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September 21 and 22
2 days, 2 disciplines, 2 ways to participate – defining our professional roles and uniting to build more equitable, accessible and inspired communities.
The City of Kitchener is in the midst of an unprecedented downtown development boom. This session discusses the investments, incentives, and policies that have had the most impact on this rapid change, those that have had the least, and those that have performed in unexpected ways. These items include: existing and new economic development investment strategies (Make It Kitchener and the recently approved Make It Kitchener 2.0, our new $110 million dollar investment fund), the new active transit infrastructure (the ION LRT, the future Multi-Modal Hub, and upcoming separated bike lane infrastructure), existing and in-development downtown zoning by-laws, and the urban design program (including a new urban design manual and creative placemaking projects).
The session also includes reflections on experiences with various development incentive tools, including a development charge and parkland dedication exemption policy, a post-mortem on the zoning by-law bonusing structure (and what the new zoning strategy will be), the impact of the health innovation partnership with the University of Waterloo and thriving tech start-up scene, how street closures and major new public art initiatives were used to keep the downtown active during the pandemic, and how an evolving approach to development review and approvals has helped centre design and collaboration as key elements leading to higher quality results.
The speaker will introduce and explore concepts such as “Bandwagon Placemaking” and how the right investments “filter” through to create additional value. This will be a highly visual presentation, with many examples — both built and on the boards — and will share as much behind-the-scenes modelling and analysis as possible to give insight into the processes.