City receives 2016 Sustainable Communities Award for Brownfield Redevelopment Program
The City’s plan for redeveloping contaminated fuel sites has been recognized with one of the country’s top honours for local environmental practices.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) awarded the Brownfield Redevelopment Grant Program an FCM Sustainable Communities Award in the Brownfields (Plan) category. These awards recognize municipalities that demonstrate leadership in environmental protection and deliver innovative solutions that contribute to making Canada more sustainable.
Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized land where past activities may have caused environmental contamination. Recognizing the potential of these sites, the Brownfield Redevelopment Grant Program promotes revitalizing qualified brownfield properties by helping cover some of the testing and remediation costs.
“I am proud of the interest generated and the recognition that the program has received,” says Gary Klassen, General Manager of the City’s Sustainable Development branch. “But more importantly, it’s exciting to see the transformation of sites that have been vacant or underutilized for many years, sometimes even decades.”
Since its launch in March 2011, the City has awarded/committed more than $5,000,000 in grants to sustainably reuse brownfield sites. Most of these funds come from the municipal tax uplift generated directly as a result of the redevelopment of the site. One recently awarded grant will be used to provisionally develop the site of an old gas station in the McCauley neighbourhood into a vibrant green space. The work will commence this spring, transforming the area into a community park, reflecting the rich indigenous heritage of this traditional Treaty No. 6 land.
“The Brownfields Grant Program is a perfect example of how Edmonton is starting to reinvent the way we approach urban planning” says Mayor Don Iveson. “In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, this innovative grant program allows us to reclaim contaminated sites to create vibrant, inclusive and special spaces for communities.”
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