Housing Tour Highlights Regional Development Innovation

“To actually see buildings up-close and in-person is important,” said Emily Rypstra, a planner with the City of Leduc.

Rypstra joined 30 municipal and elected officials on June 8 and 9, as part of UDI – Edmonton Metro’s Field Trips initiative. Participants toured housing developments in a range of communities and took part in lively conversation around what is needed to develop neighbourhoods with diverse housing and amenities that can support and meet the needs of an ever-changing demographic.

She added, “Touring these communities shows us how our policies are actually working.”

UDI’s Field Trips initiative aims to highlight topics and issues concerning development and community building, and to feature the innovative projects, policies, and initiatives that are helping to create great places and spaces.

Courtney Jensen of Strata Developments and Alessandra Bruni of ChalkMark Residential served as the hosts of both housing Field Trips, providing colourful commentary and analysis of how policies and regulations have resulted in complete communities. Both are part of the Regional Sub-committee.

“Family structures and needs are changing,” said Bruni. “Housing should be right sized to address different ways of living.”

A sentiment shared by Councillor Glen Finstad, who said that the developments in the City of Leduc are changing to support a diversity of people – with townhomes and basement suites now integrated with traditional single-detached housing.

“The housing tour was a great way to showcase the diversity that we have in our communities,” he said. “A range of housing is available. As family needs change, you don’t need to relocate to other communities.”

Jensen said that these types of housing concepts are embraced overtime, as communities start to see people moving in them.

She showcased housing of various shapes and sizes – with many participants unable to spot the difference in perceived space between the smallest and biggest homes.

Dalayce-lynn Keen, Sales Manager of Jayman, said that the diversity of housing products comes with savings for the homebuyer.

“We welcome the idea of these tours, because they give us the opportunity to show new building styles and new ways we can offer affordability to homeowners in the current market,” she said.

After each tour, Jensen and Bruni left the participants with a call-to-action:

“Each regional municipality has unique needs and character. It is important that we continue to collaborate with one another, engage in open dialogue and honest conversation, and move forward together to meet the needs of those choosing to call Edmonton and the region home.”

Additional Field Trips are planned for 2023 – from a tour of the spaces that are helping to make downtown Edmonton a home and dynamic destination to the housing and commercial opportunities emerging in one of Edmonton’s densest neighbourhoods. Check out these events and more at udiedmonton.com/events.