Redevelopment of airport lands creates a new sustainable community
Completed in 2010 and the winner in an international design competition, Perkins+Will’s master plan for the redevelopment of Edmonton’s airport lands repairs a 215-hectare rift in the city’s urban fabric and creates a truly memorable place for Edmontonians. To achieve this, the plan – called ‘Connecticity’ – fulfills the city’s goal of creating a world-class sustainable community for 30,000 residents and pursues four strands of connectedness, each embodying key sustainability principles.
Embedding the site’s past in its future, the plan repurposes historical airport features as new community amenities and reuses runways as key streets and organising elements. Preserving more than half the land as green space, the plan includes a destination park that acts as a regional draw; neighbourhood-scaled open spaces at the park perimeter extend into the city to knit together now-disparate communities.
The plan extends the surrounding pattern of streets and pathways through new neighbourhoods to connect future and current residents. A new LRT line will connect the site to more distant neighbourhoods and provide easy access to downtown.
The proposal fosters economic vitality, not only by creating a deeply mixed-use community, but by connecting to the growth potential of four major existing catalysts: a planned LRT line; the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology; a new rehabilitation hospital; and Kingsway Gardens Mall, a vibrant retail area that will extend into the site’s new Town Centre.
Finally, an innovative energy strategy reduces carbon emissions from the community by 3.2 million tonnes over 20 years. Energy produced through biomass and deep geothermal sources will create enough electricity to fully meet the development’s needs. Surplus energy will be sold to public buildings within the greater area, resulting in a ‘beyond carbon neutral’ community.