Curbing Sprawl? Let's learn about Substantial Completion

I wanted to share with you my most recent YouTube video about a new policy designed to curb urban sprawl in Edmonton. This may sound boring but changing the way we grow (more in than more out) can have an enormous impact on our climate goals, keeping taxes down, and building a more exciting, vibrant, welcoming city for everyone.

It is called substantial completion. Basically slowing sprawl until we are completed the neighbourhoods currently underway. It still needs strengthening in my opinion, but I think we are heading in the right direction.

Learn more about curbing urban sprawl via Substantial Completion from my colleague Councillor Ashley Salvador:

Learn more about Zoning Bylaw Renewal from her as well:

Learn about the public engagement process from my colleague Councillor Hamilton:

If you want to see lower taxes, if you want to see a more sustainable city – not just environmentally, but economically – a city that’s more exciting, that’s more vibrant, that has more things to do, that has better services, you’ll be excited to learn about how Edmonton plans to change the way we grow, curb urban sprawl and build in and not out. In city speak, substantial completion.

For too long Edmonton has grown out and out and out without the population density or tax revenue to sustain the enormous costs of service that comes with low-density suburban growth. This means higher carbon emissions, more cars, more interchanges, more bridges, more school closures more debt, fewer services, and much higher taxes.

Every time we put a new house out in the suburbs in a new wetland and not in the core of our city where we have the services, we have the schools, we have the roads, we have the libraries, we have the amenities, we know that that house will lose the taxpayer money. It will never generate enough taxes to pay for itself. These changes will take decades, but the best time to start is now.

Learn more at

Analysis shows that there are approximately 75,000 undeveloped low density lots throughout the developing area which will provide sufficient supply through to the 1.5 million population horizon. Substantial completion will also ensure medium and high density developments are finished in the developing area which will help ensure there are homes available at a range of price points.

Implementing The City Plan, including the substantial completion standard to manage growth, will be more cost effective for Edmontonians, reducing the tax levy requirement by an anticipated eight percent in the long term compared with our current business-as-usual approach.


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Like a game of musical chairs, every bedroom that we can provide helps improve housing affordability, reduce pressure on the housing market, reduce the leverage of big landlords and may put money in your pocket!

Learn more about secondary suites, home share, and various small-scale, immediate steps that can improve housing affordability.

May 8th City Hall News


  • Monday May 13th - Summer streets opening party!

  • Wednesday May 15th - Minding the Gap: Police Accountability in Alberta 

  • Saturday May 25th - Harbinger showcase and live podcast recording

  • Youth Council Recruitment!



  • We Won! Protecting the public interest - public funds for public buildings

  • Ending Pay to play and bill 20: Halt big corporate money taking over City hall!

  • Naming Rights: What’s in a name? Stop the corporate rebrand of public facilities

  • The High Cost of Free Street Parking

Address: 1 Sir Winston Churchill Sq, 2nd Floor, Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7