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The Way We Live: Edmonton's People Plan


The Way We Live: Edmonton's People Plan was approved by City Council on July 7, 2010.

This 10-year strategic plan redefines local government as a caring entity that creates a diverse and inclusive city by connecting people, creating communities where people can age in place and actively nurturing an arts, culture and athletic community.

The plan advances The Way Ahead: City of Edmonton's Strategic Plan 10-year goal of improving Edmonton's livability and integrates with, complements, and adds to the City of Edmonton's other long-range strategic plans -- The Way We Grow and The Way We Move.

The Way We Live: Edmonton's People Plan acknowledges the municipal government's role in bringing people together to create a civil, socially sustainable and caring society where people have opportunities to thrive and realize their potential in a safe, attractive city.

Edmonton, like other cities, often goes beyond its role as a municipal service provider. As the order of government closest to residents, the City is often asked to actively partner and advocate with other organizations and other orders of government to address issues outside of its scope of responsibility such as housing, health care and education.

The Way We Live: Edmonton's People Plan helps clarify the role the City has in quality of life issues. Throughout the design, development and implementation of people services, the City of Edmonton consults and works with residents and community groups to gain their views.

The Implementation Plan

The Way We Live implementation plan identifies actions the City will implement over the next 10 years to advance the goal of improving Edmonton’s livability.

Implementing the Way We Live

The plan includes 6 goals summarized below.


The Way We Live Plan includes six goals to be achieved within the next 10 years. Read each of the goals and how we propose achieving them.

Edmonton is a vibrant, connected, engaged and welcoming city

Edmontonians value their connections with each other.


Edmonton celebrates life

Edmontonians love to celebrate!


Edmonton is a caring, inclusive and affordable community

Edmontonians care for each other.


Edmonton is a safe city

Edmontonians view their personal and collective safety as fundamental to the livability of their city.


Edmonton is an attractive city

Edmontonians love their parks, green spaces, natural areas, river valley and landscaped boulevards.


Edmonton is a sustainable city

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


Why does Edmonton need a people plan?

Like other North American cities, the City of Edmonton acknowledges that creating a livable city takes deliberate planning. Creating a long-term people services plan:

  • Provides direction on how the municipal government can contribute to the well-being of its citizens by guiding its resources, integrating its actions and funding its programs.
  • Prepares the City and its citizens to seize opportunities to create the city Edmontonians envision.
  • Aligns resources and energy toward achieving documented goals and objectives.
What are the goals of this plan?

The Way We Live: Edmonton's People Plan has six goals:

  1. Edmonton is a vibrant, connected, engaged and welcoming community
  2. Edmonton celebrates life!
  3. Edmonton is a caring, inclusive affordable community
  4. Edmonton is a safe city
  5. Edmonton is an attractive city
  6. Edmonton is a sustainable city
How did Edmontonians participate in developing this plan? Who did you consult?

The City of Edmonton talked with citizens: we talked with seniors groups, community stakeholders, Aboriginal groups, youth, businesses, low income Edmontonians, and multicultural communities.

Community Sessions with residents and an Open House was held. Residents had the opportunity to host a self directed front room forum and provide their views online through surveys and discussion forums.

What did Edmontonians say that was new or different about improving Edmonton's livability?

They expressed a need to go beyond the view of traditional municipal people services (e.g. water quality, emergency services, roads and waste management, public transit) to include having their municipality create connections amongst people; support arts, culture and sports; and work with the community to bring events and activities to public spaces as a means of bringing people together.

Creating a sustainable city is also important. Edmontonians went beyond environmental sustainability to include social and fiscal sustainability. Edmontonians also said they care about each other. They want to help each other thrive and reach their potential.

What is unique or innovative about The Way We Live: Edmonton's People Plan?

This is the City's first plan focusing on people services and quality of life issues.

It redefines local government as a caring entity that creates a diverse and inclusive city by connecting people, creating communities where people can age in place and actively nurturing an arts, cultural and athletic community.

The plan also acknowledges shifts in our society and recognizes the need to proactively plan people services for a city whose population is growing, aging, is more diverse, and has one third of people living alone.

That means the City must be more deliberate in how we create community connections and consider how neighbourhoods are designed; how entertainment, recreation and life-long learning opportunities are provided and how we can work with the community and other stakeholders to provide events and activities in public spaces so residents can connect.

What is new:

  • Focus on great neighbourhoods
  • More emphasis on the historical (Heritage Council)
  • More emphasis on citizen/community connection
  • More emphasis on communities of interest
  • More emphasis on the role of urban aboriginal people
  • More emphasis on regional connections
  • Explicit integration of the goals of the The Way We Move and The Way We Grow
  • First plan to focus on people services across corporation
  • All aspects of the corporation were brought together to discuss people services and social infrastructure including police, libraries and economic development
What are people services?

People services include essential services for daily living, such as:

  • Water quality
  • Waste management
  • Roads
  • Emergency services
  • Public transit

They also include services that add to our quality of life and to our national and international reputation, such as:

  • Libraries
  • Recreation centres
  • Parks
  • Welcoming new residents
  • Arts, cultural and sporting events
  • Preventive social services
  • Crisis supports
  • Celebrations of historic, civic and cultural milestones
  • Caring for vulnerable populations
What's the City's role in ensuring the provision of people services?

The City of Edmonton wears many hats when it comes to ensuring Edmontonians receive the people services that contribute to our quality of life.

The City:

  • Provides services such as police and fire, public transit, winter and summer road maintenance, libraries, recreation centres, animal control, etc.
  • Partners with other organizations and other orders of government to deliver people services – such as the Citizen and New Arrival Information Centre on the main floor of city hall that receives provincial government funding. We also partner with Edmonton school boards to create the joint use of schools agreement which has provided community space for activities.
  • Advocates with and to other orders of government and community stakeholders for people services that impact residents' quality of life such as housing, education and health care.

For More Information

Kate Gunn

Title Director, Community Strategies and Development