What is it about Winnipeg that makes our eyes roll and our hearts swell all at the same time? We can move from furiously proud to just plain furious in a single moment. Slow news days in this city are predictable: we hear about mosquitos, then summer fun, and a few months later we’re reminded that we just survived a bout of weather colder than Mars. And then the cycle begins again. Similarly, roadway construction and maintenance is a top priority for people who participated in 2018 budget consultations.
But what happens in between the mosquitos, the potholes and the cold is another story. We hear stories of neighbours helping each other, unlikely heroes, innovation in business and social programs, and a changing physical and cultural landscape hinting at an exciting future ahead of us, filled with both opportunities and challenges.
Winnipeg’s population is expected to increase by about 200,000 people in the next 25 years, so we need to plan for this growth. OurWinnipeg, the City’s 25 year development plan, and its four direction strategies (Complete Communities, A Sustainable Winnipeg, Sustainable Transportation, Sustainable Water and Waste) were approved in 2011. These plans are the result of two years of targeted conversations, focus groups, and general feedback from thousands of citizens. They were written to guide growth and change into the future. Since this time, City departments have worked to implement policies in these plans.
Here are a few examples of what has happened:
- The City established an Indigenous Relations Division in 2013 which provides a stronger foundation to serve the community.
- The new landfill gas flaring system at the Brady Road Resource Management Facility reduced odours and captured and flared over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and the Garbage and Recycling Master Plan continues to encourage ways to divert waste from the landfill.
- City-wide improvements at signalized intersections include the installation of Accessible Pedestrian Signals and Pedestrian Countdown Signals.
- The City’s new Transportation Management Centre improves traffic flow and monitors all 650 signalized intersections across the city.
- The City continues to participate in the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, a federal program working with communities, government departments and private and not-for-profit sectors to address homelessness.
- We have worked collaboratively with developers and community stakeholders to produce plans that guide growth and change in new and existing neighbourhoods.
But we can always get better. We are currently reviewing and updating OurWinnipeg, as five years have gone by since it was approved. We need to look at these policies again and figure out what is working and what could work better – and we want to think deeply. In the 2018 budget consultations, Winnipeggers listed planning as the third most important service priority area. We agree that planning is important, so want to go beyond the road maintenance and mosquito control, and really understand what keeps us here and makes this home.
We will do our best to give you opportunities to share your opinions. But we need your help too. Please tell a friend and share events, information and opportunities with your networks and communities. By doing so, you will shape this city and help make a better future for us all.
We want to hear what your vision is for Winnipeg; we know our city transcends what we hear about on slow news days and we want to keep getting better and better. What will this city look like in 25 years? Where and how will people live, and how will they get around? How can all Winnipeggers have a better quality of life? The OurWinnipeg review will help shape this future and we need your input. Please keep checking this website for information about the review and opportunities to stay involved.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org any time to let us know what you think, and to share any ideas you have.