“Touching the water” in Edmonton

Edmonton’s West Rossdale Urban Design Plan and The North Bank (Edmonton Legacy) have been recognized by the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) with a National Honour Award in the Planning & Analysis category. Carlyle + Associates, prime consultant for the project, shares The North Bank (Edmonton Legacy) honour with Cohos Evamy integratedesign, the architectural design team behind the Legacy project.

Each year, the CSLA recognizes excellence through its honours and awards programs, which also promote awareness of landscape architecture. The awards honour distinctive design, ground-breaking research, sustainable landscape management, innovation, exemplary leadership, and demonstration of exemplary environmental and/or social awareness. The national awards will be presented at the CSLA Congress in Edmonton this August.

When asked about the significance of the Legacy project, Doug Carlyle, landscape architect and project lead, said that “The North Bank: Edmonton Legacy is where we ‘touch the water.’ It is our opportunity to imagine a place in our city for creativity, recreation, celebration and day-to-day sustainable urban vitality. The North Bank dares us to transform the city and river to be one together at a site that carries the essence of who we are and can be. Its urgency lies not in arbitrary deadlines, but in its obvious potency.”

The North Bank is Edmonton’s most vibrant and exciting future destination. The name – The North Bank – is a banner for a series of synchronized initiatives that include the West Rossdale Urban Design Plan, the Alberta Legislature Centre Redevelopment, the replacement of the Walterdale Bridge, and the decommissioning of the Rossdale Generating Station.

“The North Bank has the potential to touch every Edmontonian,” says Donna Clare, design architect and principal with Cohos Evamy. “To borrow from Daniel Burnham, it is our opportunity to create a magical place, to make a big plan that has the power to ‘stir one’s blood.'”

The initial West Rossdale Urban Design plan mandate was limited to the West Rossdale limits, and focused on a vision for a diverse and integrated neighbourhood with significant symbols, the river and amenities. The plan grew to address the potential for a new signature bridge and the adaptive reused of the Rossdale Generating Station. The signature bridge, envisioned to replace the aging Walterdale Bridge, will encompass roadway, pedestrian promenade, cycling and a possible street oriented LRT. The Rossdale Generating Station proposal is to develop a unique vibrant community space that brings together history, architecture and art.

“This whole integrated initiative is part of Edmonton’s bid for World Expo 2017,” explains Doug Carlyle. “The comprehensive plan will be known as The North Bank, and will proceed regardless of Edmonton’s success with its Expo bid.”