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Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about The City Plan and its effect on Edmonton's future development.

Why does Edmonton need to keep growing?

Edmonton’s population has consistently grown since it was settled over a century ago, and has doubled over the last 40 years.  As a result of this growth Edmonton has generated the jobs, income and tax revenue necessary to maintain and expand City services while offering residents more choices and diversity of where to live and work.

The City Plan prepares for and encourages this continued growth in order to maintain and grow this level of prosperity for our city.

How will we accommodate a million new people in Edmonton?

The City Plan proposes to accommodate future growth within the city’s existing boundary, resulting in Edmonton becoming more compact. This is a necessary change that will not occur overnight but will be gradual over the lifetime of The City Plan.

The type of growth is expected to be more efficient than traditional outward growth and expansion, and will allow the city to better use tax dollars with regard to providing city programs and services. 

Why is Edmonton changing so much?

Immigration and career and recreational opportunities in Edmonton have always attracted new residents, and that is expected to continue over the coming decades. As well, over half of the world's population currently lives in urban areas and by 2050 this proportion is expected to grow to two thirds.

The City Plan will help to prepare us for the transition to being a major urban centre of 2 million people, while preserving what makes us uniquely Edmonton.

What does COVID-19 mean for The City Plan and Edmonton’s future?

COVID-19 is having an unprecedented financial impact on the City and Edmontonians. It does not change the final destination outlined in The City Plan, but rather changes our starting point and the actions we may take to get there.

The City Plan uses the strengths, limitations, and realities of Edmonton to build a better future, and is as relevant as it was pre-COVID-19.

Achieving the outcomes in The City Plan will take bold action, clear prioritization and considerable financial restraint, but will be critical to Edmonton’s recovery post-COVID-19. 

How will The City Plan maintain its relevance in the face of constant and unpredictable change?

As environments evolve, so too will The City Plan. The Plan will be updated regularly to respond to unforeseen circumstances and emerging opportunities. The City Plan was designed with this in mind and will be a living document that is kept up-to-date to ensure ongoing usefulness and relevance. 

How will The City Plan affect my property taxes and cost of living in Edmonton?

A financial assessment indicates that the overall fiscal effect of The City Plan’s growth pattern is calculated to be 8% lower than a traditional growth pattern (after accounting for future infrastructure/operational costs and non-tax revenue).

The result will be better use of property taxes and an increase in opportunities for Edmontonians to choose the lifestyle that meets their personal and financial needs.

What is growth management? How does it work?

Growth management as envisioned in The City Plan is about phasing and supporting desired growth over time. It helps to create clear areas of focus for growth over different time and population periods.

The City Plan carefully considers how to phase growth areas, strategically, to ensure the best social, environmental and economic return on investment for Edmonton and its residents.

What are we doing with the annexation lands?

The annexation lands are an important resource for residential and non-residential growth as well as agricultural development. Currently, there are no newly approved plans in place for the annexation lands and the adoption of The City Plan is the first step in the planning and development of these lands.

How will the City Plan affect infill and greenfield development?

The City Plan is designed to accommodate Edmonton’s future population growth to 2 million people and 1.1 million jobs within the city’s existing boundary. As such, the proportion of infill and greenfield development, city-wide, will need to change over time too.

To achieve this, the proportion of development in Edmonton will shift toward more infill growth, which is expected to grow incrementally over time. The City Plan target is 50% infill over the life of the plan, with a large portion of infill development occurring in nodes and corridors.

The downtown is the City’s epicenter. How does the plan acknowledge the importance of the downtown?

Downtown will be part of a larger area called Centre City that builds on downtown’s positive attributes and functions, including the people who invest, work and enjoy spending time there.

Centre City will be Edmonton’s distinct cultural, economic, institutional and mobility hub, with the highest population density and mix of land uses. It includes a critical mass of housing, employment and civic activities and will be served by all modes of transportation including mass transit, cycling and walking routes.

Who developed The City Plan? Did Edmontonians have input?

The City Plan was developed over a period of 2 years and was informed by several technical studies and feedback from regularly scheduled check ins at Urban Planning Committee.

Additionally, a robust public engagement plan took place (including targeted stakeholder discussions and Indigenous engagement) over the span of The City Plan project. This resulted in roughly over 10,000 people participating and influencing the directions and outcomes of The City Plan.

What are the next steps for The City Plan?

The City Plan is expected to go through the Public Hearing process for debate and decision making by City Council in September 2020. Once approved by City Council, The City Plan will be reviewed by the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB) to ensure it complies with regional requirements.

Once fully approved, The City Plan will be implemented over the course of years and decades through dedicated programs and infrastructure investment that are reflected in budget decisions.

How can I learn more about The City Plan?

We encourage you to read through the Draft City Plan (44MB) for the best understanding of the topic. Alternatively, check out The City Plan video gallery, and take a look at the What We Heard Reports to learn what Edmontonians had to say, or even scan through the technical studies.

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