Edmonton Minute: Street Labs, Housing Initiative, and a Tree Planting Project
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- This is the last week with no action at City Hall. Agenda Review Committee meetings will begin again on August 8th and Council will return from vacation on August 21st.
While you’re eagerly waiting for Council to resume, there are a number of public engagements you can take part in. Today is the last day to provide feedback on the Griesbach Battalion Square rezoning. The proposal would rezone 2775 Sir Arthur Currie Way NW to allow for a mixed-use development. It would include a new six-storey residential building that may also contain commercial uses, and would repurpose the William Griesbach Training Centre to accommodate commercial uses. A rendering, more information, and the feedback form are available online.
- Feedback is being accepted until Wednesday to see if certain neighbourhoods are good candidates for the Street Lab program. When a street safety concern is noted in a community, the City gathers information to determine whether or not a Street Lab should be explored in that community. Street Labs allow for the neighbourhood and community to work together to trial traffic calming measures and come up with creative ways to address speeding and other unsafe driving behaviours. More information on the Street Lab program is available online, as are feedback opportunities for the communities of Allard, Orchards at Ellerslie, and Webber Greens.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- It was announced that the Community Outreach Transit Team (COTT) will expand from four to seven teams, and operate almost 24/7. The program launched with two teams in September 2020, and was expanded in February 2022. The City says “COTT has had more than 1,000 meaningful engagements with vulnerable Edmontonians” during their time in operation. However, the City also admits there are challenges with getting people to accept the help on offer.
- Ottawa has announced a federal-municipal tree planting project, investing $47.8 million in funding for Edmonton through its 2 Billion Trees program. The City will contribute an equal amount of funding through its Greener As We Grow tree-planting project and has committed to using the money to plant a total of 1.5 million trees over the next several years. The City’s goal is to plant 2 million trees by 2031 and achieve 20% canopy cover by 2071.
- A grand opening ceremony was held for Iskwewak Iskotew Nihkotawan (Women's Fire Lodge), a new housing initiative to address homelessness among Indigenous women. The lodge will provide housing for 20 Indigenous women at risk of homelessness for stays up to 18 months. Many of the residents will have recently left correctional facilities and paying the $750 per month rent on the one-bedroom units is supposed to help them learn to manage finances. One of the community partners in the housing initiative, the Esquao Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, will also run programs that assist with the development of healthy relationships, help residents navigate the justice system, and offer access to cultural supports.
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