City shares plan for a safer and more equitable Edmonton
City Administration is proposing a comprehensive strategy to advance community safety and well-being in Edmonton.
“Edmonton will become one of the first Canadian cities to take this kind of system-wide approach to community safety and well-being,” said City Manager Andre Corbould. “The Community Safety and Well-being Strategy was developed and led by the City, but it is truly driven by the community. We must remain aligned on this work to make Edmonton a healthy city, a neighbourly city, and one that embodies and promotes equity for everyone who calls it home.”
The Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) Strategy, a comprehensive plan for building a safe and inclusive city, is guided by ConnectEdmonton and The City Plan. The City recognizes it must continue working in collaboration with partners in the community to eliminate racism, make clear progress towards Truth and Reconciliation, improve equity, and end poverty. When more people feel safe, empowered and supported as individuals, everyone in the city benefits.
The CSWB Strategy provides the City with a working roadmap to be inclusive, connected and more coordinated, and is comprised of two main elements:
A proposed Framework containing seven pillars that sets the focus of measurable actions, investments and partnerships to achieve the City’s short, medium and long-term outcomes.
Anti-racism: The active, ongoing strategy and process that seeks to identify and eliminate racism by changing systems, institutions, policies and attitudes that perpetuate racism.
Reconciliation: An ongoing journey and commitment to establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. This includes awareness of the past, acknowledgment of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behaviour.
Safe and Inclusive Spaces: City programs, services and planning contribute to the creation of safe spaces and social trust. This can include responses such as creating, reviewing, amending and repealing bylaws and policies, investing in safety of infrastructure, changing social norms, and ensuring evidence-based models are used to provide appropriate support.
Equitable Policies, Procedures, Standards and Guidelines: The design and delivery of fair and equitable policies, programs and services that facilitate the full participation of all people.
Pathways In and Out of Poverty: Using levers of advocacy, policy, funding and community-driven interventions to change the conditions that contribute to and perpetuate poverty in our city.
Crime Prevention and Crime Intervention: Appropriate and balanced responses to community needs in the enforcement and crisis diversion ecosystem.
Well-being: A complex mix of variables and factors that contribute to pimâtisiwin—’a good life’, and a sense of balance and connection to self, body, land, culture, community, human development and spirit.
A community conversations approach for working with members of the Edmonton community to identify priorities, potential actions or investment opportunities.
More than 80 individuals across various organizations were consulted during the development of the Community Safety and Well-Being Framework.
Conversations with the community will continue to inform the Framework, and insights gathered will be included in a repository of CSWB research and engagement data that will support the City in taking evidence-based and informed action.
Through this framework, the City and partners hope to build a greater sense of community safety and well-being in Edmonton, defined as: “Each person making Edmonton home feels a sense of purpose, safety, and stability, attained through connectedness to self, land, culture and each other, and rooted in reconciliation, anti-racism, removal of systemic barriers, evolving perspectives, and empathy to others.”
Though many components of the plan are already underway, 10 new business cases are included as options for Council to consider in accelerating actions on key issues.
City Administration is presenting the strategy for first consideration and discussion at the Community and Public Services Committee on May 16, followed by the City Council meeting on May 24. Council’s direction is required on the strategy to guide and advance this important work.