Burlington is a growing city, undergoing many changes and it’s essential that those whole live and work here identify what’s important to them and let it be known so that the city’s goals align with that. After all, being part of the community you live in and having a say is not only satisfying but important.
City Council has adopted a new mandate to actively “city-build”, which means they’ll listen to the community for their input to define how the city grows.
After a year of social engagement and gathering input from Burlington residents, businesses, community groups and the city employees, we finally have a strategic plan that boils down to four key factors!
Burlington residents want:
1. A City that Grows
2. A City that Moves
3. A Healthy and Greener City
4. An Engaging City
So what does this mean? How will the city achieve that?
A City that Grows
- Create an employment lands vision that drives investment and growth in the *Prosperity Corridors.
- Develop and put in place a redevelopment and intensification strategy for the *Prosperity Corridors.
- Build one brand for the City of Burlington to attract both business and people.
- Initiate and develop a strategy for Burlington’s rural areas. This strategy will consider economic, social, cultural and environmental factors in support of the rural community, agricultural industry, *natural heritage and water resources.
- Develop and implement a strategy to attract post-secondary institutions to Burlington. Encourage connections between future employees and employers to help grow Burlington’s economy.
- Make it easier for businesses to locate in Burlington, attracting more investment.
- Create and invest in a system that supports the startup and growth of businesses, innovation hubs and entrepreneurship.
- The city will include growth targets and their related opportunities in its Official Plan. This will be complete by the end of 2018.
- Through policy, the city will influence the redevelopment of aging commercial plazas and transform them into mixed-use neighbourhood hubs.
- The city will work with Halton Region and other partners to develop a servicing plan for intensification areas.
- The city will conduct and implement an intensification plan that will include a specific focus on the *Urban Growth Centre and will develop a strategy for the downtown core that will promote residential and appropriate niche/boutique office development.
- The city will develop energy and sustainable site feature guidelines to require new/ renewed buildings to promote energy-efficient technologies.
- The city will analyze the costs of all forms of development.
- The city will put in place the recommendations of the strategic action plan for the downtown (known as Core Commitment) and extend, where possible, recommendations to other urban centres.
- The city will create and implement an awards program to recognize and celebrate excellence in architecture, urban design, streetscaping, landscaping and sustainability in all developments.
- Future development will be higher density, walkable and accessible, transitoriented with appealing streetscapes. The city will become a leader in walkability and bikeability scores in the province and will be fully aligned with provincial strategy and goals.
- The city will prioritize the planning for each *mobility hub. The plan for each mobility hub will consider/include design, jobs and housing, servicing, public transportation, parks and green space.
- The city will develop and implement a strategy in co-operation with other levels of government to support young families: – A range of housing types and supply will allow young families and newcomers to locate in Burlington. – Infrastructure will support the economic, social, environmental and community goals of youth, young families and newcomers. – Upon completion of the *Official Plan, the city will prepare a housing strategy.
- By 2020, the city will develop a liaison office to attract immigrants, while remaining a destination of choice for all newcomers.
- An Age-Friendly strategy for seniors will be developed by the end of 2019. This will include addressing the need to have sufficient seniors’ programming space.
A City that Moves
- The city will prepare master plans along with implementation strategies for each mobility hub. These plans will consider urban design, land use, servicing, public transportation, parking and parks and open space needs. The city will work with *Metrolinx to create hubs that align with intensification and objectives.
- The city will work with *Metrolinx, Halton Region and the province to find multimodal, flexible and affordable solutions to accommodate the projected traffic generation from growing *employment lands.
- The city will shift a greater proportion of inbound and outbound traffic to public transportation and prepare a long-term strategy to support the growth of public transportation.
- Burlington Transit will work with neighbouring jurisdictions to promote seamless transportation service delivery in and out of Burlington.
- As the city grows, light rail and bus rapid transit systems will be evaluated.Future development in key mixed nodes will be higher density, walkable, accessible and well-serviced by public transportation. The city will become a leader in walkability in the province and will be fully aligned with provincial strategy and goals.
- Future development in higher densities will consider car-share and bike-share options.
A Healthy and Greener City
- The Parks Master Plan will be updated to reflect growth objectives and changing density in the city.
- Major developments will be required to provide public space.
- The city will engage with Halton Region, Bruce Trail Association, Conservation Halton and other partners to develop the Bruce Trail to promote access and awareness, with the goal of creating new entry points to trails and improving safety.
- The city, working with the community, will lead the development of 10 or more self sustaining community gardens by 2018.
- In the context of the *Transportation Master Plan, the city will complete a plan and put in place initiatives that create connectivity of trails, parks and streets.
- The city will develop and adopt walkability scores.
- The city will explore opportunities to support the conversion of former local quarries into recreational areas. These will maintain the objectives contained within the Niagara Escarpment Plan and Halton Region Official Plan.
- The city will work with public, private and community groups to provide recreation programs that reflect the city’s residents.
- The city will develop and implement a plan to make city operations net carbon-neutral.
- In partnership with others including the community, provincial and federal levels of government, the city will undertake research in order to make Burlington netcarbon neutral.
- The city will complete and implement a climate change adaptation plan.
- The city will update and implement the *Community Energy Plan so that it is efficient, resilient and economically viable.
- Working with Burlington Hydro, the city will explore *district energy, *microgeneration and new storage technologies.
- The city will advocate that the *Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System will be recognized, within four years, in provincial or federal legislation and will receive the appropriate funding to complete the required land assembly.
- The streetscape plans and private development will increase the city’s tree canopy.
An Engaging City
- The city will create a Charter of Good Governance. This charter will be a framework for excellent decision-making.
- The city, working with key community partners, will develop a report card that will outline the status of the economic, social and environmental well-being of residents and report on overall community health.
- The city will build government outreach capacity to engage with, liaise with and influence relevant governments.
- Annual property tax increases will reflect inflationary increases, infrastructure renewal financing and increased service investments.
- The city will adopt an approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces to ensure they are inviting people places. This will be accomplished by using the power of the arts, culture, architecture and design (such as mobility hubs, artist live-work spaces and cultural nodes).
- The city will develop and put in place initiatives that support and empower community building at the neighbourhood level.
- The city will encourage better collaboration and co-ordination among existing and new cultural partners.
- The city will revise policies related to culture activities and programs, such as *busking, zoning, event permitting, to allow for easier and more accessible initiatives.
- The city will encourage targeted cultural programming that engages newcomers and a more diverse audience with the goal of promoting cultural diversity.
- The city will expand the Public Art Program by developing policies and programs, such as public art on private property.
So there you have it. Big plans for a big city. It’s going to be exciting transformation and I’m excited to see that happen. I encourage all of your who live and work in Burlington to let your voice be hear and input added. Get involved!
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