Updates

The Golden Age of Youtube (Cities Edition)

Around the world, we love our city and naturally, we want to make films about them! If you are interested in cities or community development, we are certainly in the golden age of Youtube!

During the pandemic I recall a number of commentators lamented the end of cities. They were wrong. 

More and more folks are choosing to return and reinvest in cities (~20,000 people per year each year for the last ten years in Edmonton!), and making movies about them! 

 

 

Ending Violent Crime (Video Recap)

Here is the recap of our June 1st 2023 Event with Dr. Irvin Waller.

My simple message: We cannot afford not to make violence prevention a priority. We are already paying far more for the consequences.

As I said in my introduction, as taxpayers want to make every single dollar whether it is spent on health care, education, prisons, or policing is securing the best return on investment in terms of keeping people safe and ending violence. Much of this is a provincial responsibility, and we need them to step up far more. Collectively, if we do our jobs as civil society in preventing violent crime, we will make the job of police officers a lot safer, easier and reduce their workload.

According to the Edmonton Police Commission one new police officer to the system is ~$190,000. 100 new police officers as promised by Premier Smith is about $20 Million per year. The prison system is another enormous cost. Those are the public costs of reaction (policing and prisons) not prevention. The private costs bourne by individuals through trauma, let alone auto insurance, home insurance, business costs, Fire insurance, missed work time or lifetime due to the costs of violence are enormously staggering. 

Please watch and share with interested neighbours.

 

June 5th City Hall E-news: Events, Share your Feedback, and News

June 5th City Hall E-News:

  • EVENT: TBD - Ice Cream on YOUR block/Condo Patio hosted by YOU with your City Councillor. (Date and time TBD)
  • EVENT: 6PM June 24th: Will Tech Save Us? Technology, climate change, cities, and transportation. An evening with techwriter and host of the fantastic "Tech won't save us" podcast and author of the book: Road to nowhere: what Silicon Valley gets wrong about transportation.

  • EVENT: 6PM June 29th: Better Buildings, Better Communities: An evening with Seattle Architect and green building expert Michael Eliason
  • EVENT: 6PM June 7th, Bike Month: Join us mid-route! Bike Mill Woods to Downtown with Clr Tang and Janz
  • EVENT: 1-3PM June 18th, Bike Month: Bike fix/chat with Clr. Salvador at Tawatina Bridge
  • EVENT: June 8th: SDGs and sustainable, equitable transportation? Together | Ensemble 2023

FEEDBACK:

The Zoning Bylaw Renewal Initiative. Edmontonians are invited to continue sharing feedback on the draft Zoning Bylaw until July 30, as the project enters a newly added “Advise Phase” of engagement before the draft Zoning Bylaw is presented at public hearing in October 2023. Visit engaged.edmonton.ca/ZoningBylawRenewal to share your thoughts by filling out an online survey, using the 'Ideas' tool or emailing [email protected].

 

NEWS:

  • Public Pools are open!
  • Sprayparks are open!
  • The High Level Streetcar is open!
  • Waterparks and Washrooms are open!
  • Take-a-ways from the "Ending Violent Crime" evening with Dr. Waller...

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

 

Learn more about Cargo Bikes, Biking in Edmonton, or Active Transportation

Do you want to learn more about cargo bikes, cycling, or making a happier, healthier city for everyone? You probably landed on this page from a QR code on my bike. There are so many wonderful bikes to choose from as you can see at the videos below.

Start here first with these stories of Edmonton families who have gone car-less or car-free with Electric Cargo Bikes:

https://urbanaffairs.ca/edmonton-ish/park-the-vehicle-use-a-cargo-bike-instead/

Avoiding the gas pumps. Being able to take the family from place to place, while seeing the city at the same time.

On Monday, Ward Papastew Coun. Michael Janz and a group of cargo bike enthusiasts met at the Garneau Lamp, just to the south of the High Level Bridge, to show off their two-wheeled treasures.

And, over and over, these riders told me that saving money in the time of high fuel prices, plus the ability to make their journeys part of their family adventures, were the reasons that they’d integrated cargo bikes into their lifestyles.

These bikes offer the ability to haul major items — some up to 440 pounds. Most of them have battery-assisted power. They can handle large loads of groceries or multiple kids. One person told me she hauled a Christmas tree home on her bike.

BikeEdmonton

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:

https://www.archpaper.com/2023/03/why-does-american-multifamily-architecture-look-so-banal-heres-one-reason/

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...

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