HomeNationalEdmonton wants to make a "15-minute city," Discourages individual vehicles

Edmonton wants to make a “15-minute city,” Discourages individual vehicles

The City of Edmonton announced its interest in build what is being pitched as a “15-minute city” for residents which appears to have a for your convenience talking point to sell the idea.

The city is looking to centralize the population into concentrated dense living boundaries known as “Districts”. Neighborhoods will be merged together forming districts.

District Planning is a multi-year project to build “community of communities — small towns in our big city”, where people can meet many of their daily needs within 15 minutes from where they live.


The Edmonton City Plan appears to be dominated with a radical focus on climate change by setting collective city carbon emission targets and individual carbon emission targets including the idea of centralizing society.

Greener as we grow Targets

  • Achieve total community-wide carbon budget of 135 megatonnes
  • Two million new urban trees planted
  • Net per-person GHG emissions are Zero

Achieve total communitywide carbon budget of 135 megatonnes

“To date (2020), the Edmonton community has been responsible for emitting about 20 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. For Edmonton to align with the international target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C we will aim to work with a local carbon budget of 135 megatonnes. This budget represents the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions permitted from 2020 until 2050 and it is calculated using international modelling systems. Setting targets based on a carbon budget allows Edmonton to respond to the urgency for change. Every year that emissions are added to the atmosphere essentially reduces the remaining local carbon budget.”

Net per-person greenhouse gas emissions are Zero

“At Edmonton’s current emissions level, the local carbon budget would be exceeded in eight to 10 years from current (2020). To stay within 135 megatonnes, emissions must be reduced from 20 tonnes per person/year today to 3.2 tonnes by 2030 and to net zero tonnes by 2050. A number of energy reducing actions beyond land use and transportation will need to take place to put Edmonton on a low carbon path. These involve the City but may also require private sector partnerships, participation from the community and cooperation with other levels of government.”

A community of communities Targets page 12

The city plan talks about a “A community of communities” where its goal by 2030 is to have 50% of trips by individuals done on public transit and “active transportation” which is described as using walking, rolling or biking.

A community of communities aims to break down individuals personal privacy to make “life feel less anonymous” in a big city.

The government plans to create policy to constrain living and activity within the “15-minute city” for people to “live more locally.”

The cities goal is to stop people from living in the suburbs and rural areas and ban all future rural residential development.

“Prevent any further subdivision of Rural Residential or Agricultural lands that creates additional Rural Residential parcel(s) or would otherwise facilitate further country residential development.” it says in the City Plan..


on page 35 it claims the transportation infrastructure will be “barrier free for all users” except for those who want freedom where they roam.

Another focus for the city plan is trying to make individuals stop using personal vehicles and discourage private vehicle ownership brings by redesigning the transportation system and moving away from “individual travel by car to one that prioritizes a broader array of movement options.”

“Enable emerging technologies and shared transportation models that reduce reliance on single occupancy vehicle use.” the city plan says.

Under the section titled “Edmonton advances equity through access to universally accessible spaces, services, facilities and transportation networks.” it will actively try to get individuals out of their own vehicles and into a collective public transportation, which it claims will “Support inviting and inclusive transportation options for Edmontonians of all ages, abilities and incomes.”

Support a low-carbon mobility system. page 76

  • “Encourage a shift to transit and active transportation options.”
  • “Enable publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and encourage new developments
    to be electric-vehicle ready.”

page 126 Efficient Use of Infrastructure

“Our road network will evolve in step with our city. In a rebuildable city we will need to reimagine some of our road rights-of-way, from being primarily auto-oriented thoroughfares to complete streets that act as both a travel way for people and a destination in their own right. Nowhere will this be more true than in the system of nodes and corridors where roads will be designed with that in mind. This could mean narrower lanes, slower speeds, restrictions on turning movements or reductions in parking.”

page 64 they want to increase data collection and sharing.

The plan talks about increasing the collection and sharing of data between government, institutions and non profit groups to “support access to employment and a broad range of economic opportunities for all of Edmonton’s diverse communities.”

The city plan doesn’t get in to any details about what information will be collected and shared as it just stats it will “Collect and share data with public, institutional and not for profit groups.”

The feedback

The city ran some survey and event to gather feedback from the public, while in total less than 1500 people participated in the feedback. Residents feel placement of “supervised consumption services”, where drug addicts are allowed to consume crack cocaine and crystal meth, attracts to much crime to their surrounding areas and would be a safety issue for the community and the cities plan lacks any details about them.

Some comments were unsupportive of existing residents having to pay for the infrastructure upgrades to accommodate increases in density.
● The policy was criticized as focusing too much on quick wins as opposed to a long-term vision.
● 13% of the open-ended comments expressed opposition to the District General Policy’s direction.

In the feedback to the cities plan on the topic of “Urban Design and Active Transportation.” they strangely classed questions about roads and parking as “Out-of-project scope”, one would think it makes logical sense to include solutions for roads and parking when planning city infrastructure.

● Out-of-project scope comments were mainly concerned with previous infrastructure project flaws, the removal of automobile infrastructure (roads/parking) for bike lanes and the subjectivity of “attractive” design

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Jordan is a casual reporter for BC Rise


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