Award-winning design firm has more city-shaping work ahead

Will Pacholyk, a colleague of Pfeifer’s at EDA, said converting unlicensed surface lots into active spaces could help improve vibrancy downtown, but there’s a balance to walk.

“We need to provide utility for transportation,” Pacholyk said. “But if you’re going to keep a safe, activated, vibrant city, you can’t have missing teeth in the core. You can’t have an alley that isn’t activated. There’s no reason to go there. There’s no reason to be watching that space. To have safe spaces, you need to have that proper activation.”

EDA’s backstreets work was recognized in the sustainable urbanism category (and received the aforementioned grant) in part because of the way partners handled drainage issues. With EPCOR’s support and a consultant supplied by the city, the team installed soil cells that mitigate flooding while also pre-treating the water.

“There’s those climate-resilience impacts that the project has, and economic impacts that could impact some of the businesses around there if the sites were to flood,” Pfeifer said.

EDA’s Jasper Avenue New Vision project, completed in 2022, aimed to stimulate commercial development by revitalizing one of Edmonton’s central boulevards and making it more friendly to pedestrians.

“It’s about creating a higher standard of public infrastructure … If you have high public infrastructure, you start creating a destination,” Pacholyk said. “You want to have something that people in Edmonton can be proud of, and is responsive to all sorts of different activation and programming, whether that’s the parades we see in the summertime, or when we close the street and people can walk to festivals.”

EDA supervised detailed construction design on segments along Jasper Avenue, from 100 Street NW to 97 Street NW, and on 97 Street NW from Jasper to 102 Avenue NW. A key goal was to ensure the area is maintainable. EDA accomplished this by using local manufacturers, including for paving stones.

“We wanted to be able to have things that are readily and easily replaced,” Pacholyk said. “You can have the highest-end material at the time of install, but if it’s not maintainable, not repairable, then you’re going to have something that’s going to lose its value fairly quickly. I think that was one of the more successful outcomes on Jasper Avenue.”

The final EDA project recognized is in Boyle Street and McCauley. Pfeifer said that preliminary design starts with understanding a community.

“Boyle Street and McCauley, as the oldest part of urban settlements in Edmonton, has a lot of different culturally unique areas,” Pfeifer said. “Part of the original design analysis picked up that we have Little Italy, we have Chinatown, we have also now have Okisikow Way.”

The Boyle Street and McCauley project has moved into construction, with work in Boyle Street ongoing and slated for McCauley next year.

Originally Appeared Here

You May Also Like