The City of Kingston is committed to applying the following guiding principles to shape decision making, policy development and resource allocation:
Given the economic, social and environmental threats of greenhouse gas emissions and Kingston's 2019 declaration of a climate emergency, the City is committed to stewarding the environment for future generations. As an internationally connected city, Kingston will address this global issue as a local climate action leader and inspire Kingston residents to become part of the solution.
The City will lead by example with measurable, effective emission reductions, building retrofits and other energy efficiencies, to become carbon neutral as soon as possible and no later than 2040. This will result in a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the City's operations by 2022.
The City will electrify its vehicle fleet, promote green development/energy and active transportation, create well-maintained litter free roads, expand green spaces, protect wetlands, and promote more recycling and reduction: acting on climate change, protecting the environment and the most vulnerable, and lessening costs of waste, today and in the long term.
In response to the low vacancy rate, the City of Kingston will aim to increase the rate to 3% by 2022. Council will work with local developers, not-for-profit housing organizations, tenants, homeowners, and post-secondary education institutions to encourage more residential development and affordable housing across the city.
The City of Kingston will accelerate the process between planning approvals and construction, promote secondary suites and tiny homes, and implement the recommendations of the Mayor's Task Force on Housing: making affordable housing a priority, getting shovels in the ground, and intensifying the city within the urban growth boundary. The City will create incentives and tools to facilitate smart, new housing growth. It will also advocate for funding and increased investments in housing development.
Kingston prioritizes active transportation and public transit. The City will build on global best practices and engage citizens in modal transformation and invest in infrastructure maintenance to enable transit ridership growth, promote pedestrian safety and repair roads.
In both the urban and rural areas, the City will explore specific north/south and east/west corridors for buses and bikes, install crosswalks around schools, decrease traffic speed, increase enforcement and fill potholes: advancing active transportation and making safe, quality streets, for years to come. This also includes exploring the possibility of providing some form of public transportation connection in Kingston's rural areas.
The City is committed to creating a high quality of life for residents by fostering opportunities that support social development, create jobs and build prosperity. With a focus on innovation, Kingston will engage young people, entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and creative citizens in facilitating economic growth.
The City will attract companies and private sector development in and from emerging markets and growing economies, to build on our assets and strengths, capitalize on talent and seize global opportunities. In partnership with others, innovation hubs in healthcare, bio technology, clean technology, education and the arts will be created while supporting tourism, arts and culture and rural economic development: accelerating the economy, growing our tax base and employing Kingstonians, now and in the future.
Kingston views all long-term residents and newcomers as citizens of the city, and is committed to inclusively engaging them in local solutions that enhance health, wellbeing and experience of the city. Local groups, Indigenous communities, and representatives from the public, private and non-profit sectors will be invited to develop strategies to promote health and wellness and to provide beautiful and engaging spaces for citizens and visitors.
The City will seek reconciliation with Indigenous communities, help revitalize contaminated land, increase waterfront access and public space, focus on food security and examine fluoridation of the city's drinking water: improving Kingstonians' health, wellbeing and interconnectedness.