Key insights:

When redevelopment of older Edmonton neighbourhood areas occurred, it was assumed that it would require infrastructure upgrades to meet current standards. However, infrastructure upgrades are costly, and may be a significant barrier to developing infill homes. Furthermore, evidence is proving that density and fire flows are not linearly correlated.

As this Case Study outlines, Edmonton has developed a mechanism to assess the existing fire flows on a site by site basis to determine if additional fire flow infrastructure is actually needed for an infill development. This site by site assessment has proven to be effective in understanding that there is not a requirement for additional, costly infrastructure in many cases, thereby resulting in significant avoided costs.

Logo for the City of Edmonton - Blue background with white font overlaid

The City of Edmonton is working to enable residential infill development to meet the increased housing needs of a growing population.

Key insights:

  • This dedicated web page features an Infill Data Explorer tool to learn more about community trends in development and find potential sites for construction, and a Compliance Dashboard displaying current inspection and enforcement information.
  • In addition, two Infill Roadmaps have been released – the first in 2014 works to establish community support and familiarity with infill development, with actions including:
    • Creating a public-facing information hub
    • Creating a robust communications strategy (including community programming and events), providing resources for residents to engage with infill conversations
    • Launching demonstrative pilot projects.
    • Preparing to increase infrastructure capacity (such as drainage) and creating a supportive regulatory environment (including allowing garden suites) are also explored.
  • The second Infill Roadmap (released in 2018) builds off the previous roadmap to provide later-stage actions, including a fulsome review of infrastructure capacity, developing tools to improve housing affordability, and reducing barriers to missing middle and where appropriate medium-scale development.

Infill Development in Edmonton: Strategies for Success brings leaders to better understand how public support is garnered for infill development in residential neighbourhoods and explore strategies that can be transferred to BC communities (including municipal policies and processes, partnerships, resources and engagement tactics/messages).

In this Gentle Density Network webinar from February 2023, learn how the City of Edmonton garnered public support for infill development in residential neighbourhoods, with insights from Nicholas Rheubottom, Executive Director at Infill Development Edmonton Association (IDEA), and Travis Fong, Co-Founder and President of YEGarden Suites.

Key insights:

There are many benefits to infill development:

More diverse housing stock: Infill helps to create diverse and vibrant neighbourhoods by providing options to meet everyone’s needs, whether it be new families, seniors, students, front-line workers, or more!

Financial Sustainability: Similar to above, by creating more diverse housing options, we can also cater for a greater diversity of financial needs and incomes.

Multigenerational Living: Enabling a variety of housing options in a neighborhood provides families with the choice to age in place, allows young individuals to reside nearer to the city center

Amongst the key barriers to infill include:

Infrastructure: At project inception, infrastructure upgrade costs are unknown and unpredictable.

Financial Feasibility: Medium-scale development from 4 units to 8 stories can be difficult to finance and has high risk brought on by contradictory planning policy, and uncertainty in approval processes and infrastructure upgrade costs