Posted by David Cournoyer
The City of Edmonton must be savvier in the way we let our city grow. We must avoid the mistake that other cities have made in not managing their growth and development properly. Edmontonians need to elect City Councillors who won’t be afraid to stand up and do what’s right for Edmonton’s future.
Here are a few ideas on how Edmonton can grow smarter:
Don’t be afraid of infill.
Many mature communities in Edmonton’s inner-core are afraid of what infill will mean for their communities. I can sympathize. As someone who has only lived in mature neighbourhoods since moving to Edmonton, I don’t want high rises going up in my community, but building more medium density housing is key to attracting more people to the core and reigning in urban sprawl.
The Mature Neighbourhood Action Group (MNAG)
has posed some interesting questions to City Council candidates on behalf of a number of mature neighbouhood community leagues.
It’s about public transit. The City of Edmonton needs to rethink its strategy around public transit routes. Expanding the LRT is a great step, but the City also needs to take the tedious, but necessary, step of reassessing its bus routes to make sure that feeder service effectively addresses the needs of communities that
don’t have walking access to LRT stations. The City also needs to do a better job explaining the advantages of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
Public transit is the key to getting more cars off the roads and cutting down on urban pollution.
Affordable Housing matters.
Edmontonians need a place to live. With more and more people moving to Edmonton, there needs to be a serious
action plan in dealing with the lack of affordable housing.
The idea of building starter homes on surplus land for young families is a positive idea that needs to be furthered.
Community consultation is key.
Of course, communities need to be active voices in the process of re-zoning and developing long-term
plans for their neighbourhoods.
Stop sprawling towards Narnia.
Building subdivisions in Edmonton’s
hinterland just isn’t smart. With no geographical boundaries to stop Edmonton’s sprawl, City Council needs the political will to stand up to developers and for the public interest of Edmontonians.
We need a manageable city and more urban sprawl creates a City in which it becomes costly and inefficient to provide public services.