The Pulse: July 19, 2021

Here's what you need to know about Edmonton today.

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  • 22°C: Cloudy. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud near noon. Widespread smoke. High 22. Humidex 27. (forecast)
  • July 21: The Oilers have released its protected players list ahead of Wednesday's expansion draft. (details)
  • Day 8: A scrimmage scheduled for Day 8 of the Edmonton Elks training camp was cancelled due to injuries and poor air quality on Saturday. (details)
  • $1 million: Albertans can win $1 million in the first-ever cross country 50/50 lottery in support of Olympians and Paralympians. (details)

A collage of slides from the Canadian Institute of Planners awards ceremony video on July 15, 2021

Edmonton wins planning awards for open option parking and City Plan

By Jackson Spring Jackson Spring

A national association of planners has recognized Edmonton for its shift away from mandatory minimum parking and for its new City Plan's commitment to compact growth.

On July 15, the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) presented its Award for Planning Excellence in New and Emerging Planning Initiatives to the Open Option Parking project, which removed parking minimums from zoning bylaws in favour of "right-sizing" the number of parking spots according to market demand.

"The jury applauds the City of Edmonton for its leadership on this project and being the first major Canadian city to take such a drastic step away from regulatory parking," the CIP said in its award announcement.

In June 2020, after city council passed the Open Option Parking bylaw, Canadian Architect magazine said the approach was "much more likely to result in the 'right amount' of parking."

"On-site parking runs anywhere from $7,000 to $60,000 per stall," read the article. "This high cost … has created significant economic barriers to affordable housing development and the ability for new businesses to open in Edmonton."

CIP also presented an award of merit in City and Regional Planning to the Edmonton City Plan for its approach to managing the city's growth, and for the creative community engagement that informed the final document.

"The Edmonton City Plan is a comprehensive document that promoted the means to move Edmontonians forward with focus, boldness, and agility within the global context," the CIP jury wrote.

Howaida Hassan, the city's general supervisor of urban growth who helped develop the City Plan, explained that while it projects the city's population will double within the next 50 years, one of the main goals is to ensure this growth can be accommodated within the city's current boundaries.

"It's about considering all these systems and networks together," she said. "If we grow more compactly, we will have to annex less, and won't have to invest any more land as we welcome the next million residents."

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By Michelle Ferguson Michelle Ferguson

100 Street Funicular

Speaking Municipally: Episode 138

By Mack Male Mack Male

In Episode 138 of Speaking Municipally, hosts Troy Pavlek and Mack Male discussed the 100 Street Funicular which was closed recently due to high temperatures.

According to the City of Edmonton, the funicular will stay closed whenever the temperature is 30 C or higher as the sealed cab can get very hot, reaching temperatures as high as 50 C. It has also closed numerous times with temperatures colder than -25 C, though a number of enhancements were made in 2019 in an attempt to better deal with cold weather.

The funicular was closed for nearly 17 days in 2020 due to unplanned maintenance, on top of nine days of planned maintenance of eight hours or more. Operational costs for 2020 were $531,602.

A total of 70,553 trips were made using the funicular in 2020, bringing the total since opening to 300,028.

Photo: The 100 Street Funicular on May 31, 2018. (Jim Hoffman/Flickr)

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A star streaks through the twilight sky above a clump of trees in the middle of a body of water

Coming up this week: July 19-23, 2021

By Andy Trussler Andy Trussler

Thanks to Veronica for sharing your photo with us!