Mark Bence/For Metro Edmonton


Mary Ann McConnell-Boehm, with the city’s planning and development branch, attends a Focus Edmonton workshop yesterday at the Lister Hall Conference Centre.

City planners expect Edmonton will have grown by 400,000 people by 2040 — a population explosion equivalent in size to Regina and Saskatoon combined.

One in five Edmontonians will also be over 65 in 2040, and suburban development will continue at the same rate as what is seen now, say planners.

Growth pressures will also affect the city’s air quality and create a bigger demand on water resources, say planners.

"Our water, our air and even our trees and natural areas all have to be accounted and to think about when we plan for our future," said Mary Ann McConnell-Boehm, a project manager with the city’s planning and development department.

In order to plan for the future, the city held two workshops — with another planned for tomorrow — to get the public’s input on three scenarios aimed at helping planners design the city in the next 30 years.

McConnell-Boehm says the scenarios will offer ideas to Edmontonians about the way the city should be growing, which could include redeveloping the inner city, an area that has seen population declines.

"This is a time of unprecedented growth, and we need wise, strategic planning, effective public involvement and smart infrastructure investment, based on citizen priorities," said Coun. Karen Leibovici in a release.

Two workshops will be held tomorrow at the University of Alberta’s Lister Hall Conference Centre at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.