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We aren't in a developing country though. In 5 years we'll be at 2 million people, in 10 we'll be at 2.5 million. In Canada. That means every one of those 2.5 million people have spending power, entitlement to high quality Healthcare and education, the opportunity to start a business in the formal economy, developed world housing requirements, expectations of eating out, traveling, shopping, and make up a large media market.

And? It's not like people don't know cities in developing countries. Phnom Penh has about 2.5 million people today and regardless of how little spending power the average Cambodian has to the average Canadian, it's still a revered and known place. My point is that size isn't everything. Edmonton can potentially be more prominent, at least domestically, though. I'm less sure about internationally, just because of how much Calgary casts a shadow and I don't know if the genie can be put back in the bottle on that one. Keep in mind that other cities are growing too -- Edmonton may reach Austin or Denver's size, but by then they'll likely be Minneapolis and Detroit sized. There was a time when having a million people constituted being a big, bustling metropolis, but the standard continues to march upwards. And then there are places like Cleveland that are relatively stagnant but carry the historical weight that Edmonton will never have.
 
And? It's not like people don't know cities in developing countries. Phnom Penh has about 2.5 million people today and regardless of how little spending power the average Cambodian has to the average Canadian, it's still a revered and known place. My point is that size isn't everything. Edmonton can potentially be more prominent, at least domestically, though. I'm less sure about internationally, just because of how much Calgary casts a shadow and I don't know if the genie can be put back in the bottle on that one. Keep in mind that other cities are growing too -- Edmonton may reach Austin or Denver's size, but by then they'll likely be Minneapolis and Detroit sized. There was a time when having a million people constituted being a big, bustling metropolis, but the standard continues to march upwards. And then there are places like Cleveland that are relatively stagnant but carry the historical weight that Edmonton will never have.
Interesting perspective.

I'm not sure the US cities will keep growing or at least not as rapidly. There's a very different immigration policy in the US.

Canada is the fastest growing G7 country, with Edmonton being the fastest growing major city (or 2nd fastest) in Canada. Point is it will accelerate Edmonton's growth relative to most other places.

Would you say Dallas is always in Houston's shadow, or vice versa? I wouldn't, and to me that's the natural comparison to Edm/Cal
 
Interesting perspective.

I'm not sure the US cities will keep growing or at least not as rapidly. There's a very different immigration policy in the US.

Canada is the fastest growing G7 country, with Edmonton being the fastest growing major city (or 2nd fastest) in Canada. Point is it will accelerate Edmonton's growth relative to most other places.

Would you say Dallas is always in Houston's shadow, or vice versa? I wouldn't, and to me that's the natural comparison to Edm/Cal

Regardless of immigration policy, climate crisis, there's a lot of internal migration within the US to Sun Belt regions. It may not be gangbusters, but I think for the next decade or two, cities like Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, and Phoenix will continue high growth.

Edmonton being the fastest growing major city in Canada isn't guaranteed over the long range, although I do think it'll be in the top 3 for a while.

The difference between Dallas/Houston and Edmonton/Calgary is that Dallas and Houston have always had a decent profile that has grown in lockstep with Texas' growth. In Alberta, it's been one or the other, and generally the other has been Edmonton because the culture of Calgary is one that promotes the city and centres itself around things that give it better prominence (white-collar headquarters, bigger airport, better media coverage, noteworthy events). Edmonton has long been the shabbier, utilitarian place that either doesn't want the spotlight or doesn't know how to use a spotlight. And I don't foresee that changing because it still hasn't despite many other things in the city changing over the past decade.
 
Regardless of immigration policy, climate crisis, there's a lot of internal migration within the US to Sun Belt regions. It may not be gangbusters, but I think for the next decade or two, cities like Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, and Phoenix will continue high growth.

Edmonton being the fastest growing major city in Canada isn't guaranteed over the long range, although I do think it'll be in the top 3 for a while.

The difference between Dallas/Houston and Edmonton/Calgary is that Dallas and Houston have always had a decent profile that has grown in lockstep with Texas' growth. In Alberta, it's been one or the other, and generally the other has been Edmonton because the culture of Calgary is one that promotes the city and centres itself around things that give it better prominence (white-collar headquarters, bigger airport, better media coverage, noteworthy events). Edmonton has long been the shabbier, utilitarian place that either doesn't want the spotlight or doesn't know how to use a spotlight. And I don't foresee that changing because it still hasn't despite many other things in the city changing over the past decade.
Unnecessarily negative/sour on Edmonton I think. And Edmonton and Calgary have grown pretty much exactly in lockstep with Alberta for the last 20+ yrs so not sure what you're saying there.

