On December 12, 2020 some 40 + people convened by the People's Official Plan identified policy priorities for their neighbourhoods, based on the City's "transects", that is, planning areas (downtown core, inner urban, outer urban, suburban and rural). Following are the top three priorities from each sub-group.
Downtown core transect
Breakout room #1
1. Create and target more predominantly pedestrian and cycling streets instead of car heavy streets.
2. Proper planning of green spaces and year-round public gathering spaces. Strict neighbourhood level targets for tree canopies that are properly resourced with adequate enforcement when a development occurs.
3. Retrofitting older homes to have them become more energy efficient and converting existing buildings to accommodate more multi-unit housing.
Breakout room #2
Densification in core for families - re-evaluations of office space needs - convert to larger family dwellings. Having retail spaces on street level. Encourage people to live in downtown core rather than suburbs. 30% should be affordable housing for families. No empty buildings.
2. Using abandoned/out of use railway lines for multi-use passageways to connect rural and urban areas.
3. Building context specific in terms of height and setback for greenspace. Allow for greenspace all along the buildings and in balconies. Ex. 2.5-3 story buildings most appropriate in most contexts.
Inner urban transect
Breakout group #1
1. Enhance the urban canopy and greenspace on a neighbourhood basis: this must be done at a minimum to meet the 40% canopy target set out in the OP. It is also a necessity for healthy neighbourhoods and to mitigate negative climate change effects. This should involve residents in identifying spaces where more planting could take place. Explore planting fruit and nut trees and change the bylaw if necessary. Also choose an opt out policy for replanting trees on streetscapes.
2. The city must provide a seat for Indigenous representation as a right.
3. Focus on the integrity of 15-minute neighbourhoods. Make sure local voices are heard through Community Plans. This can help ensure that conditions are in place for small businesses to succeed, that food stores find a place in food deserts, that provision is made for community gardens and rooftop gardens and that front yard and backyard gardens are encouraged.
Breakout group #2
1. Need for energy requirements as part of the development process.
2. Need for a wide range of non-profit and affordable housing in an environmentally friendly way that contributes to walkable communities.
3. Need policies to strongly support more ambitious targets for “missing middle” / “gentle density” housing (i.e., housing that matches neighbourhood character while enhancing density) city-wide.
Breakout group #3
1. Prioritize development around neighbourhoods and communities. -particularly diversity of households. -greenspace in proportion to population
2. Facilitate the rapid transformation away from car-centric lifestyles to fewer cars (and those that remain to be electric)
3. Having an overarching plan for Tree planting including recommendations for species and locations. Tree protection during snow management. Ensuring new large canopy urban trees are planted to thrive.
Breakout group #4
1. Plan for impact of transformation: e.g. reduce traffic by free shuttles to parks and beaches, free weekend buses everywhere, ensure that neighbourhoods are protected and respected
2. Neighbourhood tree canopy targets and tighten the language around trees and parks (requirement, not aspiration), with strong metrics (e.g. 40% by 2030, but progressive annual targets)
3. Support for diverse mix of condos and apartments that allow for families, singles with visitors’ rooms, couples, plus office spaces for work-at-home -- ensure inclusivity -- include immigrants
Breakout group #5
1. Commitment to 15-minute neighbourhood concepts in all other master plans (food production/EV/active transportation/decentralized waste/building standards/retrofitting/allowing coops, etc.
2. Because everything in the plan needs to be read together, it means we need to monitor key metrics (energy units, etc.)
3. Be more precise in definitions and stronger language supporting key goals (15 minutes, transect, wetland protection (floodplain), zoning bylaw powers, transect)
Breakout group #1
Enforce requirements for safe, continuous, uninterrupted walking/biking infrastructure for active connectivity within and between new residential development. “Safe” here implies separated from vehicles by physical barriers.
Actively enforce criteria for requiring a fixed percentage of new neighborhood development to be set aside for mixed-use, non-residential development (eg. greenspaces, playgrounds, community spaces, athletic fields, stores and services). Criteria must be referenced to reducing car travel, 15-minute city.
Facilitate active citizen input into local planning, and make development contingent upon citizen input. Create online dashboards for accountability/citizen input into city planning at the local level.
Set regular deadlines for city planning accountability reports at local level, referenced to aggregated city targets. This needs to be on-the-ground engagement at the project level--not at the broader, abstract policy level which also needs attention but is distinct.
Breakout group #2
Expand housing and amenities for homeless and marginalized groups beyond the downtown area.
Details on proportion of affordable units in new developments
Design agreements between the city and developers on must-have amenities within and outside the home
This should include the protection of our suburban tree canopy
Less unnecessary restrictive bylaws. Enable households to:
3. Develop neighbourhood-level plans that include analysis of resiliency towards health and safety (i.e. pandemic preparedness, biodiversity protection, and air quality)
Outer Urban transect
Breakout room #1
1. Right now, hubs are large shopping centres.
Hub that wants to be more... A complete hub, that meets the requirement of 15 min neighborhoods. Lots of services to bring people, roof top gardens for food security, etc. with access using a child’s lens. Services close enough together to be walkable in winter, but close to accessible paths, the LRT.
Make it a destination, with a park at centre, some restaurants. Add some residences to and through hubs too.
If this can be done through retrofitting existing buildings, great! Perhaps unused office buildings.
2. Planning should be more holistic, not piecemeal. Trying to have a vision then find the way to meet that vision. Now, no way to go from shop to shop inside, very car centric.
City should buy back, or city purchases land, like Calgary. Not remain owner forever but to start the process. Would allow the city to do better.
3. 40% tree canopy should be per neighborhood rather than across the city. It will encourage people to walk more.
Breakout room #2
1. HOW TO RE- DEVELOP NEIGHBOURHOOD? THIS IS CRITICAL.
How to retrofit neighbourhoods – need to think about essential developments (grocery, employment), heritage considerations (mid-century) and bike and walking paths all at the same time. Mid-century heritage overlay - protect. Flex in walking distance. Distance young and old can walk in 15 minutes is different, hard rule of 400 meters need flex. Building height - instead of one super tall building at one intersection several of medium (8-12 stories). Mix of housing… not everyone wants the same type of big 3-bedroom house.
Will inclusionary zoning be used now and what does this mean and how would it bring everything together?
Why bother when the city pays no attention to zoning?
2. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT TO MOBILIZE POPULATION TO SUPPORT TRANSITION AND CHANGES IN NEIGHBOURHOODS
Massive education and communications campaign is needed to explain what is meant and comfortable with ideas. Groups like today are converted people. How to engage those who aren’t supportive or involved? Need massive support and engagement. Opportunities to build engagement through high schools and universities and other education. City has to invest in consultation and education early in the development of the plan and throughout the planning process.
Generate enthusiasm to build a liveable city and what is possible (why can’t we be like Vienna or Santa Fe?)
3. Indigenous voice on council - Can there be an indigenous counselor on council? Not for a ward but for the whole community. Anglican Church does this. Need indigenous perspective in planning not just tokenism.
Breakout room #1
The current draft has No rural voice, weaker regulation in rural area, and few opportunities for interaction between rural urban areas
No rural perspective
3. No support for small agriculture, holdings