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Goal Six:

Edmonton is a sustainable city

Edmontonians want to live in a way that meets the needs of the present while building a strong future.

Essential to that is their commitment to building a socially, environmentally, economically and financially sustainable society.

Social sustainability is about nurturing participation in community life and investing in the current and next generation of community leaders. It's about focusing resources on high needs communities and areas of the city that need a leg up.

Edmontonians want to create strong, resilient communities and individuals that are able to draw on their resources to readily seize opportunity or bounce back from adversity.

Edmontonians look to their local government to work with other orders of government, school boards, post secondary institutions, the business community and the volunteer sector to build a socially sustainable society.

Edmontonians value volunteerism and acknowledge the contribution volunteers make to the livability of their city. They support access to life-long learning opportunities as a means of improving employment opportunities or socializing. They invite their municipal government to advocate for integrated learning opportunities in schools, community leagues, libraries and other facilities.

When it comes to environmental sustainability, residents seek to build on their city's growing reputation as an environmental leader in such areas as waste management.

Edmontonians are proud of their parks, green spaces and natural areas and urge their municipal government to protect and restore the biodiversity of Edmonton's natural environment. They look to their municipal government to enforce municipal bylaws for environmental best practices. They appreciate the importance of local food networks and promote the importance individual contributions make to environmental sustainability.

Residents also want an economically sustainable community and recognize that their city's people services contribute to creating a desirable investment climate. They urge their municipal government to work with regional and other orders of government to promote economic opportunities and help ensure an economically diverse and sustainable future.

Edmontonians want people services that build their city, yet need them to reflect the resources available. They look to their municipal government to provide timely, accurate information about the financial costs of the people services they may consider so they can best decide direction.

Ultimately, Edmontonians seek a balance between meeting today's needs, while building a civil society that will serve them well in the future.


The City of Edmonton is a socially sustainable society.

The City of Edmonton is an environmentally sustainable society.

The City of Edmonton is an economically sustainable community.

The City of Edmonton has fiscally sustainable people services.


The City of Edmonton is a socially sustainable society.

Strategic Policy Directions

The City of Edmonton:

  • Designs and advocates for complete communities1.
  • Designs and provides innovative community and neighbourhood capacity building strategies.
  • Designs its people services to create complete communities.
  • Provides enhanced resources and services to high needs communities2.
  • Provides information and education to Edmontonians about their roles and responsibilities as active citizens.
  • Partners with community organizations and community leagues to develop leaders.
  • Partners with regional municipalities to provide a coordinated social, economic and environmental strategy.
  • Advocates for the moderate and balanced concentration of social agencies, housing and businesses in all neighbourhoods.
  • Promotes a civil society and leadership in socially sustainable3 practices.
  • Promotes volunteerism and provides volunteers with formal recognition.
  • Supports Edmontonians' access to lifelong learning4 opportunities.
  • Advocates for integrated learning opportunities in city recreational programs and facilities, schools, community leagues, libraries and other facilities.
  • Promotes innovative programs and partnerships to increase access to post secondary training, trades, higher education and other learning opportunities.

Next Objectives...

1. Complete Communities

  • A community that is fully developed and meets the needs of the local residents through an entire lifetime. Complete communities provide certainty to residents on the provision of amenities and services and include a range of housing, commerce, recreational, institutional and public spaces. A complete community provides a physical and social environment where residents can live, learn, work and play. (City of Edmonton Municipal Development Plan and Transportation Master Plan)

2. High Needs Communities

  • Groups and communities susceptible to adverse social conditions.

3. Socially Sustainable

  • A socially sustainable community must have the ability to maintain and build on its own resources and have the resiliency to prevent and/or address problems in the future. (Greater Vancouver Regional Plan)

4. Lifelong Learning

  • Learning is a process involving the development of knowledge, skills and values throughout a person’s life, from early childhood through adulthood. Learning is not only an intellectual process, but also something that affects all areas of life, including the emotional, spiritual and physical aspects. (Canadian Council on Learning)