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  • C2E announces top-10 ‘great ideas’ for Edmonton

    Well folks, the data has been compiled and here it is. We decided to release this officially after the holidays to get maximum media penetration and acknowledgement. We avoided earlier in the month as the PC Leadership story was the big ticket item.

    Please read it over and comment away. We compiled this list after subsequent discussions and evaluations after our late November member forum. There were also other forum members who volunteered their time to help orgnaize our random set of posts into something more emperical to discuss - thank you.

    Thank you to all of you for posting, talking, posting some more, talking even more, and simply making C2E's first 9 months something to be proud of!

    If you think this list is missing items, I encourage you to go out and recruit members who will talk about your great ideas. After all, this list is 100% based on forum traffic, and the more members, the better!

    So, in order of views and posts and backed by the collection of threads, is the Top Ten Great Ideas for a Greater Edmonton.

    Originally posted by Connect2Edmonton
    News Release Jan. 2, 2006

    C2E announces top-10 ‘great ideas’ for Edmonton
    — Edmonton’s online community offers hundreds of ideas to enhance region

    Connect2Edmonton.com (C2E) --- an autonomous global community that encourages discussion and collaboration on topics of importance to Edmonton’s future --- has announced 10 priority ideas that have emerged from its recent “Great Ideas for a Greater Edmonton” contest.

    The ‘Great Ideas’ contest encouraged C2E members – membership is free for everyone – to submit all ideas, big and small, that could help enhance Greater Edmonton’s national profile, quality of life or future development. The intention of this unprecedented undertaking was to engage Edmonton enthusiasts worldwide in a positive dialogue to develop a new, inspirational regional vision.

    The hundreds of ideas submitted to the contest were overwhelmingly focused on six areas (in alphabetical order): art and architecture; cleaning up the city; downtown development; river valley development; tourism; and transportation.

    A year-end, top-10 list of ‘Great Ideas for Greater Edmonton’ was developed by weighting C2E’s top-100 discussion ‘threads’ (as determined by the number of postings and views that each ‘great idea’ attracted) with input from 16 C2E volunteers who responded to an all-member invite to participate in a panel discussion. Here is C2E’s top-10 list of Great Ideas for Greater Edmonton for 2007:

    1. Redevelop Rossdale
    Redevelop the EPCOR plant in Rossdale on a scale similar to Granville Island (Vancouver) or The Forks (Winnipeg) … preferably with an architectural icon, new river valley amenities and an aboriginal cultural centre.

    2. Clean up the city
    Citizens are tired of complaining. Edmonton needs a comprehensive, year-round plan and measurable, public benchmarks to dramatically reduce litter (especially cigarette butts), graffiti and panhandling. C2E members also want more greenery throughout the city and suggest a corporate competition to encourage businesses to plant flowers and trees, especially along major thoroughfares.

    3. Launch Winter Festival / World’s Fair bid
    There is significant interest in an annual winter festival to celebrate Edmonton’s destiny as the Gateway to the North and the largest northern-most major city in North America. Ideas to increase outdoor, winter activities include an amateur street hockey tournament. There is also interest in Edmonton making a bid to host a World’s Fair in 2017 to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.

    4. Expand the LRT
    Expansion of the LRT (and mass transportation in general) is critical --- planning should begin immediately for a West Edmonton Mall and Edmonton International Airport connection.

    5. Enhance Edmonton’s national image
    Edmonton needs to invest the needed resources on an ongoing basis to aggressively promote itself nationally and internationally to attract visitors, new businesses and needed workers.

    6. Improve roadways
    Edmonton desperately needs a new bridge over the North Saskatchewan River as well as an unimpeded flow of traffic from downtown to the airport beyond the planned 23rd Avenue interchange.

    7. Build a new downtown arena
    Although Edmonton’s downtown is growing, much more can be done to create more livable spaces and upgrade the city’s architectural standards to attract more residents … especially in East Jasper and Chinatown. C2E members favour a new downtown arena combined with a major, new recreation facility.

