Input sought for building a 'liveable Ottawa'

The City of Ottawa wants to refine how the municipality is developed so staff are asking for public feedback in areas like pedestrian and rural development.
The city is soliciting residents for advice on how to better develop the growing capital. 2:12

The city has identified a dozen of what it calls 'planning issues' that have caused conflict in the past between developers, city planners and residents as Ottawa continues to grow.

While the city looks to revamp its downtown core to complement the first phase of light rail transit and other housing and commercial developments, councillors such as Peter Hume want clear rules in place.

"One of the things that we're really trying to do is bring certainty to our planning process," said Hume. "So both the community and the development industry know what's happening so that there's not this constant battle at planning committee on interpreting our official plans."

12 issues to address for building a 'Liveable Ottawa 2031'

  • Affordability and infrastructure.
  • Safe and efficient transportation.
  • Sustainable transportation.
  • Complete streets.
  • Active 'people powered' transportation.
  • Public transit.
  • Transit-oriented development .
  • Intensification and tall buildings.
  • Urban friendly design.
  • Commercial development.
  • Rural lots and villages.
  • Mineral resources.

On Tuesday, Ottawa City Hall hosted a presentation called "Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031" and there is an open house slated for the evening where the public can provide input on proposed solutions to these planning issues.

For example, the city wants to change how building heights are categorized for zoning, develop taller buildings closer to rapid transit and ensure that new or revamped streets improve access to transit.

Dr. David Mowat, medical officer of health for the Peel region, spoke at the morning and evening presentations to make his pitch for smart, commuter, pedestrian and residential planning and the role the health community can play in helping to develop these.

"Recognizing that we're not planners, but we can work with planning departments ... and others that have a stake in the design of our communities," said Mowat.

Mowat said the message he keeps hearing — from planners, city councillors, mayors, developers and citizens — is the importance of ensuring that growth enhances both the health and vitality of a city.

"(They say) we have to be able to attract and retain young millenium Gen-Y skilled workers who are looking for quality of life in our cities ... we have a similar vision," he said.

People can give feedback to the "Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031" proposal through the city's website and the planning committee will review all the comments this summer.