The last couple of weeks in Edmonton have been engaging, rich and rewarding. I feel energized coming off the last month - here’s the rundown.
Edmonton’s future is exciting and it’s time we start shouting it from the rooftops - it’s the future that always matters the most. Our pasts and presents contain lessons, important traditions and give us strength for certain, but our future is what gets us out of bed every morning. Our future should be our purpose.
Yesterday, the Mayor announced the City’s “Ask About Edmonton” campaign. The new advocacy campaign focuses on encouraging Edmontonians to ask candidates tough questions on big issues such as housing and climate change during the upcoming election.
With the throne speech coming up on Monday, we all need to be clear about the things that matter most. Yesterday, at Homeward Trust’s ROOPH Awards I spoke about the need to speak up and ask about affordable housing in our city and province, and asked the Provincial government to really step up with funding. With thousands still left in poverty, and no announcement from any of the Parties about new housing funding as of yet - we need a campaign like Ask About Edmonton and we need to be clear about the city’s needs.
Today, Executive Committee approved funding for The Public, an innovative food incubation hub that will enrich the downtown core by providing space for local kitchens, an opportunity for entrepreneurship, and resources for burgeoning food businesses.
With more changes coming to the Century Park station Park & Ride, I wanted to outline some of what’s happening and the options put forth as the stalls shift from City management to ProCura Real Estate Services; ParkProCura.
A redesign of our entire bus network is no easy task, and there’s no way around tough decisions and tensions that lay within those decisions. Our transit system has needed a redesign for a while now in order to provide more frequent and cost-efficient service. As we look at the map of Edmonton’s future it’s important to keep a few things in mind. We need to think about the individual Edmontonian, the city as a whole, and based on our current urban form we have to keep an open mind to all possibilities.
Budget season is officially over now, and many tough decisions have been made by Council during this process. As we finish up our budget discussions, I wanted to send out a quick update on the progress Council has made so far and how I’ve approached decision-making.
“The next decade will be a time in which the fiscal woes of federal and state governments will leave local and regional governments on their own, struggling to balance the need for innovation against the necessity of making tough choices… it will also be a decade in which local government will lead the way in developing creative solutions to extraordinary problems. There are a number of reasons to be optimistic about this coming decade of local government”
- Bob O’Neill, The Coming Decade of Local Government, Governing Magazine
The City of Edmonton has big dreams. We recently, with the help of thousands of citizens, created Vision 2050 which focuses on 4 big goals. Those goals are Regional Prosperity, Urban Places, A Healthy City, and Climate Resilience. And we are about to debate our next four-year Capital and Operating budgets, the outcomes of which should be in alignment with that vision and our goals. But today I want to talk about City-owned land and how we could use that land differently to aid in future budgets.
This was a big week for Edmonton, with a lot of changes and transformative initiatives being set out for our city and region.
There’s a lot of change happening in the ways we build our city. Edmonton’s infill strategy is evolving and the way we break ground is changing as our population begins to grow. Recently, a lot of major decisions have taken place, and I’d like to take a minute to address some of the changes coming Edmonton’s way.
This past week at the Community and Public Services committee, Council discussed LRT station safety and the consistent issues with crime occurring within and around LRT stations.
This fall, Council will be discussing the next four-year budget. When considering major budget decisions, we must ensure that it lines up with the City’s goals for a thriving and livable future. Our decisions must be evidence-based and consider people’s and businesses ability to absorb further tax increases. I wrote about this previously.
This past week at the Urban Planning Committee, we received the new City Plan that outlines how our city will continue to build as Edmonton grows and expands.
Since Council’s been back in session, we’ve hit the ground running with a big couple of weeks and some exciting changes for our city. I’m excited to be actively engaged in some major developments in the city leading us towards a smarter and sustainable future, a more active city, and an inclusive and affordable Edmonton.