Carra: My goal is to build a city that:
- Grows up vibrantly as it shifts away from sprawling (unsustainably) outwards.
- Has complete communities, for people of all ages, wages and stages. with diverse housing and employment options and thriving community spaces.
- Contains vibrant neighbourhoods sitting along transit corridors interspersed amongst Calgary’s working and natural landscapes.
- Supports driving as an option, but not the only option, and not even the preferred option.
- Ensures the physical habitat of our neighbourhoods nurtures the dense networks of connections that look after our most vulnerable neighbours and drive opportunity and innovation in arts, culture and business.
CREB®Now: What is your opinion on a potential land transfer tax for Calgary and/or all of Alberta?
Carra: I believe it was necessary to explore the land transfer tax as part of our charter discussions with the province, and I’m supportive of the finding that it is not a revenue mechanism that we should explore any further.
CREB®Now: What are your thoughts on the future of energy-efficient homes and how they could potentially be classified?
Carra: I’m generally comfortable with any reputable, third-party rating system. I support the move towards higher rankings for locational criteria, as true energy efficiency has at least as much to do with great neighbourhoods as it does with building science.
CREB®Now: How would you approach the issue of affordable housing in Calgary?
Carra: I’m pleased with where we’re getting to with affordable housing. We’ve now got provincial and federal partners who are recognizing their responsibilities and are beginning to significantly re-invest. We’re also approaching affordable housing in the context of great neighbourhoods – that is to say, affordable living, as opposed to just stand-alone housing. We’re understanding that affordable housing projects need to be as mixed-income and mixed-use as possible, so they act as supportive community hubs and generate enough return that they cover their long-term operating costs. Working with industry and not-for-profit partners, we’ve developed a pipeline for converting appropriately located, city-owned real estate assets into not-for-profit building sites.
CREB®Now: What are some infrastructure projects/improvements you would like to see in the next 25 years?
- Delivery of upstream flood mitigation on the Elbow and development and delivery of upstream flood and drought mitigation on the Bow
- Increased identification and execution of main street streetscape master plans for all neighbourhoods through local area planning exercises
- Associated water, wastewater, and stormwater upgrades
- Associated park upgrades, with increasing attention to urban parks and plazas
- Continued execution of the Green Line and the 17th Avenue SE Transit Way, with linking infrastructure identified and funded
- Continued expansion and linkage of our cyclepath and cycletrack network
- Refurbishment of our Olympic legacy facilities
CREB®Now: What is your position on the current secondary suite approval process?
Carra: I’ve been, and will continue to be, a vocal proponent of broad legalization of secondary suites throughout Calgary. The current process is untenable.
CREB®Now: What is your preferred location for a new Calgary Flames arena and how would you propose the City develop the surrounding area to best meet the needs of Calgarians?
Carra: I am 100-per-cent supportive of council’s vision for a cultural district emerging in Victoria Park, where the Stampede, the East Village and our downtown meet. With the connectivity offered by the Green and Red LRT lines, the river pathway system, and the proximity of the Beltline, Inglewood and Ramsay, a new arena and events centre is a perfect fit. Victoria Park’s future is as a high-density, vibrant, mixed-use neighbourhood along very similar lines to the East Village or the Beltline (it’s important to note that we don’t want Victoria Park to compete with our downtown’s focus on office space, particularly during this period of historic vacancy).