It’s about the core: Webinar to discuss downtown Ottawa’s future

Published on:
May 17, 2024
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Photo credit: Capital Current file photo.

City Talk is returning May 23 with a new discussion on what the future looks like for downtown Ottawa.

The webinar More than Monuments: What’s on the Agenda for Capital Downtowns will be held on Zoom at noon eastern and feature a panel of speakers well versed in urban planning.

The event is part of the City Talk program which hosts events worldwide to discuss “innovative solutions” to urban issues.

“Urban cores are facing the ongoing struggles of rising real estate costs, compounded by the effects of the pandemic, which threatens the diversity of businesses and residents that give downtowns their character,” the Canadian Urban Institute wrote in a media release.

An accompanying report Living Capital: a Downtown Ottawa Action Agenda will be released early next week ahead of the webinar.

The report lays out a five year agenda on how to reshape Ottawa’s downtown and follows a prior report written by the Downtown Ottawa Revitalization Task Force.

The group is comprised of “members from the private sector, industry associations, organizations, civil society, and other leaders who live, invest and work downtown,” including Somerset Coun. Ariel Troster and Liberal MP Yasir Naqvi.

The group published the report in January outlining their suggestions on how to make Ottawa’s downtown more sustainable and lively.

The report said there are 30,000 residents and more than 600 businesses in downtown Ottawa and that Somerset, Rideau-Vanier and Kitchissippi wards accounted for 20 per cent of the city’s revenue in 2019.

The report also found Ottawa’s 11 million annual visitors generated $2.2 billion in revenue, with the downtown core being their “front door” to Ottawa.

The report recommended the following be adapted or improved: services and assets for people, cultural assets and activities, street life, economic growth, symbiosis of residents and workers, green spaces and assets, office conversions, climate change adaptations, connectivity and transportation and transformational projects.

The upcoming webinar will feature speakers from Ottawa and abroad to give participants an overview of how downtowns worldwide are tackling similar problems to Ottawa.

“Downtowns have the opportunity to emerge as vibrant hubs of culture, innovations and economic activity, reclaiming their position as the beating hearts of cities in the 21st century,” wrote the Canadian Urban Institute.


Source: Capital Current

Author: Alex Dines