Alberta Politics

city centre airport redevelopment concepts.

With all the turmoil and turnover in provincial politics in the past month, I have neglected to write about some important issues closer to home. Last week, five concepts for redeveloping of the Edmonton City Centre Airport lands were released. As readers of this blog will know, I have been a strong supporter of redeveloping these lands and am excited about the opportunities that it presents for the future of Edmonton. Take a look at the concepts for yourself:

BNMI: Boards & Images, Video

Foster & Partners: Boards & Images, Video

KCAP Architects & Planners: Boards & Images, Video

Perkins + Will: Boards & Images, Video

Sweco International AB: Boards & Images, Video

5 replies on “city centre airport redevelopment concepts.”

Cynic. 😉

I can’t say I have an individual favourite of the concepts, but I do like different aspects of each. Hopefully we can incorporate the best part of the five with other ideas on how to effectively redevelop the airport lands. I think I’ll write about this soon.

I’ve watched all the videos, and have to say that they seem more political than practical, apparently pandering to various concerns raised by vested interests (i.e., historical preservation, environmental impacts, greenspace).

The “Boards” don’t translate well to a desktop monitor, they’re unreadable unless you zoom to 100%, which leaves you sliding the images around. I’m going to City Hall to see the proposals, and hopefully get hardcopy versions.

The sad reality is that NONE of the best ideas will be fully incorporated, but instead will be watered down…or dismissed…in the name of “fiscal responsibility”. Only massive and expensive roadway interchanges are approved (Henday/23 Ave and Gateway, Henday-west and Highway 16) because apparently the civil engineers have commandeered the transportation department.

I also haven’t seen, in any of the proposals, any kind of accomodation for non-traditional housing. I’m thinking primarily of co-housing, where various amenities like workshops, studios, media and library rooms, even kitchens are shared amongst people who all have seperate living spaces. These build community.

Instead, we are shown single family housing (inefficient) and multi-unit blocks (alienating). I suppose once the city decides on a general concept developers will perhaps consider co-housing models, but I’m not holding my breath.

@Jack: the people of Edmonton have spoken, and the Muni is done like dinner. As a resident of Grande Prairie, and former frequent user of the CCA, I did mourn the decision when first announced; however, the only airline now flying into the Muni from our city is so expensive that I have resigned myself to either using the International, or driving the 5 hours down Hwy 43. I think the same is true of the vast majority of residents of NW Alberta. As for the medevac issue, the only real advantage of the Muni is its proximity to the Royal Alex; for patients going to the University or the Grey Nuns, the bottlenecks involved in getting across the river negate much of the Muni’s proximity, and so the International becomes much less unattractive.

As a former resident of Edmonton, I congratulate city council for having finally made a decision. This is something that has been coming almost since the Nisku airport was built.

However, as a current resident of Calgary, I would suggest that you come and look at two projects in our town to see what can happen, both good and bad. There is a piece of land right across from city hall called the East Village that has been vacant since 1997 because the city hasn’t yet found the right deal to develop it. There have been several, but none have even got past the proposal stage. Several heads have rolled as a result.

Right across the Bow River sits the former General hospital site. This site has seen a fair bit of redevelopment, including some retail and some work/live spaces. However the recession has put a stop to development in the last three years. The big problem here is that the affordable housing that was supposed to be part of this development has disappeared.

This development, while good ideas abound, needs to be carefully monitored.

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