Ed­mon­ton’s hous­ing vi­sion one to em­u­late

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Mike Moore

IWAS read­ing a num­ber of ar­ti­cles from across the coun­try about de­vel­op­ment is­sues, and two from Ed­mon­ton caught my eye. As you know, Ed­mon­ton has a num­ber of sim­i­lar­i­ties to Win­nipeg: a lit­tle larger in pop­u­la­tion, sim­i­lar cli­mate, maybe a few more moun­tains nearby. They have a young, pro­gres­sive mayor in Don Ive­son, who is de­ter­mined to trans­form Ed­mon­ton into a highly liv­able, up­lift­ing and glob­ally com­pet­i­tive city. It sounds to me like Win­nipeg and Ed­mon­ton may have elected the same mayor, and that’s a good thing. Don Ive­son has been in of­fice for a year longer than Brian Bowman, but it sounds like they have a sim­i­lar phi­los­o­phy. Coun. Michael Wal­ters noted many of the city’s older neigh­bour­hoods were ex­clu­sively sin­gle-fam­ily hous­ing. His goal was to turn some of the post-war era homes that had fallen into dis­re­pair and turn them into mul­ti­fam­ily dwellings, such as row houses, apart­ment build­ings and du­plexes. Nat­u­rally, there was an up­roar from the es­tab­lished com­mu­nity want­ing to keep their neigh­bour­hood sin­gle fam­ily. How­ever, it was con­tended that over time, peo­ple would rather live near clean, new town­houses than run­down, di­lap­i­dated sin­gle fam­ily homes. Ive­son has es­tab­lished a goal of 25 per cent of new homes to be in older neigh­bour­hoods as in­fill projects. Many ex­ist­ing res­i­dents are resistant to any change to the makeup of their sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment. “Frankly, the older neigh­bour­hoods are so low den­sity that they’re in­ef­fi­cient rel­a­tive to the new neigh­bour­hoods” said Ive­son. We see this same sit­u­a­tion through­out Win­nipeg. Whether you’re in Charleswood, Gar­den City, Nor­wood, Cres­cent­wood or one of our many Kil­do­nans, you’re go­ing to see a lot of sin­gle-fam­ily hous­ing. How­ever, drive down Ke­nas­ton or Lag­i­modiere boule­vards to some of the newer neigh­bour­hoods, and the first thing to catch your at­ten­tion is a wall of multi-fam­ily hous­ing. Den­si­fy­ing our ex­ist­ing neigh­bour­hoods won’t hap­pen overnight; how­ever, when op­por­tu­ni­ties present them­selves, some­times the newer ways teach us a good les­son. Mike Moore is pres­i­dent of the Man­i­toba

Home Builders’ As­so­ci­a­tion

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