TABLE OF CONTENTS

LAND MANAGEMENT AND TRANSPORTATION

THE WAY WE GREEN GOAL: EDMONTON IS A CARBON NEUTRAL CITY

INFILL

Residential infill is the development of new housing in established neighborhoods. This new housing may include secondary suites, garage suites, duplexes, semi-detached houses, row houses, apartments and other residential and mixed-use buildings. These types of development use land and resources efficiently, which accommodates growth and change with a lower environmental impact.

Edmonton set a target in The Way We Grow to have 25% of new residential development be infill. This 25% target is not representative of the entire infill program, as not all established neighborhoods are included in this target. This target is not currently being achieved but programs like Evolving Infill and the Brownfield Grant Program are aiming to increase this number in the future. In particular, Evolving Infill is focused on neighbourhoods significantly developed before 1995.

VIDEO: Sustainable Urban Design

Click here to WATCH Stephen Mouzon, an architect, urbanist, author and photographer from Miami, talk about a common-sense, plain-spoken framework for sustainability.

BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT

A brownfield is a site that is underutilized and where past activities on the site have caused environmental soil and/or groundwater contamination. Brownfields exhibit good potential for other uses and provide economically viable business opportunities.

Brownfield Grant

The City launched a Brownfield Redevelopment Grant in 2011 to provide assistance to property owners, interested groups and developers intent on improving the use of former refueling site brownfields. Response to the program has continued with more than 25 brownfield redevelopment projects completed or in progress through the support of the program since 2011. In 2015 the program was the recipient of the Canadian Urban Institute's Brownie Award, the Minister's Award for Municipal Excellence and the FCM Sustainable Communities Award. The grant funding is designed to assist in Phase I (site assessment), Phase II (testing, analysis, delineation and remediation planning), and Phase III (remediation) costs associated with readying a brownfield for redevelopment. A Phase IV grant is available to assist with interim uses (park, solar installation, other) for sites that will be in long term remediation. The goal of this grant program is to improve the environmental condition of these former refueling sites by supporting clean up and ideally leading to their redevelopment. In 2014, the funding model for Phase III was altered to enable tailoring that incorporates the cost of remediation and the municipal tax uplift projected specified to the site. Some of the brownfield redevelopment projects include, 4 multi-story, mixed-use facility including below market housing; a two tower condominium complex in the downtown area; rental accommodation and a healing garden. The total value of the grants linked to various redevelopment projects completed or underway is just over $8,000,000. The value to the communities of redevelopment is far greater than the investment.

TRANSPORTATION MODE SPLIT

This measure tells us, based on an average day in the City of Edmonton, the proportions of commute to work trips that are made by various modes of transportation. Although only 26% of daily trips made are commute to work trips, these are the trips that set the traffic pattern for each day, resulting in the periods of vehicle traffic congestion, thus influencing the capacity requirements of the transportation network. Generally we are trending favourably in this measure. Prior to 2012, the data on the commute to work was updated every five years using the Federal Census and National Household Survey. Data is now available every two years through the Edmonton Municipal Census, allowing for a greater ability to track trends.

Mobility shift from single passenger vehicles to public transit, cycling, and walking can contribute to reductions in greenhouse gases and conservation of non-renewable resources. Over the years, increased environmental awareness an an expanding transit network has led to an increased use of more sustainable and active modes of transportation. In the next several years, Edmonton will continue to see significant infrastructure investments, providing citizens with more travel options in support of a change in the mode split.

2014

2012

2011

2006

2001

*The 2001, 2006, and 2011 commute to work data was obtained from the Federal Census while the 2012 data was obtained from the Edmonton Municipal Census. Direct comparisons are not recommended given the different data collection methods used. The survey methodology used to obtain the 2012 and 2014 data for this measure differed slightly in that in 2012 the Journey to Work mode question was asked only of those residents who identified as “Employed 0-30 hours” or "30+ hours”. However in 2014 the question was asked of all residents age 12 or older. For comparability purposes, the 2014 data shown here includes only those residents who identified as "Employed" (full time or part time).