    8. Build an architectural icon
    Edmonton deserves a world-class architectural icon --- a tall tower, new convention centre or stunning bridge --- to set a new benchmark for development, mark its place as a major capital city and to extract a legacy dividend from the greatest economic boom in the city’s history.

    9. Encourage more public art
    Public art --- statues, paintings and even light projections --- are valued and need to be encouraged … especially on the city’s many unappealing concrete walls. More local artists should be commissioned and more local contests are needed to showcase local talent.

    10. Celebrate the High Level Bridge
    Edmonton’s signature landmark should be celebrated with permanent lights, by running the waterfall throughout the summer and perhaps even by suspending a gallery or café from the bridge infrastructure.

    “This top-10 list is just a sampling of hundreds of ideas --- some long-term and some doable in 2007 --- submitted by Edmonton enthusiasts from all over the world,” says Richard Skermer, C2E’s volunteer co-chair. “Everyone who cares about the future of our region is encouraged to review these inspiring submissions on C2E … and then collaborate online with people who passionately support these ideas to help transform our city.”

    A community leader will be identified and invited to write a guest column on C2E in response to each of these top-10 ideas.

    C2E has attracted 880 members in 20-plus countries and generated more than 18,000 postings in just nine months. Visit www.connect2edmonton.com to view a categorized list of all ‘great ideas’ collected.
    President and CEO - Airshow.

  • #2
    well done.....these are the major issues/problems/ideas facing edmonton.


    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

    Comment


    • #3
      Very nice. Let's hope that those issues are adressed in a timely manner ASAP.
      Is there hope for Edmonton? Yes!!! The Oilers? Wait and see.

      Comment


      • #4
        C2E has become a great source for anything/everything!

        Yeah!

        Very interesting to see what "shook out" from the myriad of posts and ideas from the contest.

        I would suggest that C2E do a year retrospective to gauge progress (or not) in the top ten ideas.

        Also, update the list in a year’s time— see what new ideas come to the forefront —or if the same great ideas are still top of mind.

        Connecting to Edmonton (C2E) has become a great source for anything / everything connected to Greater Edmonton and this contest, top- 10 “great ideas” list to the news release are evidence of this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: C2E announces top-10 ‘great ideas’ for Edmonton

          Originally posted by RichardS
          3. Launch Winter Festival / World’s Fair bid... the Gateway to the North and the largest major city in North America....
          You mean the northernmost major city in North America, right?

          Comment


          • #6
            Ahh, a type-o.

            Several editors and this still got through...
            President and CEO - Airshow.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well done RichardS and everyone else involved with the final submission. This is a good piece of work - hope the city council and mayor take note

              Comment


              • #8
                Catch Kerry's comments...

                http://blog.canoe.ca/Diotte
                President and CEO - Airshow.

                Comment


                • #9
                  CFRN's 6 o'clock news will feature this list and comments.
                  President and CEO - Airshow.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RichardS
                    CFRN's 6 o'clock news will feature this list and comments.
                    Thanks for the update(s)!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Surprise... 8 of the 10 items on the list have to do with Urban Planning and Design.
                      The remaining 2 would have a better chance of success with better (or any) Urban Planning and Design.

                      - 1. Redevelop Rossdale --> urban planning

                      - 2. Clean up the city --> urban design

                      - 3. Launch Winter Festival / World’s Fair bid - a winter festival is just common sense given Edmonton is supposed to be "The Festival City"; as for the World's Fair bid, good luck - when you think of the world's greatest cities, Edmonton cannot compete with Paris, Rome, Vienna, etc., but it could if the urban design was better

                      - 4. Expand the LRT - urban planning

                      - 5. Enhance Edmonton’s national image - urban design would help this - most Canadians see Edmonton as a rough, dirty city and the murder capital of Canada, which is why we couldn't even give away free trips to people to come here

                      - 6. Improve roadways - urban planning (as for building another bridge over the North Saskatchewan River - very bad idea! Edmonton needs to discourage vehicular travel, not encourage it - what about the new Smart Choices principles of transit-oriented design that the City approved? This is also obviously bad for the environment and the skyline too. All we need is another ugly bridge coming into downtown.)

