One of the items I campaigned on in the 2017 election was to look closely at the way in which the City of Edmonton incorporates principles of urban design into the projects that we build. Edmonton is rapidly maturing into an internationally competitive city and I feel strongly that we need to think beyond function.
The City has already been successful in incorporating good design into architecture projects in a meaningful way. Last year, Edmonton won a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture for the Borden Park Pavillion, our first in over 25 years. The City is being recognized for good design in places as disparate as utility houses, eco-stations, fire halls and yes, libraries. And the story of how we got there is not a matter for good choices but of procurement (but that will have to be a story for another day).
So when I brought forward the Design Initiative with Councillor McKeen, it was under the premise that design needs to be a formative element of every project we consider because we have an opportunity to chart a better course by developing streets, plazas, boulevards and parks that are not only functional, but are also places where people want to spend time. Our infrastructure projects should reflect our greatest assets and enhance the natural beauty of this city.