Where and How Will We Grow?
OurWinnipegTM was adopted as the City’s municipal development plan in 2010. It sets a number of directions and a 25 year vision for Winnipeg to become A City That Works, A Sustainable City and a city where all residents enjoy a high Quality of Life. Four supporting documents, the direction strategies, important to the implementation of the plan were subsequently adopted – Complete Communities, A Sustainable Winnipeg, Sustainable Transportation, and Sustainable Water and Waste.
Each of these strategies provide further detail into the policies and direction of the City at a high level. At the other end of the spectrum the City adopts a five year capital budget and an asset management plan every year. These plans provide project funding and implementation details for the upcoming fiscal year and short-term planning. A growth plan for the City would bridge the significant gap between the broad directional strategies and the short-term expenditure plans by answering a number of important questions:
- Beyond a general intent to densify corridors and downtown, where and how will the City accommodate growth and change?
- What is the capacity of existing infrastructure, in each area of the city, to accommodate growth and to what degree?
- What are the priority areas for development?
- What is the timing for employment lands and transportation routes to enable the economic growth and jobs that a growing population will require?
- What are the infrastructure constraints and timing for investment to enable growth in new areas?
- What are the infrastructure constraints and timing for investment to enable growth in established areas?
- How will we find room for the 83,000 new households described in OurWinnipeg, while maintaining and enriching what we value most?
To realize great development and a sustainable City, a series of plans are needed, each providing increasing detail, as shown in the graphic below.
In 2010, OurWinnipeg recognized that “a growing population provides us with the opportunity to think more strategically about ways to accommodate residential, employment, commercial and other kinds of growth. It solidifies our need to plan more sustainably in order to address the economics of development and public services, and to address the needs of all Winnipeggers through increased choice.”
Approved and proposed plans for new communities, major redevelopment sites, infill and downtown projects, are setting the stage for a wide variety of housing options across Winnipeg, however, there are concerns that the pattern of new development is not ideal and is creating further funding challenges. In the absence of a well-articulated and integrated infrastructure and funding plans – including roads, water and waste, public transportation, recreation and services – individual proposals can become uncoordinated and less strategic. Real strategic growth planning, developed through an integrated planning process that includes land use, infrastructure, development and market considerations would help to ensure developer-led neighbourhood plans work efficiently toward shared goals.