Design Initiative

Design Initiative

One of the items I campaigned on in the 2017 election was to look closely at the way in which the City of Edmonton incorporates principles of urban design into the projects that we build. Edmonton is rapidly maturing into an internationally competitive city and I feel strongly that we need to think beyond function. 

The City has already been successful in incorporating good design into architecture projects in a meaningful way. Last year, Edmonton won a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture for the Borden Park Pavillion, our first in over 25 years. The City is being recognized for good design in places as disparate as utility houses, eco-stations, fire halls and yes, libraries. And the story of how we got there is not a matter for good choices but of procurement (but that will have to be a story for another day).

So when I brought forward the Design Initiative with Councillor McKeen, it was under the premise that design needs to be a formative element of every project we consider because we have an opportunity to chart a better course by developing streets, plazas, boulevards and parks that are not only functional, but are also places where people want to spend time. Our infrastructure projects should reflect our greatest assets and enhance the natural beauty of this city.

Lewis Farms Recreation Centre Funded

Lewis Farms Recreation Centre Funded

The Lewis Farms Recreation Centre was one of the major priorities I campaigned on in 2017, so I’m extremely pleased that last month Council voted to move forward with this project. Although the opening date for the facility is still a few years out, I’m proud to say we are making this vital piece of infrastructure happen for our West End residents.

This project is long overdue; our city’s West End, and in particular Ward 5, has grown a great deal in the past few decades, but our capacity for recreation activities has not kept pace. For years, residents of the West End have had to travel to other areas of the city for many basic recreation activities. This new facility will not only help to remedy this shortage of recreation space, it will also include a library, a daycare, a high school completion centre and several other amenities that will benefit our community.

The City Plan

The City Plan

Our city is quickly reaching a milestone of one million people. However, for us to remain sustainable and competitive, we must continue to be prepared for more growth as we become a city of two million. As more people choose to call Edmonton home, we will see increased needs for housing, green spaces, better transit and more programs.

As we move forward, we need to be ambitious in our outlook and clear in our intention.  This is why members of City Administration are putting together a guiding document, The City Plan. This foundational document will help to ensure we are building a vibrant city now and well into the future.

Lewis Farms Recreation Centre Update

Lewis Farms Recreation Centre Update

I wrote a blog post back in October emphasizing my support for the Lewis Farms Recreation Centre. Alleviating the need for additional recreational capacity in West Edmonton remains a priority of mine, and given everything that happened through 2019-2022 Capital Budget deliberations I’d like to give you a brief update on where we are today with the proposed rec centre.

Ward Budgets

Ward Budgets

One of the most important responsibilities I have as a City Councillor is to act as a steward for public funds, ensuring that taxpayer dollars and City resources are used efficiently and effectively. As part of this role, my Council colleagues and I spent several months in the latter half of last year deliberating and fine-tuning the 2019-22 Capital and Operating budgets to ensure the City will continue to deliver services Edmontonians need and value over the next four years, and well into the future.

Our responsibility doesn’t end with these larger budgets, though. We also have a number of other funds and expenditures to oversee, including our ward budgets, which have drawn some attention over the past month. I’d like to take this opportunity to outline what these budgets are used for and the policy that regulates their use.

First Kilometre/Last Kilometre Challenge

First Kilometre/Last Kilometre Challenge

The proposed Bus Network Redesign has been the source of much discussion and community-led engagement in Ward 5 over the past several months. Some Ward 5 residents are rightly concerned about how this change could impact their travel patterns and their access to our transit network, and given the current uncertainty from a process perspective I would like to offer some information as to where we are today on this issue.