Thank you to everyone who attended the event or watched Synapcity’s webcast. The answers to the unanswered questions you posed in the panel discussions are posted below.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
National Arts Centre, O’Born Room
1 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5W1
1 to 4 p.m., Welcome desk open at 12:30 p.m.
Are you passionate about Ottawa?
Join a wide range of city-building organizations, agencies and stakeholders in an afternoon of discussion, networking and thought provoking interactive speeches.Hosted by the City of Ottawa in the newly opened expansion of the National Arts Centre.
This forum aims to create a collaborative networking environment for city-building organizations during this unprecedented period of transformation in our city. Come meet like minded individuals who all share your passion for city building!
Light refreshments will be provided.
Our Master of Ceremonies:
Jan Harder, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 3 Barrhaven and Chair of Planning Committee
Having spent over 20 years serving the residents of Barrhaven as their municipal representative Jan Harder often states that for the majority of her life she has been, and continues to be, employed in the customer service industry. Jan was a successful business professional prior to being elected in 1997 to the former City of Nepean council, and is now a recognized leader on council who has been proud to call Barrhaven home for over 30 years. Jan has become known as a community builder and champion and has helped Barrhaven and Ottawa grow by working with local and national business leaders as well as City staff to secure the necessary infrastructure to support such growth. Jan believes the best way to build Ottawa is to balance growth while maintaining a high quality of life.
Our Guest Speakers:
Stephen Willis, General Manager, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department, City of Ottawa
Stephen Willis is the General Manager of the City of Ottawa’s Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department. Mr. Willis is a Registered Professional Planner and Professional Land Economist with more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sector. Mr. Willis has held a number of positions in the Ottawa area, including Executive Director of the Capital Planning Branch for the National Capital Commission, and positions with major multidisciplinary consulting firms. Mr. Willis is responsible for increasing the City’s economic viability through planning and infrastructure initiatives as well as finding economic opportunities to create new growth and prosperity in the Ottawa area.
Laine Johnson, Program Director, Synapcity
Laine is a devoted long-time resident of Ottawa and deeply committed to creating equity and partnership in city-building. As an inaugural graduate of the Masters of Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership at Carleton University, Laine brings a theoretically grounded strategic lens to her work as Program Director. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Laine celebrates divergent thinking and is particularly attentive to emergent approaches and solutions. Laine has grown up in Ottawa’s non-profit sector, applying her leadership and partnership development skills to the arts and culture sector, community health and resource centres, seniors services, and public policy. She loves to learn from all the co-creators of this fine city.
Benjamin Gianni, Associate Professor, Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism, Carleton University
Professor Ben Gianni’s research interests focus on the areas of housing and urban development. Of particular interest is public housing constructed in the decades following WWII in Europe and North America, and its redevelopment from the 1990s onward. Professor Gianni teaches courses on housing and urban history, as well as leading the housing studio in the 4th year of the BAS program. A former Director of both the School of Architecture and the School of Information Technology at Carleton, he is currently coordinating the School’s Urbanism major.
The City of Ottawa is committed to creating a barrier-free city. If you require assistance with this material or during the event contact: Charmaine Forgie at 613-580-2424 extension 24075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panel Discussion Questions and Answers
What might be done to guide urban infill to stay within zoned heights and where they exist, community design plans?
Strengthen the Mature Neighbourhoods By-law to ensure new infill on side streets is consistent with dominant character, and continue using CDP’s direction when taking in applications.
Intensification – is there descriptive criteria for levels of intensification? If not why not? Process?
There are descriptive criteria for building height ranges in the OP (low-rise, mid-rise, high-rise). Next OP will be the opportunity to increase level of detail and focus better on built form, using new Planning Act and PPS tools that were not in place at the last OP review.
How can we best advance the City policy to build, live, work affordable housing for aging arts workers?
Regulatory opportunities continue to be explored. Removing parking requirements in key areas was a major step in the right direction.
One of the biggest costs in federal and provincial budgets in health care. They both have aging in place philosophies. How is this taken into consideration in City-Building – a liveable city?
This factor calls us to focus on considering the future of Ottawa as a city of proximity, not distance; and a city of good pedestrian access as opposed to the car-centricity of much of our existing built-up area. Increasing residential opportunities in established neighbourhoods to provide more choice to a wider range of households and age groups is also paramount.
