August 4 at 1:18pm
Here's my question to all candidates: what do you want Airdrie to be when it grows up? Do you have an ideal population size? If we've surpassed it, what now? If we still have a ways to go, how do we get there responsibly and sustainably?
Hi Kim! Thank you so much for this question.
I would like to start out by saying that I think a lot of these questions would have evolving answers as the city grows. Different economic situations could change the outcome of our city, so it’s important that we are flexible with our planning.
I would like to see Airdrie become a place where the citizens who live here have what they need here and don’t have to leave the city to obtain it. I would like to see a stronger cultural structure within the city that can create opportunities for families to spend their money in our city. If we can create a well-rounded environment with more attractions, we could attract larger businesses to our city and also attract new economic opportunities via tourism. It would be wonderful to not only keep local dollars…. well local, but to attract outside money to come to our city through things like business conferences, athletic competitions, cultural displays and our unique atmosphere. Attracting larger businesses to our city would create new job opportunities and contribute to our tax base.
I don’t have an ideal population size in mind for our city. I think that that number would come into place better once the next 10 year plan is accomplished. It is important to stick true to the heritage that Airdrie has and not grow so large that we lose all of our surrounding agricultural land, so responsible growth will be key. It is a fine balance that needs to be maintained as, trying to stay small will not only keep us from advancing, but will actually put us in reverse as everything grows up around us and getting too big can sacrifice many of the qualities that we all love about Airdrie. I don’t feel that we have, in any way surpassed our maximum and we have great things ahead of us!
Going forward, we need to assess our needs for the future in long term planning as opposed to just fixing problems as they occur. Being proactive with our thinking can create many opportunities while keeping costs lower. Visionary planning for the future should include consultations with; residents, architects, city planners, developers, cultural specialists and environmentalists collaboratively to help us to create a place we can all be proud to call home for many, many years to come.
Content added by Tina Petrow.