I <3 YEGDT: Downtown X-posed

Hundreds of Edmontonians will gather next Thursday at the Shaw Conference Centre for a full day event focused on downtown. Organized by the EEDC and the Downtown Vibrancy Task Force, the Downtown X-posed event will provide an opportunity to learn more about the broad array of things happening downtown, and will also give attendees a chance to provide input and feedback on how we can continue the positive momentum.

The vibrancy and character of a community’s downtown is a critical part of its identity. Think about places you’ve travelled to and you’ll know exactly what we mean. Please join us for a dynamic, one-day, one-of-a-kind event to learn about Edmonton’s downtown – what we have now, what’s in the works, what’s yet to come, and some new things we might need to consider. Come learn, talk, connect and get involved in your downtown. As goes your downtown, so goes your city.

51/366: I <3 yegdt

It has been a pretty great year for our downtown. EPCOR Tower, the first new office tower in two decades and also our tallest, opened.  Despite some hiccups, both the arena project and the new Royal Alberta Museum appear to be moving forward. The province is working to complete the renovations of the Federal Building and the adjacent Centennial Plaza in time for next summer. The first phase of construction on Capital Boulevard is underway. MacEwan University has started working toward its single sustainable campus. I could go on – the point is, there’s a lot happening! Megaprojects aren’t enough though, we need more people living and working and shopping and learning downtown. What are the barriers this? How can we make it happen? What are we missing? Join us next week to discuss those questions and more.

I had the opportunity to talk about the event yesterday on CTV Edmonton:

Downtown X-posed runs from 7:30am until 3:30pm on December 15. Tickets are just $50, which includes breakfast and lunch. You can purchase tickets here. If you can’t make it, be sure to follow along with #yegdt on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “I <3 YEGDT: Downtown X-posed

  1. I’m all for events about making downtown better, etc, etc, but this one seems a little weird to me… who’s it aimed at?
    It’s on a weekday, during the day, so any professional worth their salt is going to be at work and possibly will find it hard to justify taking a day off for what seems mostly like an information session.
    And it’s $50, which although not a lot of money, again seems like it might exclude a lot of people who don’t fall into the above category, so students, etc.

    This all leads me to believe it will be mostly attended by government and related-industry people (construction, property management, developers) who can justify being their for work-related reasons. Very few people will go for their personal benefit, which is a shame.

    IMHO, should be on a Saturday morning and free or little cost.

  2. I am one of the biggest boosters of downtown Edmonton. I live there by choice, I work there by choice, I study there by choice, and I would love to be involved in the remaking of downtown as a great place for other people to live…

    I have to agree with Rob, however. This event is outside my meagre student budget, it is during school / work hours (and finals, no less), and yet I am the target audience, I am the people who already live, work, and play downtown, and this is the very first I have heard of this. There is no advertising downtown, at the U of A or U of L campuses downtown, in the mall, or on the street, so who is this for exactly? In October I attended a free all day event with the EFCL on living local, I’m sure the EEDC could do the same.

    ‘I ❤ yegdt' is a great idea but so far seems to be involved in gimmicky and exclusive events targeted at non-stakeholders (people who don't actually live or work in the core) and it appears that this x-posed event is the same. So, I'm a little disappointed that the same people who think downtown is gimmicky and exclusive will be the people making decisions on what is happening in MY neighbourhood.

    So in response to your questions (because, notwithstanding not getting an invite, $50 is still steep for some):

    What are the barriers [to] this? How can we make it happen? What are we missing? Join us next week to discuss those questions and more.

    City Council, zoning, development, allowing more and more sprawl and encouraging businesses to locate far away from the core. Fighting developers by mandating parking minimums, suburban zoning standards (we shouldn't need special zoning for mixed res / commercial in the core).

    The dilution of transit service by building LRT out to nowhere and not providing late-night bus service (until 3am or 4am on the weekends, please) to get people in and out of downtown.

    Less parking and more building – a huge portion of downtown is vacant over 75% of the time because it's all parking lots. My taxes help pay for all that empty space, and it's an eyesore.

    Keep the pedways open 24/7, advertise the utility, get some decent maps, expand the pedway system to Shaw Conference Centre and to 109 street, open the pedway to the Legislature.

    Get more store front businesses in on Jasper Ave., mandate that all new buildings offer commercial bays at street level. Start diverting traffic to 102 ave and 100 ave, these streets are garbage to walk down, Jasper Ave is at least pedestrian friendly.

    Get rid of all on street parking from 97 street to 124 street and convert the outside lanes to bus lanes and forget the tram plan.

    Offer property tax rebates for downtown property owners and residents and rent abatements equal to tax rebates for renters (this could be something the city refunds to DT renters when they present rent receipts for a months they lived downtown) because tax rebates get taken by the owners and not often are passed on to the renter.

    Need more? I'm always available – @lesoteric:twitter 

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