April 23rd City Hall E-News

Question of the week: 

You have a friend visiting from out of town. Where do you take them? What highlights of the city do you love to show off? Hit "reply" with your response to win a coffee with your City Councillor at the local cafe of your choice.

April 24th City Hall E-News

Read on...

In Praise of Point Access Blocks - Better Architecture for Better Development

What if we could make our developments more livable, climate adaptive, family-friendly, community-oriented, more affordable, like other countries?

Everywhere I go it seems architecture and urbanist spaces are talking about Point Access Blocks. Last week, Architecture Newspaper featured this article by Seattle Architect and green urban leader Michael Eliason (LarchLab) which highlighted how we were being held back compared to Europe and other jurisdictions:


More specifically, it is the peculiar anomaly that requires multifamily buildings to include a second staircase with a connecting corridor for buildings with more than 3 stories. Outside of the U.S. and Canada, this requirement is largely non-existent. It is this regulation that causes our multifamily housing to vary dramatically from the rest of the world. It results in significantly larger buildings with units that are less livable, less climate adaptive, less family friendly, less community-oriented—and potentially much more expensive—than most other countries.

This is not a new topic and has garnered discussion in other jurisdictions, but with emerging conversations about municipal Zoning and Federal building code changes on the horizon in Canada/Alberta, it makes sense to continue the conversation in Edmonton. I am working with a few partners to bring Michael up to Edmonton for a special talk about Point Access Blocks, Green Eco-Districts, Co-housing and many other fascinating topics this June (with potentially a second event in Calgary). Reach out if you would like to engage or support this event...


In Praise of Edmonton Tourism

Next week (April 24th to April 30th) is Edmonton Tourism Week in Edmonton and we have a number of things to celebrate.

I still remember my first tourist trip to Edmonton as a bright-eyed teenager on a family summer vacation. We were doing a pilgrimage up to my fathers musical Mecca (the CKUA record library on Jasper) and decades later, a few things still leap out for me. First, the abject chaos and energy of the Fringe festival. Second, the Barqs Root Beer street teams, which dates the trip, and third seeing firsthand the classic Carnegie-style historic architecture of the Strathcona Public Library. My story is like so many in this town - Tourism first brought me here, the University of Alberta kept me here.

My challenge to you this week: 1) be a tourist in your own city, and 2) shop local...

Transit Camp 2023 Videos

In case you missed it, the videos from Transit Camp 2023 are now available for free online (https://www.michaeljanz.ca/transitcamp2023). Please give them a watch and share with other interested folks!

The three videos really do offer a "public transit 101" for anyone interested in transportation opportunities and challenges!

I also wanted to offer that I have a few copies of James Wilt's book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Cars?" that are available on loan if you didn't nab a copy.



Premier must provide real action on public safety In Alberta

With a few weeks until the provincial election, rumours are circulating that Premier Danielle Smith may announce temporary Sheriffs this week for public transit in Calgary and Edmonton. Temporary because they are likely to leave RIGHT AFTER THE ELECTION, just like the other 12 temporary Sheriffs sent into Chinatown. 

While some may welcome a few more temporary security personnel, to "solve" these problems, (many of which have been caused by the provincial government cuts, freezes, or neglect over the last 4 years)... More of the disorder we are seeing on the Southside is a result of displacement from downtown. We need ACTUAL action on mental health, addiction, poverty and disorder.
Band-aid announcements are not enough. I will share a few of the actions we are taking as city council, and try to provide you a deeper overview into the complexity of the issue.

Transit safety is really important to me, and I'm tired of pre-election gimmicks. Let's unpack the safety issue a bit further...

March 12th City Hall E-News

March 12th City Hall E-News:

  • FAIR DEAL: Edmonton's not asking for a special deal, just a fair deal. Data shows Edmonton is receiving inadequate support compared to Calgary.
  • NEXT STOP: TRANSIT CAMP: What if taking transit was the FIRST CHOICE for your children or neighbours? Over 300 have RSVP'd to spend Saturday at Transit Camp to dig into building better transit for everyone!
  • BOOK LAUNCH: I'm certainly not a prohibitionist, but reading James Wilt's book was startling. Let's talk about alcohol policy, monopolies, corruption, public health, drugs, relaxation, and celebrate working class joy...
  • ROLLIE MILES REC CENTRE SPECS: Check out the new design and share your feedback.
  • AWAITING JUSTICE: CITYNEWS notes, two weeks later, still no answers. Edmonton Police Brutality caught on video. Officer duty status "under review". 🧐 
  • ACCOUNTABILITY: Taproot notes police officers are leaving, but why? The EPS spokesperson in this story has stains. Individual and systemic challenges.
  • OSBA CELEBRATIONS: Exciting news around District Whyte!

And as always... Provocations from around the internet....


March 5th City Hall E-News

March 5th City Hall E-News:

  • REMINDER: Over 250 of our neighbours will be joining Transit Camp 2023. We need your RSVP by March 15th for our catering.
  • REGRET: to inform you that Hawrelak park is closing on Monday, March 13th.
  • CELEBRATE: International Women's Day with discussion and dinner Wednesday March 8th ($25/sponsored)
  • FRUSTRATIONS: the UCP provincial budget: Edmonton deserves a fair deal
  • ENGAGE: West 240 & Old Strathcona Public Realm Strategy
  • SHOVEL: Learn more about the City's Snow and Ice Strategy (hat tip to Councillor Tang) 
  • WARNING: Edmonton Police Brutality caught on video. Officer duty status "under review"

And as always... provocations from around the internet... and online links to the films from our Love in The Time of Fentanyl event!


Feb 19th City Hall E-News

City Hall News: February 19th, 2023

  • DEBRIEF: Event Recap: Love in the Time of Fentanyl
  • TWEET: Orphan Wells vs. Edmonton
  • ACTION: Noisy vehicle tickets proposed to increase this week
  • READ: Widening Whyte Ave Sidewalks and adding Bus Rapid Transit
  • READ: Update on tax subclassing (via Councillor Erin Rutherford)
  • EVENT: The Gathering Storm documentary screening
  • EVENT: Beautiful Minds, fundraiser for the CMHA
  • REMINDER RSVP: TransitCamp2023
  • Provocations from around the web...

Feb 12th City Hall E-News

February 12th City Hall E-News

  • ACTION: RSVP for Transit Camp 2023
  • READ: Mansion Tax / Progressive taxation options to be discussed Wednesday
  • WATCH: Homeless Edmontonians at greater risk of facing health challenges
  • READ: City of Edmonton restricts Hiring, Travel, spending on consultants
  • READ: Forty-Two Percent of Ontario Condos Are Used As Investment Properties (The Maple)

Connect with Michael

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