Calgarians have spoken in advance of heading to their voting stations

Calgarians want their provincial candidates to focus on helping to provide more affordable homes, making safety a top priority, ensuring safe and dependable public transit, and keeping the downtown vibrant, according to feedback collected by The City of Calgary. 

Prior to the provincial election being called and closing May 7, The City of Calgary’s opened a Community Voices portal for Calgarians to express their main election priorities in the May 29th election. Through their responses, the people of Calgary are encouraging us to continue to make sure their voices are heard and reflected in the campaign. 

Through the Community Voices tool, 564 participants from Calgary shared 142 different ideas about what was important to them during this election period. These priorities included themes such as affordable housing, public safety, and public transit. A full review of all of the ideas heard from participants can be found in the What We Heard report published on the Community Voices portal page. 

“It is important for us to keep listening to the people of Calgary whom we serve,” says Chris Arthurs, General Manager, People, Innovation & Collaboration Services. “The Community Voices tool has provided a method for the people of our city to tell us, in real time and in their own words, what matters to them.  It helps us understand their interests and helps us propel their voices.” 

Along with the recent Community Voices feedback, we have also conducted an extensive research review over the past year of the three priority areas The City and Council identified as three key areas of concern after hearing from Calgarians: transit, downtown, and affordable housing. 

The most recent 2022 Transit tracking research found Calgarians recognize the need for public transit and generally experience ease in use of our transit network. At the same time, they are increasingly concerned about safety, especially at night, and want a stronger focus on safety measures. Seventy-six per cent of Calgarians agree concern for their personal safety is or would be a consideration when deciding whether or not to take public transit. 

Overall, 2022 Calgary Transit Usage and Attitudes Survey Report determined 79 per cent of Calgary riders are satisfied with their overall transit experience and 89 per cent are satisfied with the ease of using Transit. 

Downtown safety and continued vibrancy was also tracked in an extensive research audit. In The City’s most recent 2022 Citizen Perspectives Council Focus Areas survey on the topic of safety, more than 83 per cent of Calgarians who live outside of downtown feel or would feel safe walking alone downtown during the day, while 35 per cent of Calgarians who live outside of downtown say they do or would feel safe walking alone downtown after dark, with only nine per cent saying they do or would feel ‘very’ safe. 

In the survey, findings highlight most Calgarians (92 per cent) agree having a vibrant downtown is important to attracting new investment to Calgary, although fewer (80 per cent) agree revitalizing Calgary’s downtown should be a focus of The City over the next five years. Further, 70 per cent agree with the statement ‘Downtown is the heart of Calgary’ and 51 per cent agree downtown is a convenient meeting place for Calgarians. Eighty per cent see downtown revitalization as an important service overall. 

The Perspectives Survey also showed the majority (88 per cent) of Calgarians agree The City should explore ways to make home ownership more achievable for all Calgarians, with 62 per cent ‘strongly’ agreeing. Eighty-two per cent agree the price of housing in Calgary is too expensive for the average Calgarian. Forty per cent agree Calgary is a city in which all Calgarians have access to adequate housing that meets their needs. 

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