Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tipping Point

Tomorrow's municipal election could be the catalyst or the turning back point for the city of Edmonton. To steal the title from Malcolm Gladwell's great book, a "Tipping Point" of sorts.

As a born and raised Edmontonian, I sense for the first time in my memory a point whereby Edmonton is ready to grow up. Though born in the 70s, I was too young to remember the drive and passion of a small, maverick city that brought forth an LRT (the first North American city of under one million people to do so), the Edmonton Coliseum and a Commonwealth Games. Unfortunately we have rarely shown that level of chutzpah since - that is until the last 4 or 5 years.

Recent years have demonstrated a desire for balanced and responsible growth. Growth that comes with an eye for design and a desire to bring people together. There has been an increased focus on proper planning, hence the outstanding vision in the downtown plan. There has been a desire to look into the future and dream what we can be rather than get caught up in where we've been or, in some minds, where we should remain.

Visions are hard to clarify or quantify. They're hypothetical, built on dreams and ideals. Regardless, they are important. Dreaming big is crucial and Edmonton is finally heading in that direction. A direction that will encourage young people to remain, and hopefully come, and veteran citizens to engage and be the link to our heritage and the belief that small can still mean influential.

The "Tipping Point" comes tomorrow. This election may well determine where we're heading. Is it on the same path we have tread the last 5 years or on one that puts us more firmly in place as a small outpost, content in the status quo. I guess it's up to us all to decide.