10/18/2013 08:28 EDT | Updated 12/18/2013 05:12 EST

Richard Feehan's Vision for Edmonton and Ward 10: Planning Decades Into the Future

During my lifetime, Edmonton has grown from a small prairie city into one of Canada's largest metropolitan areas. We have always celebrated the neighbourliness of the community and the incredible opportunities for individual success while at the same time creating a vibrant social life. We are a great city, but we are also on the brink of becoming an exceptional city. The potential to become a model city of the future is in our hands. We have the natural resources in our environment, our people and our businesses to define our own future. In order to do that we need to envision ourselves in 20 and 30 years and set the structures now that will help to get us there.

My vision for Edmonton includes a vibrant downtown that provides everything the young urbanite needs to live within a walking distance and gives the rest of the city a place of engaging business, arts and sports. A downtown that fosters the creativity of our people, embraces the latest technology and set high standards for renewal and growth.

As a councillor, I will support the building of the Quarters section, the Arts section, and increased condo density so that our downtown becomes a place of people living 24 hours a day. I will support the redevelopment of the airport lands into a model sustainable community, establishing Edmonton as the go-to place for environmental design. I will support the expansion of the LRT as rapidly as possible so that everyone has easy access to downtown from all areas of the city. And I will support the preservation of the river valley and the development of appropriate amenities to ensure as many people as possible are drawn down to enjoy the parks.

My vision for Ward 10 is of communities that are fully realized so that no one needs to leave the community to access services, to engage with others or to retire close to the home they have lived in for many years. Each neighbourhood can function as a small village, building on the community league system and establishing a long term plan to enhance all the activities of establishing a home, raising children and building a social life with your neighbours.

As a councillor, I will support the implementation of the Elevate Report recommendations through a community driven partnership and a community asset-based development plan. Working with the Center for Public Involvement, I will work toward the establishment of a new Community-City consultation system which truly involves neighbourhoods in the process before any plans are developed. I will seek the elimination of restrictive covenants on local stores and establish higher urban design standards that encourage community oriented development.

My vision for the City of Edmonton is of a creative, sustainable city that prioritizes the engagement of citizens in the development of our future. A city that engages our neighbouring municipalities in sensible governance structure that ensures that all the benefits and all the resources of the metropolitan area are shared and used for the good of everyone. A city that doesn't forget our connection to the land and provides for appropriate density around green space and agricultural land.

As a councillor, I will support the development of the Greater Edmonton Area municipality. I will support the work of business incubation organizations such as the EEDC and Startup Edmonton. I will enact an urban agriculture program to protect farm land and to establish community gardens. And I will work with other councillors to explore new taxation policy that reduces the emphasis on property taxes which are hardest on people with fixed or limited incomes.

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