Ward 6 is home to some of Edmonton’s best neighbourhoods. Our communities are a top choice for singles, young couples, families and seniors.
Ward 6 is comprised of a more diverse mix of housing than any other Ward in the city. The needs of the high-density communities of Oliver and Downtown are different than those of the predominantly single family homes to the west of 124 St. We must ensure that the vibrancy, character and quality of life throughout the Ward is maintained and enhanced.
Infill development in Ward 6 can help slow urban sprawl. But the focus must be on downtown, with its vast amount of vacant and underutilized lots. The Downtown Vibrancy Task Force set as a goal the doubling of the population downtown.
Doubling the population will set the stage for a downtown we all crave, with vibrant, strolling streets with restaurants, cafes, galleries, clubs and more — the kind of downtowns we visit when we travel across the country or abroad.
The neighbourhoods outside downtown have different aspirations. Infill in those neighbourhoods must be appropriate and of a design and quality to match the neighbourhood. Again, these are special communities with history stretching back to Edmonton’s beginnings. We must honour the history and pride of these neighbourhoods in considering new housing.
We all understand the positive role that infill development can play in reinvigorating our mature neighbourhoods, if done with proper care and consultation.
Infill housing can attract the young families that will keep our schools open. But again, infill needs to enhance, not challenge our community character. Integrating 50-foot lots is a great example of how we can add density in a way that maintains community character.
But if we want communities to welcome density we need to work proactively with communities. We need new and innovative ways of involving communities in our planning processes.
Diversity in lifestyles, ages, and abilities, to ensure we are planning communities for every stage of our lives.