UDI – Edmonton Metro and the development industry offer resolutions for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region in 2023
While Edmontonians ring in the New Year, developers, planners, engineers, and those involved in real estate development reflected on the year that was, and offered their resolutions for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region in 2023.
“There has been a lot of progress, not only in our built environment and the creation of great spaces, but also in the spirit of all city builders in coming together to foster a sense of community,” said Susan Keating, Chair of UDI – Edmonton Metro’s Board of Directors. “We have an exceptionally busy year ahead of us, so we identified some opportunities for us to focus on – to ensure that we continue to build a competitive, welcoming, and affordable region that welcomes the world.”
New Year’s Resolutions for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region
- Elevate city building conversations. All types of people contribute to city building in Edmonton and the region. We need to harness the interests and expertise of those who develop land, and those who enjoy the spaces and places in between. All to create shared understanding of how communities are built, and to identify opportunities for innovation to our cities’ most pressing issues – housing affordability, sustainability, and economic prosperity.
- Curb public infrastructure sprawl. While infrastructure standards for roads, sidewalks, trails, pipes, and sewers are critical to our neighbourhoods, their initial installation impacts the cost of new homes, and their maintenance and repair drives up property taxes over time. The over-engineering of our public realm also erodes affordability and conflicts with stated climate change goals. Our communities are being designed in smart ways by the private sector, and we need the public sector requirements to match the moment too.
- Tell our story, to attract the world. We need to reinforce the reasons that make Edmonton an attractive place to live and work – good paying jobs, affordable housing, and a great quality of life. We need to collectively promote the Alberta is Calling campaign, while also honing in on the local strengths of our communities. Alberta is calling and the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is open.
- Regulations and policies that set us up to compete (and win). To ensure our region remains an attractive place for people to migrate to and from across Canada and around the world, we will need to keep housing costs low and non-residential development opportunities plentiful. Municipalities can contribute to this outcome by opening up more land for development and providing a clear and predictable picture of development requirements, timelines, and costs.
- Make the downtown safe and clean. Downtown Edmonton is an important economic and cultural driver for our city-region. In the short term, we need a safe, secure, and clean downtown. In the mid and long-term, we need to create a clear path to attract economic investment and robust residential and non-residential growth downtown.
- We are young, educated, and growing. We need to work with post-secondary institutions to nurture talent, as our industry and overall economic prosperity will benefit from that future labour force.
Jason Syvixay, Director of Metro Strategy & Advocacy