimately, planners and decision makers are able to both plan for and catalyze (though incentives) a re-distribution of conserved and developed parcels, clustering both appropriately. The result can be a landscape planning regime that promotes the viability of conserved land, and the cost-effective and efficient development of more intensively developed land.


Miistakis Reports

Government of Alberta


Web Resources



What is a TDC Program?

The Why, What, How and Who's of TDCs

Support Organizations and Consultants

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Also, check out our full list of TDC Resources.