Edmonton is now one of the finalists to compete in the next phase of Infrastructure Canada's Smart Cities Challenge. Finalists were announced this morning at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference.
Out of 132 applicants, only 20 moved onto Phase 2, with Edmonton competing for $50 million in the top prize category against proposals from Montreal, Quebec City, Waterloo Region, and Vancouver/Surrey. The next Phase of competition will award Edmonton with a $250,000 grant from Infrastructure Canada to further develop our proposal before a winner is decided.
In December 2015, Canada ratified the Paris Agreement to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C but closer to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. As a Canadian city, we must respond to this international call to action and reduce our carbon emissions by at least 30% (from 2005 levels) by 2030 according to the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
Here is a quick update on playground zones. After much debate at the last City Council meeting we passed the following motion to address most of the major concerns that we heard on the topic:
In 2016 there were over 1700 homeless people and over 48,000 renter households experiencing housing affordability issues in Edmonton. With only 18,000 affordable housing units in Edmonton, there is a severe supply gap of 916 permanent supportive housing units 25,484 social housing units and 21,550 affordable housing units.
This week Council will be talking about playground zones and residential speed limits. Improving the safety of road users is paramount - but we need to better understand our priorities and look at the whole picture to find the best way forward.
Here are a few things I have had on my mind this week.
Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy Annual Report was presented to Executive Committee this week. While we are well on our way on phase 2 of our strategy: “Implementation of 7-Key Energy Transition Actions” there is still work to do.
It has always been important to me to provide affordable housing to all areas of the City. We took a big step in that direction yesterday.
Municipalities can be key decision-makers about food security and farmland preservation in Alberta. But if we’re serious, we must collaborate and strategize with our neighbouring municipalities to make sure our prime agricultural land is preserved regionally and that we have an excellent vision for a strong local food and agricultural economy. Development of the new Regional Agricultural Master Plan (RAMP) started just last week and we have the following goals:
• Identify a supply of Prime Agricultural land to conserve for future food security
• Reduce fragmentation and conversions of agricultural land
• Promote the growth and diversification of the agri-economy
This week in City Hall: Knees, ankles, ugly parking lots, and smart transit cards.
The Edmonton Waste Services Audit was recently released and the news is not great. While this audit has revealed problems with current operations, it has also given us the opportunity to refocus our waste management strategy. We must improve this vital service and recommit to excellence.
City Council will approve a new Municipal Development Plan (MDP) this term. A broad conversation will be coming to provide you with an opportunity for to engage with planning Edmonton's future growth and development. The new MDP must execute densification thoughtfully, driving growth into core communities, such as the Quarters and Rossdale, around Transit Oriented Developments (TOD), and along arterial roads.
This week at City Council there was a variety of topics ranging from zoning to LRT and even parental leave for current and future councillors. In today's blog we highlight 3 items.
Edmonton needs to stay committed to building LRT. Building permanent, efficient transportation is what great cities do. It creates the dense, vibrant and livable city which I campaigned to help build. In addition to LRT expansion, we can create some complimentary BRT to help improve transit service and reduce congestion. The question is where and why one type of service serves different areas of our city differently.
“Welcome to City Council,” my new colleague Councillor Cartmell said as he grappled, pained look and all, with the decision on the Holyrood Transit Oriented Development (TOD) application. It was a tough and thoughtful decision for everyone. No slam dunks on either side I'd guess.