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Imagine Fredericton - in 25 years

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This blog is strictly meant for people in Fredericton. If you aren’t from Fredericton or you don’t live in Fredericton, then just move along – nothing to see here.

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Are they gone yet? Good. Not that they aren’t nice people. Everyone who follows my blog is nice, it goes without saying. But this is about Imagine Fredericton, and as you know we’ve got it pretty good here, and it can be a little embarrassing talking about our future when the discussion always starts with something like – “We’ve got a beautiful city, with a wonderful river, great walking trails, and lots of recreation options and a vibrant arts and culture scene, and and and.” We can be like that obnoxious relative with the perfect kids - a touch nauseating, if you know what I mean.

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OK, enough of that, but here’s what got me going.  Tuesday evening, a lot of people turned out at the Convention Centre for the official launch of Imagine Fredericton.

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Organizers describe it a massive, yearlong conversation about how we would like to see our city develop over the next 25 years. And it covers pretty much everything from what the downtown should evolve into – will there be cars downtown? How much green space? What do we do with the river? (I think we should keep it) And how should the north side develop, and where should new development be concentrated, and what about public transit, and affordable housing, and what should be do to make sure we are ready for the effects of climate change? And recreation, and arts and culture, and of course the economic engines, how should those develop, and where?

And lots more but you get the idea. We’re talking thorough here. A yearlong conversation about how Fredericton should look, feel and function like 25 years from now. This will go on for the next 12 to 18 months. Then, the urban planner hired guns that have been brought in will work with city staff to take everything they heard, mix it in with their collective expertise and mould that into a Growth Strategy and Municipal Plan, a blueprint to get us from here to there.

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That’s where the rubber hits the road, but before then, all residents and businesses owners will be given many opportunities to weigh in. In fact it began last evening with people invited to have their say on video, put stickers on a big map of the city to give an opinion on what areas of the city are great and what areas could use work, or write their thoughts on sticky notes under such headings as “What are your aspirations for Fredericton’s future?”

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No one is going to hold a gun to anyone’s head to participate, but this is a rare opportunity to get involved so the final plan truly will reflect the values and aspirations of the community.  

It really is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take something that’s by all accounts pretty damn good, and be part of making it pretty damn better. Here’s the site for more information.  

The first two photos in this blog are from mynewbrunswick.ca which by the way is a great site for New Brunswick photography. 

Thanks for reading. Please consider sharing with your friends, but not if they aren't from Fredericton because, well, you know. 

 

 

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