Michael Walters Ward 10 City Councillor

Meet Michael

In his first term on City Council, Michael was a Council lead for public engagement, affordable housing, energy transition and climate change adaptation. In addition to his regular duties, Michael also served on numerous Capital Region Board planning committees, the Annexation Negotiating Committee and the Community & Curriculum Advisory Committee for the University of Alberta Planning Program.

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News

The Infill Conversation is a Public Conversation

After reviewing the reports related to infill this past Tuesday, and after much discussion and debate, a motion was passed at Executive Committee to permit garage and garden suites in established neighbourhoods, and to allow the subdivision of properties into narrower lots (no less than 25 feet).  

Asking our communities how to get infill right

Why infill is important: Edmonton is growing, and it is growing fast. In 2013, Edmonton welcomed 38,000 new residents. By 2044, Edmonton’s population is expected to reach 1.5 million. With this increase in population comes an increase in the demand for housing. To meet this demand, the City is expected to average 10,820 newly constructed units annually from 2014 to 2023.

Touch the Water and Mechanized Access: Bringing citizens to the valley

I recently wrote an article on the River Valley Alliance (RVA) that detailed its history, and an outline on the RVA’s $90 million Capital Project to improve public access to the North Saskatchewan River. At Tuesday’s Executive Committee meeting, two of the RVA’s major projects -- Mechanized Access and the Touch the Water Promenade -- were presented to Council for consideration.  

A river valley for everyone

Yesterday, an article detailing two of the River Valley Alliance’s cornerstone projects -- mechanized access and the Touch the Water Promenade -- was published in the Edmonton Journal. I, along with Councillor Ben Henderson, sit on the board of the River Valley Alliance representing Edmonton city council. At our Executive Committee meeting on July 8th these two projects will be discussed. But firstly more should be known about the River Valley Alliance and its amazing plan to create greater connections to arguably our greatest asset in the region.  

School Traffic Congestion

If you’re a parent of school aged children you are likely aware of one of the biggest issues facing City Council – school zone traffic congestion and corresponding safety concerns. Families commuting to schools, busy fast-paced lives, big windrows, speeding cars, and increased traffic can all contribute to a tense and potentially dangerous situation during school drop-off and pick-up times.   

Lansdowne Re-Zoning Application

Vibrant neighbourhoods and fairness for our mature neighbourhoods. These two commitments were a major part of my campaign platform and they continue to shape my decisions and actions as your Ward 10 representative. We have great neighbourhoods in Ward 10, but many of them, like Lansdowne have been neglected as capital investment has largely been concentrated within our downtown or new suburban neighbourhoods.

Blatchford! Our plan is realistic and inspiring

Since 2008, a lot has been said about Blatchford, the redevelopment of the downtown airport lands. Today we are closer than ever to shovels in the ground and the vision of creating an environmentally smart, sustainable, and economically feasible community. With the conversation freshly renewed, and top of mind for many Edmontonians, I’d like to offer my thoughts as to where we currently are in the discussion on Blatchford.

Infill and Community Sustainability

Join me on June 11 to discuss zoning in mature neighbourhoods and its impact on school closures with Public School Trustee Orville Chubb, and Russell Dauk from the Rohit Group of Companies.

Smarter Bike Lanes and Community Voice

Smarter bike lanes and community voice. I’ve been clear since the election last October that these were top priorities for me. In my mind, the two issues have become intrinsically connected. And these two things lead to the primary goal -- that we get as many people as possible to choose to ride their bikes, both as commuters and recreationally.  

Time for a serious conversation about infill

The time has come to get serious about infill development in Edmonton’s mature neighbourhoods. Over the past 5 years, Edmonton’s population has grown by over 12%, making it one of the fastest growing major cities in Canada. In fact, Edmonton’s population is projected to double to 1.5 million by 2044. Where will all of these future Edmontonians call home? Our city already occupies one of the largest land areas in the world. It is unrealistic and undesirable to expect that we can accommodate all future growth through expansion of our borders.

Flood Prevention

I live in Aspen Gardens, a neighbourhood that’s been hit hard by flooding in recent years. Nobody wants a foot of water in their basement, and there are a few things we can do to keep that from happening.  

Annexation in the Capital Region

Edmonton and the capital region are experiencing unprecedented growth. People from across Canada and around the world are choosing to make Edmonton their home due to the strong economy, exceptional municipal services, vibrant cultural and recreational opportunities and the outstanding quality of life that Edmonton has to offer. Meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities attributed to this substantial growth requires the City of Edmonton, and its surrounding municipalities, to work together and plan smartly.

Living below the Line

One cup of oatmeal. Two slices of bread. Two hard boiled eggs. One potato. A couple of carrots for some colour. This is my daily diet this week. Oh, and every second day I can have a small apple.  

What to do with Scona Road?

On April 28th, I voted in favour of increasing the speed limit on Scona Road from 50 km/h to 60 km/h. For me, three issues were in play: 1. Our Transportation Department told us that Scona Road is designed for a speed limit of up to 70 km/h, and there would be no safety concerns associated with raising the limit to 60 km/h. 2. Scona Road has become a lightning rod for the issue of photo radar based on the number of tickets recently mailed to motorists. This resulted in the inquiry made by Councillor Bryan Anderson. 3. The surrounding communities have long been concerned with speeding on 99th street (south of Scona Road), and worry that increasing the speed limit on Scona Road will increase the speed of traffic in their neighbourhood

Sprucing Up Our Strip Malls

The Italian Centre on 51 Avenue is my happy place. If you go there on a Saturday afternoon, it’s packed. The deli lineup is twenty people deep. The people who shop there come from across the Ward and across the city. The cannoli alone are worth the trip. Why am I waxing poetic about the Italian Centre? Well, it’s a great example of a thriving local business in a mature neighbourhood, and yesterday, Executive Committee approved a pilot program to try and encourage more local businesses to set up shop in mature neighbourhoods.  As this program moves forward, the city will choose three communities where three or more businesses are willing to work together. These businesses can be anything: hairdressers, bakers, bookstores, and anything in between. The city will provide demographic analysis and market research advice to help those businesses create a joint marketing campaign. Each pilot site will receive $250,000 worth of support, along with an additional $30,000 in matching dollars for facade improvements or community involvement. Many neighbourhoods in Ward 10 could benefit from this program. Can you imagine what it would be like to have a thriving shopping centre in Lansdowne or a bustling local grocery store in Ermineskin or a local brewery at Petrolia Mall? Imagine the Glass Monkey Bistro or Sunterra or a locally owned pizzeria like Famoso within easy walking distance of anywhere in the Ward. We have a lot of work to do before we get to that point, and the City doesn’t have all the answers, but we do have a role to play in in creating the conditions for businesses to succeed in mature neighbourhoods. This pilot project will help us find some answers and bring fresh, locally-made cannoli to mature neighbourhoods across the city.

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