MAIN STREETS

Did you hang out on main street when you were a kid? The concept of a shared community space where people walk, shop and spend time seems like a throwback to a generation past, but the City of Edmonton is working to connect the tradition of Main Streets with the sustainable future of our city. Main Streets are almost universally recognized as the core of a community’s cultural, social and economic life. This project creates significant places for people and transportation. Main Streets are pedestrian priority streets designed to attract citizens and improve the typical experience walking down Edmonton’s streets. These streets will buffer pedestrians from traffic and widen existing sidewalks creating an urban space that can be enjoyed by all. The streets also contain elements of a beautification project with street furniture, landscaping and inviting storefronts utilized to beautify the neighborhood. A brand new guideline designed in 2015 will be the main reference point used when creating Main Streets. Creating shared and usable spaces for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users moves Edmonton toward a more sustainable future.

Walking, Biking, and Accessibility Infrastructure

The City is looking at new kinds of bike lanes for Edmonton's future. Quality cycling infrastructure that connects people to the places they want to go encourages cycling as a safe and healthy alternative for traveling around the city. The City has heard from the public that they would like to see more protected bike lanes in Edmonton. And that's exactly the type of cycling infrastructure the City is exploring in core areas of the city like on 102 Avenue and 83 Avenue. Thirty-one percent of trips Edmontonians make in their vehicles could be traveled by bike in 13 minutes or less. The goal is to make these trips easier and more comfortable. In addition to the on-street bike routes and shared-use pathways installed in 2015, the City of Edmonton also installed 124 curb ramps to make sidewalks more accessible, and 40 new bus stops.

*km constructed per year

DID YOU KNOW: In 2015, over 430,000 pedestrians and 370,000 cyclists used the High Level Bridge. This amounts to an average annual daily volume of 2,200 pedestrians and cyclists. By comparison, approximately 22,000 vehicles use the bridge every week day. 

WHAT THE B*KE ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM

Where are cyclist found in the City of Edmonton? In the near future 102nd Avenue downtown and 83rd Avenue on the south side will be major hubs of cycle transportation. What the Bke was a campaign designed to restart the conversation about bike lanes in Edmonton, considering the good and the bad to take real steps toward improving cycling infrastructure in Edmonton. What the Bke answered the age-old questions of why cycle and what's the purpose of cycling infrastructure? The campaign also invited public opinion on the development of 102nd and 83rd Avenues as major cycling routes. As Edmonton grows and develops, it is important to move citizens more efficiently throughout the city. Creating well designed and executed cycling infrastructure that is approved by Edmontonians goes a long way to ensuring the paths will be used for years to come.

TRANSIT RIDERSHIP

This measure tells us how many rides are made annually on transit (both buses and LRT) as a rate proportional to Edmonton's population. Ridership per capita is an indication of the effectiveness of Edmonton's public transit, which is one of the most efficient means of transporting large numbers of people in an urban environment. Increasing transit per capita means that more people are taking transit and implies that a greater proportion of daily trips are being made by transit.

The decreases over the past two years may be linked to two main factors: 1) Population growth has increased at a faster rate than has growth in transit service hours, particularly in the outer areas of the city where there is limited introduction of new services; and 2) Unfavourable economic conditions and increased levels of unemployment.

LRT RIDERSHIP

The City aims to continue its expansion of the LRT network. One of these expansions includes the Southeast to West LRT (Valley Line), that will be a low-floor urban line that will run from Millwoods to Lewis Farms, crossing through downtown. The future line runs a total length of 27 km and its route has been approved by City Council. Public input helped shape the route, stop/station locations and other details during the Conceptual Planning phase. City Council has approved a funding strategy for the Valley Line, starting with the $1.8 billion Millwoods to Centre West leg. In 2015 the Metro Line, extending from Century Park to NAIT, was opened and contributed to an increase in LRT ridership.

VIDEO: Great Ideas. Great City. Let's Talk Transit.

ELECTRICAL VEHICLES

Electrical vehicles are typically healthier for the environment than traditional combustion engine vehicles. Because electric vehicles use an electric motor instead of burning fossil fuels, they improve local air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save the operator money on fuel. However, sometimes emissions generated from production of batteries for electric vehicles can be greater than emissions generated for production of gas vehicles, but these emissions do tend to be cancelled out as the vehicle is run. In addition, with a carbon-intensive electricity grid, there can be much debate on how much cleaner electric vehicles are than gas vehicles cradle to grave. That being said, it should be noted that technology is continually improving these points.