I just attended the EEDC Business Mixer Luncheon where presentations were made by Jim Taylor from the Downtown Business Association and Walter Trocenko from the City of Edmonton who provided new information on current projects, and details on upcoming developments. The proposed development sounds absolutely lovely but I found it hugely missing the mark on the importance of utilizing clean technology.
I asked Walter the question if there were considerations to utilize some of the technology advances coming out of the UofA, NINT, etc and I firstly got a reply that sounded as if they were planning on being LEED compliant but when I approached Walter after the luncheon and got a bit more specific, he said it is likely too expensive to utilize advanced technologies.
YIKES. Could this be yet another example of one hand not knowing what the other is doing? The City not knowing what UofA, NINT, various Edmonton-based advanced technology institutions, industries, businesses are creating. We are already on the world stage for our technology and need to use these advances in our community and not ship them off to Abu Dhabi, China and other countries that see the value of clean tech.
We have a huge commercialization gap in getting our locally created advanced and sustainable technology to market. We have tremendous government support to create the technology but we need to create market demand too.
To ensure the future prospects of our City enable us to be considered a leader in community development on the world-stage we need to demand that all future development takes into consideration clean and sustainable technology and those involved in the development (all three orders of government, industry, businesses, etc.) work together to ensure industry regulations can be met, costs are effective and there is a market for these advanced and sustainable technologies.
Expense is an automatic perception and as a result of this attitude there are few locations where clean technology can even be demonstrated let alone be demonstrated and market validated in a real community.
That is why the Rampart Avenir Community project is so exciting; it is addressing these issues and encourages both investments and technology adoption by reducing the risk through market and regulator validation assurance. Again because of the Avenir design the investors and the technology experts want to become involved in the project.
It is the first in the world to utilize cutting-edge advanced technologies in a full scale application that demonstrates the use of clean technology in a residential, commercial and retail context and utilizes state-of-the-art community planning and engineering. And it provides a market based approach to demonstrating, investing and evaluating the science of clean technology.