Edmonton council promises 15-minute cities will not restrict freedom of movement

After implementing a new district policy and amendment, the Edmonton City Council clarified that 15-minute cities would not restrict freedom of movement.

Edmonton council promises 15-minute cities will not restrict freedom of movement

In a 10-2 vote on Tuesday, the Edmonton Council passed a new district policy aiming to subdue fear and distrust around the 15-minute city plan. 

They also passed an amendment that alters the guidelines for constructing taller buildings and clarifies that the plans will not restrict freedom of movement. 

Edmonton’s mayor, Amarjeet Sohi, enthusiastically endorsed the 15-minute city plan on Tuesday and stated Edmonton is one of Canada’s most affordable cities. He emphasized that the district plans will bolster this reputation even more.

“This is very important work and this will honour the commitment that we have made to Edmontonians to ensure that everyone in Edmonton has a place to call home,” he said. 

The policy is pending approval from the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board and will be finalized after the council votes on the third reading. 

Moreover, citizens are continuously expressing concerns at public hearings hosted by the City Council, with many individuals commenting on the insufficient engagement, housing prices, lockdowns, and zoning bylaws. 

“Really, the whole city is screaming, ‘We don’t want this in our mature neighborhoods’,” said resident Sheila Phimester, who has been actively attending the public hearings. 

Edmonton City Councilor says “You won’t need a car”

City Councillor Andrew Knack is known for praising 15-minute cities on his social media since the plans began in 2020. 

In a TikTok video of him explaining what a 15-minute city is and trying to address the “conspiracy theories,” Knack states, “You’re not going to have to worry about traffic because people won’t need a car.”

Knack explains how convenient life without a car would be, clarifying that the district plans allow every necessity to be within a “15-minute walk, not a 15-minute drive.”

Citizens were astonished by his praising of a no-car lifestyle, commenting, “That’s called control” and “Do you think we should walk in -30 winters?”

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