On January 18th, 2017 Sustainable Development presented their report on the progress of Edmonton’s Infill Roadmap in the past two years, as well as recommendations going forward to support the ongoing implementation of infill. Read full report here
Following the Evolving Infill public engagement process (read the Evolving Infill public engagement summary and results here) , Administration created the Infill Roadmap which consisted of 23 action items, including eight areas of priority which were all underway before August 2016. These were meant to address the concerns and desires that were shared from residents and industry persons during the public consultation process.
All 23 action items have been initiated with 15 of these having been completed. In keeping with their commitment to being open to other needs and opportunities that may arise while in the process of initiating and/or implementing these action items, Administration has completed, is working on or has plans to develop 30 more action items (referred to as “detours” in the report) to support the work already being done. These additional actions were often brought forward by members of Council through conversations with community leagues and residents. An example of one of these detours, which resulted in the implementation of a new bylaw, was the need for developers to provide their lot grading plans for all infill development (bylaw 17277, July 2015). You can read about all 30 of these detours here
Here are a few key lessons learned during this process:
- The lived experience of residents is essential to identifying how best to support
great infill in our mature and established neighbourhoods. This was most
apparent when Administration began to advance solutions for infill construction
- There is a need to be fluid in how action items and priorities are approached,
including a willingness to make key changes over time. Successful
implementation of some actions has demanded some flexibility in approach in
order to best respond to the current context, including the order in which actions
are implemented so that their work might build on each other.
- Proactive communication is essential. Administration is implementing a revised
communications and marketing strategy focused on sharing information about
residential infill, community change and how to better balance city growth in ways
that support citizens as they move through their lives and build a sustainable
future for the next generation.
I would like to highlight that the lived experiences of residents is crucial to implementing better policies and guidelines around infill. I am happy to see this step being considered critical to understanding infill and it’s impact on neighbourhoods. Many residents I speak with felt that too often in the past, their concerns were being ignored when it came to infill construction. I am very pleased with the infill construction related initiatives as I feel this has addressed many residents concerns and helped ensure we are holding builders to a higher standard of quality development within our neighbourhoods.
A minimum 25% target of all new housing unit growth be focused in our downtown and mature neighbourhoods, and locations around LRT stations and transit centres was set. We have a long ways to go before we can reach this target. In 2015 all new growth in our downtown/core neighbourhoods was 5%, while growth in our mature neighbourhoods came in slightly higher at 8%. This type of growth is crucial to the financial, social and environmental sustainability of our growing City and to ensure we are providing diverse housing opportunities for residents at all stages of life. This is best achieved when all stakeholders are included in conversations around residential growth in our communities.
Co-authored by K. Machin and A. Knack