The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) held its 20th annual Business Outlook Conference on November 3-7 in Halifax, St. John’s, Saint John and Charlottetown. APEC just released the Conference Report “A Look Ahead at the Region’s Economy in 2020”. This report summarizes the key messages from APEC staff and industry panelists, who discussed what businesses can do to prepare for 2020. Two panelists spoke to the issue of urban development:
Andy Fillmore, Vice-President of Planning and Development at Waterfront Development, discussed the need for sustainable, attractive urban development to entice young workers to live in the region. He explained how decades of suburban development in Halifax and underdevelopment in the downtown core has caused a hollowing out of the city’s population. He talked about how young professionals are looking for walkable communities and living in apartments and condos as opposed to purchasing single dwelling suburban homes and cars due to financial constraints and the desire to live a healthier lifestyle. Citing his work with the Council for Canadian Urbanism, Fillmore called for more progressive, sustainable urban development to improve economic health and social inclusiveness.
Keith Brideau, Founder of Historica Group of Companies, described new opportunities for growth in the downtown core. Through his experience of living in urban spaces in Toronto, Brideau was inspired to work in urban development. New IT companies with young professionals want to be based in downtown cores to have access to decision makers and because their employees are based in urban areas. Brideau discussed how housing affordability is an issue with more people looking to live in condos and apartments. He also highlighted baby boomers as an emerging market as maintenance costs for single dwelling homes will be undesirable.
Click HERE to view and/or download the entire report.