City of Saskatoon launches engagement campaign ahead of growth plan

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WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark on the city’s growth plan and the opening of the Remai Modern art gallery – Oct 24, 2017

The City of Saskatoon expects to grow by 250,000 people over the coming decades. Before that happens, they want to hear from you.

The mayor and city staff kicked off their community engagement campaign on Monday at city hall.

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The Let’s Talk Growth initiative includes a website with updates on various projects and a video series.

According to city officials, there are plans for monthly public meetings beginning in November leading up to a major public engagement event in March 2018.

“We’re really trying to make the appeal to residents to engage with us, to take the time to learn about what we’re doing,” Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said.

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“We’re going to be as creative as we can in terms of engaging them because we’re spending a lot of money on the design and we want to be sure it has the best chance to implement.”

Officials said $7.65 million from the federal government’s public transportation infrastructure fund will go toward multiple Plan For Growth projects.

These projects include implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan, the growth of concept plans for corridors and transit villages and the Brownfield Renewal Strategy.

According to the city, contracts have been awarded to design the BRT plan.

“This project will be organized around a bus rapid transit system and chart the course for our future transit plan to get our system ready for the city’s expected growth and make transit a really attractive option for our existing residents,” Lesley Anderson, the city’s director of planning and development, said.

“It will identify system changes and infrastructure that’s required to support a high frequency and direct service along the city’s major corridors.”

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The city hopes this plan will help transit oriented development in the corridors while using existing infrastructure in the area. More on the configuration of the system is expected in a report at the committee level in November.

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Stakeholder meetings are also in the works for transit village locations along the city’s planned BRT red line, which runs down 8th Street and 22nd Street across the entire city.

The growth plan was approved by city council in April 2016, which includes plans for a re-envisioned transit system based around BRT and infill development within key locations in the city. Shortly after the approval, the city created a 10-year action plan to move forward on initiatives in the plan.

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