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Churchill Square improvements

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  • Churchill Square improvements

    Members of Edmonton City Council aren't happy with the lack of activity on Churchill Square.

    They spent Wednesday morning grilling administration over how "dull" things are, and the need to liven things up.

    Other than the six weeks of festival activity, a person can shoot a cannon off, and not hit anything on the square. Councillor Ben Henderson thinks a big part of the problem is the archaic rules put in place. His favorite is a ban on food vendors. He says it works everywhere else.

    "I keep on asking the question, 'what makes your square work?', and the simple is, you have food vendors," said Coun. Henderson. "We're saying no to the one thing that call pull people in during all seasons."
    Here's some ideas I fired off to Coun. Henderson:

    Hi Ben,

    In regard to attracting more people to Churchill Square, allowing food vendors and closing off 102A Ave are great ideas.
    There is more that could be done though.

    1. 102A Ave can be cobblestoned so there's that curbless continuity between City Hall and the square.

    2. How about a large fountain in the middle of the Square? I'm not sure if the technology exists that it can be removed for certain events. Perhaps something embedded inside that can be covered up when needed?

    3. My greatest and most doable idea is to move the statues from Molson Plaza to Churchill Square. Molson Square is unused and the statues are unnoticed as a result. With Molson Square rumoured to be converted into a skate park, I forsee these pieces of art getting damaged. But rather than shunting the statues off to the sides of Churchill Square like the existing statues there, put them within the square itself.

    Please give these ideas some serious consideration for improving Churchill Square.
    What say, people? Let's brainstorm some other ideas on improving Churchill Square in this thread. Send them to your favorite councillor too.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  • #2
    How about put the grass and trees back like it was! All they did was turn it into a large concrete pad.


    • #3
      ^ You mean put the mud back? That's all it will turn into after a short time.

      It's a public square, not a park. Grass belongs in parks.
      Strathcona City Separatist


      • #4
        I have always thought there should have been a fountain in the concrete but it would only really run when it needs to be off for festivals so...

        I think some cool public art that is moveable would be nice. Giant statues or sculpture.

        How about a fire pit (gas) with benches (log style)?



        • #5
          ^^I agree re the grass.

          I think a fountain doesn't make sense either as there is already a very large water feature in front of city hall. I'd rather build something that is year round usable, the problem with Churchil square is more winter than summer.

          I wouldn't mind cobbles, and perhaps some artistic sculptures or similar (Ian beat me to it).


          • #6
            Get some of those amazing 3D chalk artists to do some paintings.


            What about a mini toboggan hill in the winter? Maybe even not so mini.

            I agree with the comment about continuity between city hall and the square.

            Would it be such a disaster to have that section of 102A avenue closed permanently?
            Last edited by Chump; 27-01-2010, 01:41 PM.


            • #7
              I used to think Churchill really needed something "else" to make it more interesting, like more water features, flower beds, public art, different landscaping, whatever. But, really, Churchill is designed fine as what it is served to be... a Central Square. Parks like Centennial Plaza, Beaver Hills House Park, Paul Kane Park, and Louise McKinney Park & Promenade should have the earlier stuff I was discussing. But they aren't central squares. Those parks should have stuff in it that makes it a destination, whereas Central squares should have events and non permanent things to attract people.

              I think if a really good amount of street vendors with a variety of cuisine can fill Churchill decently off-festivals, Churchill could be very vibrant. That itself should be enough!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chump View Post
                Would it be such a disaster to have that section of 102A avenue closed permanently?
                Council already voted in favour of doing this.
                Strathcona City Separatist


                • #9
                  Food Vendors is a no brainer if you ask me. Why do we have hotdog vendors across the street at Stanley A but not on the square?

                  Paving 102A is again a no brainer

                  Why not host more events on the square? Make it a year round hot spot to be?

                  What about a summer farmers market? Anything like that.


                  • #10
                    ^farmers market isn't necessary if your other two points work out for the majority of the year (aka as many festivals as can, and food vendors every ... or almost every day outside that) not to mention there's a good market 4 blocks over .


                    • #11
                      First things first, the more activities at Churchill, the better. So first course of action should be to fill the square with many more EVENTS year round.

                      Barring that, fill the square with STUFF. This can be everything from traditional sculptures and landscape elements to temporary exhibits, pavillions, and PUBLIC ART. Commission artists to make original works, invite the UofA, NAIT, etc. to show off their work, hold competitions for designers to build seasonal (and some permanent) installations.

                      Some random musings:

                      Schuwburgplein in Rotterdam by WEST8. Big goofy lights that you can manipulate.

                      Field of Light by Bruce Munro. Art installation.

                      Solar Decathlon by students at TU Darmstadt. A model prototype for passiv building technology.

                      'Public Farm' for Moma's PS1 in New York by WorkAC

                      Crown Fountain, chicago

                      Burnham Pavillion in Chicago by UN studio

                      Jardin Metis by Claude Cormier

                      Some things obviously cost money, while others are painfully inexpensive:

                      ad-hoc football lines added to a square in the UAE.

                      Reclaimed abandoned lot in Seville.

                      Skateable bench in Philly. While other cities around the world are PURPOSELY including skatable elements into their infrastructure and public furniture, Edmonton frustratingly bans skating, blading, and bmxing in most public places, yet also provides them with no legal alternative (ie. a proper park). What gives?


                      • #12
                        ^Like I stated, those are not for Central Squares. Those are better suited for regular plazas and parks. Bring that to the plazas of the Legislature, new urban parks, Louise Mckinney, Victora Promenade and Grant Notley Park, sure, but the Central square should be a big blank slate of concrete, to give room for events, vendors, and most of all PEOPLE.



                        • #13
                          Renton, brilliant pieces of art showed.

                          I agree with the last one a lot! The city poo-poos all things skateboarding. Why? I have never understood it.

                          Perhaps install a legal graffitti wall? I think that would be amazing for the square. Much like the one along the LRT tracks going underground?


                          • #14
                            I like this Chalice (in a central square):

                            Last edited by moahunter; 27-01-2010, 03:24 PM.


                            • #15
                              As mentioned in my first post, Molson Square might be turned into a skate park. But that's a different topic entirely.
                              “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012