Planning Saves The World

17 12 2008
Draft development concept presented on Dec. 11, 2008, with transit center and park and ride lot to the north.

Draft development concept presented on Dec. 11, 2008, with transit center and park and ride lot to the north - MVH Planning and Design

Well, not quite the world. But maybe it could, if done well more often. It was my distinct pleasure to help host a public meeting last Thursday night that, contrary to the combative tone of most public meetings I have been involved with, ended in applause and a community that seems truly excited by the results of the design process.

The Potter Greens neighborhood in west Edmonton will see the construction of a new transit center next year, as well as an associated park and ride lot. The rest of the site, all owned by the City of Edmonton, includes a peatland natural area and about 6 hectares (15 acres) of developable land. The plan for the area, an amendment to which I took to Council last year, calls for some form of transit-oriented development in that developable area, the details of which were to be worked out in close consultation with the existing community. The transit center will also likely be the terminus for a future LRT line, so getting the design right now is important to set the framework for the future.

It’s probably not appropriate for me to offer much commentary on the concept that was presented, as there is still a lot of work to be done to get it to the zoning stage. But I will say that my impression of the concept is that it is creative yet practical, appears to balance well the interests of residents and the City, and that it evoked a surprisingly enthusiastic response from area residents present last night, some of whom seemed ready to move in tomorrow. This is quite a switch from the upset and concerned residents who came out to our initial meetings. I think the consultant’s presentation of the concept was a masterfully persuasive sales pitch, though one based on carefully-crafted ideas and attention to the interests of the audience. It was a sales pitch that played to the crowd the right way: through having listened closely.

The powerpoint from last night is available here. It will hopefully go up on www.edmonton.ca as well, but that could take some time. The consultant working on this project is MVH Planning and Design Inc.

Aerial view of the development concept (center right) in its existing context.

Aerial sketch of the development concept (center right) in its existing context - MVH Planning and Design

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14 05 2009
The Desire for Community « Tom Young

[…] weeks ago I had my second overwhelmingly positive public meeting experience (the first being this one), a meeting at which most people who attended went home happy and pleasantly surprised. The […]




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