                      - 7. Build a new downtown arena - urban planning (but whoever plans this needs to make sure that they don't kill home values in the Highlands area in the process)

                      - 8. Build an architectural icon - urban design

                      - 9. Encourage more public art - urban design

                      - 10. Celebrate the High Level Bridge - urban design

                      Bottom Line - The Top 10 illustrates that people think Edmonton is an ugly, dirty city. So the City of Edmonton should hire a lot more urban planners and designers to improve everything. Then maybe more people will move here and stay here. Otherwise, as soon as the economy dips, so will Edmonton's population.

                      * Mayor Mandel just said on the 6 o'clock news that he is in favour of all of these 10 items. If he is sincere then he will hire a lot more urban planners and designers. *

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The World's Fair was hosted by smaller cities too....like say Spokane and Vancouver (yes it was way way smaller and depressed pre 86)....


                        Calgary tried for 2005...why is that any different?


                        It is not like wee're trying for the summer olympics.

                        ...and I wouldn't go as far as saying it is an ugly and dirty city, more that it is one that is young and needs to look at where it wants to go. I personally think Edmonton is just waking up to realize that it isn't the tiny little northern town it was reported to be a few decades ago. A lot of our design was done out of a) fear of our climate and b)a lack of experience on the world stage.


                        ...maybe this World's Fair is just the key to open our eyes - finally.
                        President and CEO - Airshow.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by plazma
                          (...)* Mayor Mandel just said on the 6 o'clock news that he is in favour of all of these 10 items. If he is sincere then he will hire a lot more urban planners and designers. *
                          Is it about hiring more city employees or enforcing developers to adhere to standards and specific transportation right-of-ways, and letting the developer's designers have a crack at it?
                          President and CEO - Airshow.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RichardS
                            The World's Fair was hosted by smaller cities too....like say Spokane...

                            ...and I wouldn't go as far as saying it is an ugly and dirty city, more that it is one that is young and needs to look at where it wants to go.
                            Exactly - Edmonton might stand a chance because Spokane or a depressed version of Vancouver got it?

                            Spokane was chosen because it was the only city of a reasonable size turning 100 years old at the same time the whole country of the USA was turning 200. And Vancouver lost over $300 million on their World's Fair - Not too successful.

                            Look at the majority of the other cities that were chosen - New York, Seattle, San Diego, Philadelphia, London, New Orleans, San Fransisco... great cities then and now.

                            Regarding ugly: Visit Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria and Montreal where they actually invest in great architecture and then decide whether or not Edmonton is ugly. 97th Street, 118th Avenue, 66th Street - ugly. Unless dilapidated strip malls and drug-addicted prostitutes are your thing.

                            Regarding dirty: Visit Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria and Montreal where they actually clean the streets and then decide whether or not Edmonton is dirty. If Edmonton wasn't dirty, the street corners out front of City Hall wouldn't smell of sewer stench, the walk east towards Rexall Place wouldn't make you gag because of the disease-infested pigeons that have made their home under the bridge, and getting your first glimse of the city after getting off a Greyhound Bus wouldn't scare you because the first thing you see - the Grand Hotel - wouldn't have druggies or alcoholics greeting you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RichardS
                              Is it about hiring more city employees or enforcing developers to adhere to standards and specific transportation right-of-ways, and letting the developer's designers have a crack at it?
                              It's both.

                              Larry Beasley did some amazing things as an employee with the City of Vancouver when he directed planning operations - so many that a book has been written about the successes. And government is supposed to do what is best, not what is necessarily popular. However, in this case urban planning and design are both.

                              And developers often follow the minimum standards. Raising the standards bar will force developers to meet higher standards. But developers need to be more creative and take more pride in their work too.

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