The new Capital City Downtown Plan will guide the transformation of the downtown into a more vibrant, attractive, high density, mixed-use and walkable area.
The new Plan picks up where the former Plan left off – it sets out a number of new policy directions and bold initiatives to meet the ever-changing needs and aspirations of those who work, live and play downtown.
Policy Framework for the Capital City Downtown Plan
As the region’s core, the City is committed to developing a sustainable downtown that the community will be proud to pass on to the next generation. The building blocks that define our downtown (buildings, sewers, landscaping, streets, parks) and the processes that support it (transit, jobs, cultural activities) will be planned and designed to maximize social and cultural well-being, economic vibrancy and the environmental health of our downtown.
The policies throughout this Plan will commit the City of Edmonton, developers and other stakeholders to keep sustainability at the forefront when developing public and private land and initiating projects and programs.
A vibrant downtown is one that is livable, dynamic and diverse. To achieve vibrancy, the downtown maintains and strengthens its live, work, and play focus.
The downtown’s retail, restaurant and entertainment sectors are diversifying and maturing thanks to an expanding residential population base. The downtown arts community continues to flourish as the centre for entertainment in the Capital region, with world-class venues and facilities attracting local and global talent on a year-round basis. The downtown features some of the lowest office vacancy rates and lowest unemployment rates in the country. The downtown has recently experienced a surge in its student population, spurred on by events such as the opening of a branch of the University of Alberta and the expansion of several other post secondary institutions.
This Plan commits us to maintaining our focus to increasing the amount of full time residents who call downtown home, strengthening our core economic, entertainment and cultural activities and building on our world-class downtown assets.
The citizens of Edmonton place considerable importance on having a well designed downtown. As Alberta’s Capital City, it is important that the downtown project a sense of vitality, beauty, warmth, dynamism and design excellence.
The impression that the downtown experience leaves with each of us is created not only through the level of activity on its streets, but also through the character of its streets, the quality of its open spaces, and the expressiveness of its built environment. Good urban design helps to create community identity as it focuses on the creation of vibrant streets, quality public and private spaces, and building environments designed for the comfort of people.
The downtown transportation system serves to connect the downtown with other parts of Edmonton and the Capital Region, as well as connect the downtown neighbourhoods with each other. Roads, pedestrian and cycling circulation systems, transit and parking all have a role to play in facilitating these important connections.
The policy foundation for transportation in the downtown is defined in the City's Transportation Master Plan, “The Way We Move,” and sets out a long-term approach for making improvements to the downtown transportation system.