This research tackles the question: what is the status of citizen participation in the development of sustainability planning in Alberta, considering both the process and the output? In Alberta, professional and academic attention to citizen participation is occurring in tandem with government support for sustainability planning initiatives. As a result of this endorsement many Albertan communities have had the opportunity to develop a range of sustainability plans. An environmental scan of sustainability planning activity in Alberta was completed, gathering stories from over 20 small-medium sized communities, along with a case study analysis of two communities. The results illustrate that a patchwork is emerging across Alberta, municipalities are adapting a range of sustainable planning process to make them work in their contexts. These place-based approaches can be knitted together to indicate clear shift towards more participatory planning that concerns itself with the long-term vitality of communities’ futures.