There's LOTS happening and being promoted in Edmonton with respect to economic development. plus new very nice LRT, new dt arena, streetscaping, numerous park developments, very nice post secondary campus expansion. Lately lots of new flights from the airport too.

Also, events- you do realize that Edmonton has more big name events than Calgary right?

I remember talking to someone from Saskatchewan who said they always loved coming to Edmonton in the summer because it was so beautiful. It's really all in the perspective.

Not to mention how many rankings where Edmonton is moving up pretty notably in 2023.

It's already happening. It's easy to not see the changes when you live somewhere, but Edmonton is definitely growing up and starting to act like a big city.
 
Unnecessarily negative/sour on Edmonton I think. And Edmonton and Calgary have grown pretty much exactly in lockstep with Alberta for the last 20+ yrs so not sure what you're saying there.

How am I being negative? All I am saying is that Edmonton doesn't have a large profile, even viz Calgary, despite the good things happening here. And I'm simply stating that having a bunch of people living here isn't a magic bullet. It's not like Metro Edmonton is going to cross the 2 million one day and everybody is going to feel totally different as a result.

There's LOTS happening and being promoted in Edmonton with respect to economic development. plus new very nice LRT, new dt arena, streetscaping, numerous park developments, very nice post secondary campus expansion. Lately lots of new flights from the airport too.

Edmonton is doing a lot of great things but who knows about it? Especially outside of Canada? Edmonton is known within Canada but it may as well be Harare to the average American or European. Leave Canada and it's very likely people know of Calgary but Edmonton elicits confusion. The UofA is already a prestigious institution but it doesn't have the name recognition of McGill. The LRT may be dandy and all but again... who outside of Canada knows about it (or, for the most part, in Canada, outside of urbanist circles)? It's not iconic like the Skytrain or Montreal Metro, despite being a trailblazer.

Also, events- you do realize that Edmonton has more big name events than Calgary right?

None of Edmonton's events have the iconography and name recognition of the Calgary Stampede. That's just facts. We can wax on about being the "Festival City" and having a better version or have something that Calgary doesn't have but unless you're in the scene for a particular kind of event (like Fringe, Street Performers), it's largely unknown outside of Alberta. If you ask the average Haligonian about what Edmonton has, they're going to say the mall, O&G, and the Oilers/Gretzky most likely, maybe the Elks. Not the Fringe or Folk Fest, unless they're tuned into those sorts of festivities. Bring up Calgary and the Stampede is one of its biggest identifiers.

I remember talking to someone from Saskatchewan who said they always loved coming to Edmonton in the summer because it was so beautiful. It's really all in the perspective.

I think you're conflating things. Just because I don't think Edmonton has a large profile doesn't mean it isn't beautiful or that others don't come here and see its beauty.

Not to mention how many rankings where Edmonton is moving up pretty notably in 2023.

Edmonton tends to not even rank in a lot of global city surveys because the city doesn't pay to be included.

It's already happening. It's easy to not see the changes when you live somewhere, but Edmonton is definitely growing up and starting to act like a big city.

That isn't the point. This thread is about Edmonton's prominence and national standing, not its actual size or how big it feels.
 
I've noticed a pretty big uptick in the amount of people from outside of Edmonton noticing the city and talking about it. Only 5-10 years ago you'd scarcely hear anything but that's changed dramatically over the past decade. I think mostly in the Canadian context however. Americans (and foreigners in general) still know relatively little about the city. If they've heard anything about it it's probably either WEM or the Oilers (and that's all they know about) if they know about Edmonton at all. This is also starting to change but at a much slower pace than the Canadian context. Most Canadians know that Edmonton is far bigger and more important than Winnipeg nowadays and most probably put it on par or slightly ahead of Ottawa. Americans (if they even know what Edmonton is) often think that Winnipeg is a bigger and more important city still in my experience. Winnipeg seems to be the joke Canadian city that you see in in American TV shows and other media, Edmonton is hardly ever mentioned in any popular culture.

