The City of Edmonton has experienced growth in population and in land development in the last decade; managing this growth requires efficient planning relating to how land is used. Also, future decisions need to act in harmony with various stakeholder needs. Thus, there needs to be a method of community planning for goals, objectives and targets. These decisions are important, affecting the City’s appearance and its development into the future. This paper will look at one goal, one objective and one target and how it will help manage the City of Edmonton’s growth into the future.
To integrate land with City of Edmonton transportation terminals, such as bus and light rail transit terminals.
To increase the density of land surrounding transit terminals while being consciously aware of population congestion and space between buildings.
Have new terminal developments zoned prior to building for higher density and have 90% of residential land use zoned for medium/higher density in the immediate vicinity of the terminal; beyond this area, there can be lower density residential zones. Also, existing terminals with low density can be re-zoned to medium and higher density within 10 years.
Residential Nature of the Community
There are three situations: First, new terminals with raw land and no development. Second, old terminals with low density residential development nearby. Finally, existing terminals with no development surrounding the area.
Why Plan it this way?
Before plan implementation, several values and considerations need to be in place such as beauty and orderliness; how will the residential development look, is there enough space between buildings, how about population congestion, is it being managed? Are planners efficiently conserving resources at their disposal while limiting/eliminating wastefulness? Is the community being involved with democratic participation to how the City plans to develop land? How about thinking about the health and safety of the public? Finally, are rational decisions being made? All of these questions need to be addressed when planning.
How this process will occur?
New transit developments can be planned from the start to include higher density residential land use surrounding them. Development plans can include RA7 (Low rise apartment zone) and RA8 (medium rise apartment zone) zones; for example, buildings such as slab blocks and perimeter blocks. A good example of this is the transit terminal Century Park located off of 23 avenue, which includes Heritage park towers within its vicinity. Moreover, existing terminals with low density can be re-zoned such as the terminal located off of Stony Plain Road called Jasper Place. Finally, terminals with no residential development within the surrounding area can be planned to have new residential development surrounding it, such as Milgate terminal.
Higher density populations around transit centers provides citizens with easier access to transportation; in turn, decreasing dependency on motor vehicles. This gives people options when reaching a desired destination; for example, when reaching a place of employment. Thus, more opportunities exist to individuals who may have limited access.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to citizens is an economic one, which can decrease dependency on driving, saving money on fuel, and lowering vehicle maintenance costs. The average household spends 0.18 cents for every dollar on transportation, 94% of that amount goes toward buying, maintaining and operating a vehicle (APTA 2012). On the other hand, the City of Edmonton benefits by having less cars