Policy in brief
Without pitting new neighbourhoods against old, it is time for Edmonton to make adjustments so that it can meet the growing demand for infill housing. Building a more compact and more efficient city means high-rises in a few areas — like downtown and around LRT stations like Century Park and Strathearn — but in other areas, it means narrow-lot houses, semi-detached homes and brownstones for families of all shapes and sizes, as well as more seniors’ housing. This kind of density is critical in making the cost of land more affordable, increasing the efficiency of the infrastructure already in place, and supporting community schools and niche businesses in mature areas.
What we’ll do in the short term
Revise the zoning bylaw so that infill is easier for everyone — from one-off private projects to boutique builders — to build. Meanwhile, the permitting process needs to be reformed to reduce the hassle and cost that turns so many people off building infill projects.
Communities where infill is likely need to be engaged in meaningful discussions about what it will look like, including how and when infill will occur. The city can rally support by providing infrastructure and amenities to push development and help those communities adjust with the effects of taking on more families.
Where we need to be a generation from now
The infill market will have matured and different housing options should be more common in mature areas of the city. No citizen should be forced to leave one area for another because the type of housing they need is not available.