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'Money doesn't match the vision,' veteran city planner tells Edmonton councillors

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Former Vancouver city planner Brent Toderian had some harsh words for council as he assessed the city’s progress on building a smarter, more sustainable city Friday.

“You’ve got excellent aspirations. A+ for policy and probably a D- for budgeting prioritization. The money doesn’t match the vision and in many cases they’re diametrically opposed,” said Toderian, with Mayor Don Iveson and several city councillors in the audience.

“You have the same problem here that I experienced in Calgary: nice visions, award-winning plans, tough follow-through.” Toderian was Calgary’s downtown planner from 2001 to 2006, and Vancouver’s chief planner from 2006 to 2012. He now consults with cities around the world.

Edmonton’s budget prioritizes vehicle movement even as its planning documents understand widening roads won’t cure congestion. Planning higher density neighbourhoods with shops and amenities in easy walking distance is the only way to shortcut congestion problems, Toderian said. “We say in Vancouver, the best transportation plan is a great land-use plan.”

Full Story (Edmonton Journal)
 

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