Strength­en­ing re­gion on global scale

Strate­gic plan looks at the shift in city’s eco­nomic goals

Metro Canada (Edmonton) - - Edmonton - Lucy Haines

For the last few years, Ed­mon­ton has ap­peared to be all about the crane-filled down­town sky­line — the cre­ation of the new Rogers Place arena and sur­round­ing en­ter­tain­ment district/condo de­vel­op­ments.

As those projects are com­pleted, the city’s new mayor and coun­cil will re­fresh the strate­gic plans out­lined in 2013’s The Way We Pros­per, shift­ing eco­nomic goals as nec­es­sary, ac­cord­ing to Paul Ross, branch man­ager with the City of Ed­mon­ton’s Eco­nomic and En­vi­ron­men­tal Sus­tain­abil­ity de­part­ment.

“It’s not just about land devel­op­ment, but also a look at core ar­eas of op­por­tu­nity for the city and re­gion,” Ross says. “That may be in ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing, lo­gis­tics, val­ueadded agri­cul­ture and in­no­va­tion with the tech field and busi­ness start-ups.”

The Ed­mon­ton Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (EEDC) will carry out re­lated strate­gic ini­tia­tives, but the city is also mov­ing for­ward with Ed­mon­ton Global, a chance for the city and 15 re­gional mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to look at eco­nomic devel­op­ment with the over­ar­ch­ing theme of brand strength — find­ing ways the re­gion can be ef­fec­tive and strong in a global econ­omy.

The city will also con­tinue as part of the Al­berta In­dus­trial Heart­land As­so­ci­a­tion via the north­east’s En­ergy and Tech­nol­ogy Park (EETP). That’s good news for Ward 4 coun­cil can­di­date Rocco Ca­te­rina, who rep­re­sents an area of the city that he pre­dicts will be the next big spot for city growth.

“Pub­lic and pri­vate in­vest­ment has been con­cen­trated in the city south for a num­ber of years, but we’ve got the EETP and Horse­hill En­ergy and Tech­nol­ogy Park, which of­fers devel­op­ment for petro-chem­i­cal-based in­dus­tries, man­u­fac­tur­ing, lo­gis­tics and re­lated sup­port in­dus­tries,” he says. “There’s also been a pos­i­tive mo­men­tum shift on the north side since the $150 mil­lion in­jec­tion into Lon­don­derry Mall. At­tract­ing the Simon’s busi­ness model is a sym­bol to other in­vestors, and it res­onates with cit­i­zens. It gives more con­fi­dence in devel­op­ment in the area.”

It’s not just about land devel­op­ment, but also a look at core ar­eas of op­por­tu­nity for the city and re­gion. Paul Ross, city of Ed­mon­ton

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Al­though the city has been fo­cused on in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment for the last sev­eral years, coun­cil is now look­ing at ways ed­mon­ton can be ef­fec­tive and strong in a global econ­omy.

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