One thing Edmonton is missing I think is a unique identity, people often group Edmonton together with Calgary but I think leaning into the aspects that make Edmonton unique could help it step out into the spotlight a little bit more. I think Edmonton could successfully market itself like Austin (and I think in some ways it has started to), it's the smaller capital of a province/state with a larger city within it. It's also an island of more progressive thinking and politics in a sea of generally very conservative surroundings. It also has a reputation for having a bit of a quirky, offbeat vibe when compared to say Calgary or Houston.
 
Just my opinion, but honestly I don't believe that, unless something truly extraordinary happens here, Edmonton will move very much at all in its relevance on the international stage... and that's okay.

If anything there may be a slow and gradual growth in importance on the national/North American stage when we start to chance our urban fabric, but other than that every other metro area over 1 million people in this country is growing quite fast along with us, so relatively speaking I don't see much of a change in standing happening. I'm not disappointed by this though, Edmonton doesn't have to strive to be everything all at once and I believe it's carving a good niche for itself, one which might subvert the housing crisis (to some extent at least).
 
I firmly believe that once climate change really starts to bite (it already is), Edmonton will be seen as a relatively safer, stable, affordable and more climate resilient city compared to the rest of the world (even with our fires, smoke and vulnerability to periodic drought). Give it 10-15 years and we'll be seeing a rush of climate refugees here.
 
It's the 5th largest city so its' the 5th most important. Not sure where else to go with this thread.
 
What is the 5th largest city in France? Australia? Mexico? Japan? Italy?
 
I don't expect people in Edmonton, Toronto to or elsewhere in Canada to know the 5th largest city in Mexico or Italy, but it is more reasonable to expect Canadians know a bit more about the cities in our own country.
 
I firmly believe that once climate change really starts to bite (it already is), Edmonton will be seen as a relatively safer, stable, affordable and more climate resilient city compared to the rest of the world (even with our fires, smoke and vulnerability to periodic drought). Give it 10-15 years and we'll be seeing a rush of climate refugees here.
Yep. People already complain about summers in central Canada being unbearable because of the combination of heat and humidity. It isn't going to get better. Likewise with a lot of places in the eastern and southern US.

As for our winters which seem to scare off some, they aren't going to get colder. In fact it will likely go the other way. As someone who has lived here most of my life, I do notice the definite trend is that they continue to become milder and milder.

It really shouldn't require explaining, but with climate change where it is comfortable to live (ie. not too hot or too cold) is going to shift somewhat.
 
'One thing Edmonton is missing I think is a unique identity'

This. However given Edmonton's intent to remove all celebratory parades, themed events and historical celebrations, I am not sure where and how to start with this.
In keeping with the recent trend of getting rid of most of the parades, I wryly think our identity could become the city that fun forgot, whether we want it or not.

I believe someone once stuck that label on Ottawa (and no it wasn't Mordecai Richler) . I suspect they would be very glad if some other place would take it off their hands.
 
There is an ideal average temperature/climate for human civilization to flourish. Currently that niche is quite far south of us, however, it is expected that in the not too distant future, Toronto and southern Ontario will fall directly in that niche. Edmonton will be just slightly colder than ideal rather than far too cold. Keep in mind global climate is a multifaceted system that is very difficult to predict with exact certainty (not that we don't know that earth is warming deniers, but that we don't know by how much). This is map I could find that illustrates the poleward migration of the human niche from now to 2070, and a map showing the change in suitability as well.
pnas.1910114117fig04.jpeg

Safe to say Canada in general and Alberta in particular is one of the biggest winners along with Russia and Eastern Europe in general. Expect to see climate refugees coming not only from places like Africa and Latin America but also the south and southwestern USA. It's frankly absurd to me that so many people are moving to the sunbelt considering how badly it is expected to be effected by climate change, very short sighted decision making to move to Phoenix or Houston which are expected to become death zones of oppressive heat (and in many ways already are).

Expect to see Canada become far more populated in the coming decades, the territories could see a population explosion in not too long as the climate becomes less frigid and more and more suitable for agriculture and other human activities. The Sun Belt will have millions of climate refugees who will move either to the Midwest or Canada to escape rising temperatures.
 

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