As Brampton moves forward and ‘disrupts the status quo’ there are a few areas of focus — outlined in the city’s Strategic Plan — that will play a huge role in moving the city forward.
The 2016-2018 approved Strategic Plan lists several areas of focus going forward. It does this in the hopes of augmenting Brampton’s presence both nationally and globally, and creating a stronger workforce and space for progress.
Funding at the federal and provincial levels has been pushed forward to quicken the pace of certain key projects, and many new installments have already happened. Notably, the announcement of a university for Brampton and the opening of Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health.
So what’s next? Here are the six things the Strategic Plan outlines that will be game-changers for Brampton.
1. Regional transit connections
The city will ensure that local and regional transit are synergized. Four mobility hub studies are underway, and these hubs will facilitate a connection between various modes of transportation, including biking, walking, and vehicle transportation.
Furthermore, the upcoming Hurontario LRT will play a huge role in connecting Mississauga and Brampton. The project will include revamps from Port Credit GO station to the Brampton GO station. It is meant to provide progress in economic and residential development and ease transportation access in both cities.
The implementation of two-way all day GO service into Union Station is also a key piece of Brampton’s regional connectivity. It would better link Brampton to Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto, two primary tech centres, and broaden the talent pool. This will continue to be an ongoing priority for the city.
2. A university
The announcement of the intended university drew much media attention. The city plans to make the creation of the university a priority, as it will allow for new, educated, and experienced individuals to join the workforce. The idea is to make the university a place of innovation and collaboration, and it will offer prime community and business opportunities, as well as well-regarded educational programs and plans. The school will expand city culture, augment the city’s potential, and allow to Brampton to flourish.
Downtown Brampton is a valued part of the city’s culture. However, due to its location within the floodplain of the Etobicoke Creek, it is also at risk of flooding. Ontario has designated the downtown parcels as a Special Policy Area, a designation which limits potential development.
Starting at Church Street and running 600 meters south, Etobicoke Creek runs through a concrete-lined channel. This channel will be reconfigured using a solution still under development by the city, to mitigate flood risk. If successful, this project would ensure the redevelopment of the downtown core, and allow for an expansion of green infrastructure, as well as create new public spaces. It would be conducive to urban growth, economic growth, and transit improvements. The project has been dubbed “Riverwalk”.
4. A planning vision
This term refers to the city’s intention to look at Brampton as a whole, and thereby pinpoint what needs improvement. Rather than looking at individual aspects of the city, the primary method of city planning will be to tackle city overarching improvements that extend their reach in many different areas of development. The goal is to figure out in what ways people in Brampton hope to see the city flourish within the next 25+ years, and then figuring out how to get there. This step prioritizes the notion of always looking forward, and will hopefully ensure that the city will build up instead of out.
5. Growing Health partnerships
There are currently upwards of 250 life sciences companies in Brampton. What’s more, there has been a growth of more than 50% in health and life sciences since 2005, and employment in health includes over 11,700 workers, either directly or indirectly.
The current foundation of health in Brampton, plus the opening of the Peel Memorial Centre, and the announcement of the university – which is intended to maintain a STEAM-focus – are both seen as opportunities for growth in the city’s health industry.
6. Developing Urban Centre
The creation of urban centres would provide safe spaces, encourage civic pride and belonging, and would promote creativity and productivity. Local businesses have vocalized their support of such centres being introduced in order to attract strong talent, and maintain a competent workforce in the city. These urban centres will be augmented by streetscaping, improvements in urban design, and the inclusion of more festivals and events.
A city spokesperson told Bramptonist that, “The six areas of focus demonstrate how the City of Brampton is thinking bigger. We want to be future ready – and to do that, it means thinking bigger about what our community will look like in 5, 10 and 25 years, and beyond.”