Monthly Archives: June 2009

Edmonton City Councillor Agrees on Airport issue…

We agree. It is time for the city centre airport to depart:

“In sum, I believe the risks to Medevac patient outcomes and business relationships from eventual closure are low. Intensification of the airport land into a transit-oriented green community for tens of thousands, the end of the height-limiting Airport Protection Overlay over Downtown, plus the unique opportunity to facilitate NAIT expansion combine into a strong case for seizing a once-in-a-generation opportunity for city building.

If there’s one thing everyone agrees on, the historical city-building significance of the site and its heroes ought to be recognized and celebrated.

Council will debate the matter, and may make some decisions on the 8th of July.”

via Don Iveson :: Edmonton City Councillor, Ward 5.


Small Cities Working to Create Vibrant Downtowns :: News ::






The movement is catching on

Prince Georges project began in 2008 when the city teamed up with Smart Growth on the Ground SGOG, an offshoot program of Smart Growth BC that seeks to help B.C. communities prepare more sustainable neighborhood plans. It looks at land use, transportation, urban design, and building design plans in small to mid-sized B.C. communities and develops new concept plans that encourage smarter development socially, environmentally, and economically.

Airport debate fractures community

From The Edmonton Jounal:

The “never-ending debate” over the City Centre Airport is dividing the community and must be resolved so officials can focus on the region’s future, the head of Edmonton Airports says.

All the airplane traffic at the facility, including about 4,000 medevac flights a year, can be shifted to the International Airport, authority president Reg Milley said Wednesday.

“If our community continues to avoid a decision, you are telling us to continue spending our time on a never-ending debate, one which fractures our community and pits us against each other instead of aligning us to a broader, far-reaching vision,” he told city council’s executive committee.

“We should be focused on issues like developing Port Alberta to truly set the Edmonton region apart, and the continued expansion of air service, while continuing to focus on improving passenger experience.”

Milley made his comments at the start of a scheduled three-day public hearing into whether the airport should be closed and developed into a transit-oriented neighbourhood that could house 24,300 people, including residences for 2,000 NAIT students.

At least 70 speakers are scheduled to make presentations in one of the largest city hearings in years.

Redeveloping the 217-hectare site is projected to generate $91 million to $335 million for the city over 25 years if the airport closes in 2016, providing a medevac heliport, commercial and retail space, and room for a northwest LRT line.

Along with cutting average property taxes by 2.4 per cent annually, such a project would reduce urban sprawl and eliminate airport-related height restrictions on downtown buildings.

But Coun. Ron Hayter argued the so-called Muni should stay, lifting the 10-passenger cap on scheduled flights and working to attract more businesses.

“If that airport was being used properly as a small airport serving the North, and not in opposition to the major airport…it would probably be a bonus to the citizens of Edmonton.”

While city lawyers have indicated the city’s lease with Edmonton Airports makes it impossible to remove the passenger cap, Hayter said council could negotiate changes if it wanted.

But Milley said the authority’s board reaffirmed its support for the restrictions last weekend.

“The plain and simple reason for not expanding scheduled service is that two airports with scheduled service in a region with a population base the size of the Edmonton region is not only impractical, it will ensure that Edmonton receives only the lowest level of air service possible,” he said.

“For those who say we’ve strangled City Centre Airport, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Airport supporters say city reports don’t take into account the value of the facility as an aviation centre. Another key concern is the risk to roughly 400 critical medevac patients taken downtown by airplane each year if these flights are shifted to the International.

Coun. Linda Sloan said a consultant’s report understates medevac trips from Yellowknife.

Several northern leaders feared their citizens could suffer due to longer transfer times to Edmonton hospitals.

“In the case of medevac, a wrong decision can, and we feel will, affect our lives,” Peace River town Coun. Don Good said. “The airport is to some extent ours.”

Since Edmonton is the provincial capital, he said, “our interests must be listened to and not dismissed.”

Air Mikisew spokesman Dale Monaghan said several First Nations in northern Alberta have a treaty right to proper medical care, and would be willing to fight in court if this is threatened.

