Have your say in enriching the Downtown experience
Rogers Place has been open for a year. The new Royal Alberta Museum is complete and ready to open in 2018. Stantec Tower climbs higher each day; Edmonton Tower is already built. With most major projects well underway or already done, the much-hyped transformation of downtown is now cast in stone. Right?
The Downtown Business Association is running an online survey right now that gives every Edmontonian the chance to help shape the future of the Downtown.
“The Downtown area has grown by a few thousand people over the past few years,” says Ian O’Donnell, executive director of the Downtown Business Association of Edmonton, which is commissioning the survey to get a sense of the Downtown landscape. “We want to find out more about who’s working and living downtown so that local businesses can updated their offerings to better serve Edmontonians.”
The survey will collect feedback from local residents and businesses to find out more about how the Downtown area is growing. “We want to get a sense of the development and investment,” says O’Donnell. “There is over $5 billion of completed or proposed development on the horizon. We want to know who has completed their project and who is moving forward on their proposals.”
O’Donnell and the DBA intend to use this data to help attract new investment. “Businesses are always coming to us and asking ‘who’s in the market? What’s already been proposed?’ This survey gives us a better understanding of that and helps bring strategic investment.”
As well as businesses, O’Donnell is looking for feedback from all Edmontonians: those who get a lot of use out of the Downtown area, but also people who currently choose to stay away. “We want a broad perspective. We want to know what people who don’t live or work downtown think. What are their perceptions, needs and challenges?”
The survey is an exercise in policy, not propaganda. O’Donnell is seeking feedback on a wide range of issues affecting the Downtown: good and bad. “We want to make sure we get honest feedback and work to address it,” he says. “If there’s a problem we will figure out who we need to get in the room to correct it. That’s something we do every day.”
To get the data, the DBA has brought on Nupur Thakor, an MBA student with the University of Alberta. Her main project is the design, distribution, and analysis of this survey. She’s been consulting with restaurant owners, real estate agents, police, and everyday Edmontonians about what should go in the survey, which takes about 10 minutes to complete.
All the businesses in the Downtown will be closely watching the report, which will be publicly available in the early fall.