Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison is hoping to build positive relationships with the city's neighbouring communities, including the RM of Corman Park.

In a key "State of the City" address Wednesday, Atchison said the city's future will depend on strong relationships with communities such as Martensville, Warman, Osler and the RM which surrounds Saskatoon. He also spoke about the importance of having more people living in the downtown area.

Atchison noted a special panel, called Planning for Growth or P4G, which includes all municipal stakeholders, has already started meeting. The panel will focus on issues such as the coordination of municipal services and land development.

"It's [about] where industries should be," Atchison said, adding the panel will also address the question, "What's Saskatoon all about?"

"Is it residential and heavy industrial, other industries? Where should they be located?" Atchison added. "Those will be some of the discussions that will have to carry on."

35,000 downtown residents

Atchison also spoke about his belief that Saskatoon's downtown needs 35,000 residents in order to make it a vibrant area. That is an increase from 10,000 residents he has spoken of, in the past.

Atchison also addressed one of the downtown projects that was supposed to encourage residential development, but has yet to proceed. A plot of land, commonly referred to as "Parcel Y", remains undeveloped.

The mayor said he is open to making limited changes to the site's development plan.

"If [the developers] need more density I guess we'll have to look at that," Atchison said. "But that's all we can basically do. There isn't much more we can do at our end."

Atchison's speech also made note of some items he has added to a wish list for Saskatoon. Among them — a larger convention space and more recreation facilities.

Wednesday's speaking event, Atchison's 11th as mayor, was sponsored by the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.

Replay the Saskatoon Morning live chat looking at what the city can do to make the downtown area an attractive place to live. 

View Larger Map