But Mayor Stephen Mandel later told reporters health care is a provincial, not municipal, role.

“It seems to be lost in this whole process that we aren’t responsible for providing medical services. Medevac is not ours, it’s theirs…We want to help, but it’s not our citizens’ responsibility to provide 600 acres for medevacs.”


As much as I feel for the business leaders in the area, the time has come for Edmonton to take a step forward and close the airport.

Follow the debate on #ecca

The City of Calgary: Key Directions for Plan It

The City of Calgary: Key Directions for Plan It.

Please look into this issue and write your council members to let them know that you support environmental alternatives
You can write your alderman at

Key Directions

The 11 sustainability principles can be found here (with link to document).
In November 2008, the City Council adopted the Key Directions for Land Use and Mobility.

The Key directions for Land Use and Mobility are:

  1. Achieve a balance of growth between established and greenfield communities
  2. Provide more choice within complete communities
  3. Direct land use change within a framework of nodes and corridors 
  4. Link land use decisions to transit 
  5. Increase mobility choices 
  6. Develop a primary transit network 
  7. Create complete streets
  8. Optimize infrastructure

“As a whole (the Key Directions) represent a fundamental shift in the way Calgary thinks about city building, sustainability and growth. It is a huge positive step toward achieving the goal of becoming a great global city”.- Urban Strategies, Plan It Calgary Stakeholder

Key Directions

What are the benefits of the Key Directions for Land Use and Mobility?

Environmental Benefits:

  • Reduction in Calgary’s ecological footprint 
  • Protection of the quality of Calgary’s water resources
  • Reduction of energy use and the rate of climate change.
  • Ensuring land stewardship and protection through a more efficient use of land

Social benefits:

  • Creating a more inclusive city by providing a wider range of housing choices in more communities 
  • Supplying more jobs and services closer to where people live to help strengthen neighbourhoods and social connectivity.
  • Providing citizens with more travel alternatives to the car

Economic benefits:

  • Greater housing choice and better transportation options which will aid local businesses with employee attraction and retention
  • Facilitating the movement of goods and services through roads planning
  • Greater variety of locations for commercial and retail land development serviced by a higher order of transit as well as roads.

Plan It Calgary

CivicCamp — How do we build the kind of city we want for ourselves and our children?.

As Edmonton City Council is hopefully finishing the airport debate once and for all, Calgarians are visioning their future.

Naheed Nenshi and the Better Calgary folks are at it again. Through their Civic Camp program they have successfully educated and mobilized Calgarians to come and get involved in the future planning of their city.

The opening day of the Plan It public hearing was a marathon!  Twelve hours with almost 50 Calgarians speaking in favour of Plan It.  Day Two gets underway today at 1pm in Council Chambers at City Hall.  There is a sign-up list at the entrance for citizens who want an opportunity to share their views on the future of Calgary.

It is worth adding the Civic Camp blog to your RSS- an interesting grassroots project that has been organized in Calgary.

Interested in helping plan a Civic Camp up here in Edmonton this fall?

2009 Edmonton International Jazz Festival






Edmonton Jazz Festival Society.


Make sure to check out the schedule and the numerous outdoor shows taking place around the city.

Facebook | Bikeology: Bike to Work Breakie

Facebook | Bikeology: Bike to Work Breakie.

This was a lot of fun last week and it was good to get into work on time! The ‘pit crews’ were great. Need your tires pumped and your brakes checked? Come on down!



26 June 2009
07:00 – 09:00
@ the bicycle bottleneck, Southwest side of the High Level bridge.
Edmonton, AB


Friday, June 26, 7am-9am. @ the bicycle bottleneck, Southwest side of the High Level bridge.

This is our fourth and final breakies for bike month. Food is always a hit with cyclists, turns out. Chat with cyclists, get info, give-aways, music, food, juice, and certified fair trade organic coffee from Earth’s General Store – Free bike tune-ups!

If you’re running late for work,school, or other duties, we have some nifty late slips explaining the value of daily riding to your overlords.