What is the potential for the Green Line LRT to enhance our economic future?
The prime minister has suggested that Canada be known for its resourcefulness. Our mayor has countered that the future of the Canadian economy should be seen as “resource-plus.”
I believe this means that we should be more resourceful with all of our resources, because it is Calgarians who are the key resource for our future success.
A great example of Calgarians rallying behind the right project is the proposed LRT Green Line to enhance our economic future. At a cost of $5 billion for this 40-kilometre-long and 28-station transit megaproject, there will be significant opportunities to help shape how we can economically benefit by attracting people to live, work and play in developments connected to amenities throughout the city.
From North Pointe to Seton in the south, the city will encourage comprehensive transit-oriented developments (TOD) in both established brownfield areas and in undeveloped greenfields.
Planned TODs will provide the opportunity to offer new options for Calgarians. These developments will create the capability to use the LRT to access everything from employment centres and recreational amenities to professional services and entertainment, as well as a full range of housing choices.
Strategies that combine transit investments with economic development and diversification goals are becoming more common in cities around the world. Businesses are increasingly interested in areas where they do not have to consider significant investments in parking structures or pay for parking for their staff. Environmental and economic factors are lowering the interest of new generations in owning vehicles, or at least as many vehicles.
To enable us to prosper, aligning with other resources — including private investments, educational institutions and policies of governments — is the first step. Calgary Economic Development has identified several sectors that offer promising growth and economic diversification prospects. These sectors are based on our existing strengths and natural advantages and will include:
Financial services — building on the significant expertise in the capital-intensive energy industry;
Transportation and logistics — capitalizing on our geographic location and at the intersection of the TransCanada and CANAMEX highways, with our new inland port capacity supporting a strategic reach into this quadrant of the continent;
Agri-food — our longtime provincial goal to enhance research and development and further process our significant agricultural production and seek new markets;
Technologies — recognizing that information, geophysical, geomatics, creative and digital industries technologies are revolutionary forces we are well positioned in with a highly trained workforce.
With resourcefulness, bringing our talents to Canada and the world will solidify our world ranking as a great place to live and a great place to make a living.