What is the City doing to ensure affordable housing is being built in close proximity to rapid public transit?
TOD Plans, CDP’s and Secondary Plans for station areas have lower or no parking requirements for housing, which significantly reduces costs. The OP calls for complete communities to minimize the need to travel, saving on transportation costs which are a large portion of household budgets. We need to maintain and increase frequencies on street buses that serve the innermost neighbourhoods where people can already function on foot and by transit.
When will the City respond to a proposal made last February for a Planning Advisory Committee? This was an invitation to dialogue by a group of citizens advised by an international expert on public engagement. These people have more experience with City Hall than most councillors! Yet, there has not even been an acknowledgements, let alone a conversation.
A report is going forward in Q4 2017.
As the City intensifies, particularly around transit nodes, Mainstreets and failing retail centres, how will the City encourage a mix of affordable housing? How can Ottawa, North America’s best medium size City for lower income households?
To encourage affordable housing around transit areas, the City can explore using a number of tools to create opportunities for new affordable housing development. This can involve acquisition of land in or near TOD areas, for example the City supported Ottawa Community Housing Corporation’s acquisition of 933 Gladstone, a significant parcel of land strategically located between two TOD areas. The city can make incentives available such as capital funding to have developers compete for affordable rental and/or homeownership options as well exploring the potential of new Inclusionary Zoning powers that could be used in TOD areas.
In the upcoming refresh of the Official Plan, will the City abandon its previous practice of balancing the consultation (developers-community) and instead facilitate dialogue between stakeholders in order to achieve consensus?
Thank you for your question regarding the upcoming Official Plan Review and the related stakeholder engagement or consultation process. The review will include a strong consultation program, including the industry and general public. At the City, we strive to be inclusive and diverse with our consultation, and although consensus is not always possible amongst the diversity and multitude of stakeholders, the primacy of the public interest will be upheld, well documented and well explained. The Ontario Planning Act specifies the process that must be used for consultations when development applications are considered.
I’m not sure I want Amazon in Ottawa. Why would we want this corporation here? Do we really want to grow by 50,000 people?
Having Amazon locate in Ottawa-Gatineau presents an unmatched opportunity to grow and diversify the Region’s knowledge based economy and solidify the Region’s positioning on the Global stage as a key player in the global knowledge based economy. The population growth that would result, much of which can be expected to be accommodated within key intensification areas along the City’s LRT corridor will add significantly to supporting the City’s significant investment in LRT and would provide for increased revenues through property taxes as well as support and grow local businesses that will serve the increased population. The scale of growth that would be provided by Amazon locating HQ2 in the National capital region is growth that will occur over time, it is the timeframe for this growth that will be accelerated as a result of Amazon locating in the region and this will allow the city to truly position itself as a vibrant, dynamic and livable city for both current and future residents.
If we want to sell intensification, we need parks and open spaces to offer the community to gather and interact. When will we get a parks and open spaces master plan to ensure park and open space equity in the City and direct the City’s resources to this?
As this question refers to intensification it is assumed that the question is directed at potential opportunities for park acquisition inside dense urban areas. A Parks and Open Space Master Plan would be part of Official Plan process, however it would not be the right mechanism for acquisition of new properties in specific areas of the City that are already built up. At best, the Official Plan could instruct us to take opportunities as they arise, but to direct us to acquire and demolish properties to create new urban green space is not realistic. Opportunities for park improvement and acquisition in the inner urban area is best addressed through the various Community Design Plans in place, plus formal direction has been given for Ottawa to exercise its rights under Planning Act and acquire new park properties during site redevelopment / intensification projects where the property being redeveloped is 4000 square meters or greater. Over the coming years we will developing “urban parkettes” in partnership with the development community. Since this direction was formalized in 2016 we are now in the process of formalizing several small parks that will appear at various formerly privately owned lands such as shopping malls, churches, etc.
You said Ottawa is over 75 per cent in terms of a knowledge-based workforce. How is the City of Ottawa going to leverage + benefit from the collective creativity, innovation + knowledge of its citizens?
The City and Invest Ottawa engage regularly with knowledge-based businesses and Ottawa’s entrepreneur community. For example, Invest Ottawa’s hosts Meet Up Monday’s at Bayview where the disruptive tech-community gets together to discuss digital transformation. The City and Invest Ottawa will also be engaging with the community on smart city concepts and ideas