I am really excited about the changes happening in Downtown Edmonton, and I wanted to take a little time to talk about some of the things that we should be OPTIMISTIC about.
Throughout my involvement in the Downtown Business Association, the Downtown Vibrancy Task Force as well as having our new office downtown #on104th, I see and hear a lot about the downtown almost every day. I also live downtown. In fact, I rarely leave the downtown core unless it’s for a meeting or a special trip to one of my favourite restaurants, Langano Skies on the south side.
A lot of what I hear is unfortunately on the negative side, and I think we need to work collectively to change that.
The most common complaints I hear are:
1. Construction is going to (or is) making my life miserable
2. What is going to happen to parking downtown, it’s already hard to park AND it’s going to cost more
3. All the dust is going to make things really dirty
4. What are we going to do with all that residual office space left over when these new commercial towers are built?
What I would like to point out are some of the things on the positive side of what is happening to Downtown Edmonton.
Downtown is going to grow exponentially in the coming 3 – 5 years. With catalyst projects like the Edmonton Arena District and the Royal Alberta Museum as well as investment capital in residential and commercial projects, we have a lot to get excited about as a city.
1. More people and businesses coming into the downtown core means more vibrancy, more options, and more excitement. Who doesn’t like excitement and progress?
2. There are more opportunities to get out and ride your bike or take a walk. We could all use a little more exercise in our life. This can’t be a bad thing.
3. We have more reasons to talk about how awesome Edmonton is and how it is a place that people should come and visit any time of year, as there are multiple options, no matter what season. We much too often act like an ugly cousin to other cities and we need to stop that.
4. There will be increased options for businesses to move into the downtown core where the prices didn’t work for them previously. This brings us back to number one.
Really, all these things work together and move us forward.
I would certainly rather live in a city moving forward, instead of one that is moving backwards or staying stagnant.
There are a lot of reasons to be excited about what our downtown has to offer us, so let’s try and help spread the message of the exciting times to come. I love the saying, “As goes your downtown, so goes your city.”
Personally, I like where we are going.
Photo Cred: Con Boland