A new report going to city council recommends transforming Edmonton’s exhibition land into an urban community.
The Urban Planning Committee report said the concept would create housing options and new employment and leisure opportunities that would attract thousands of people to the area.
“Whether gathering in the new park spaces, visiting local plazas and shops, or building a career in the emerging sectors of Edmonton’s economy, residents will enjoy connecting with one another and creating a new sustainable community from the ground up,” the report reads.
The committee said the working concept concentrates development around two walkable mixed-use transit villages.
“It introduces a unique cluster of employment and civic/education anchors along the eastern portion of the site to take advantage of proximity to Borden Park, existing institutions and transportation connections,” the report reads.
“In this concept, Expo Centre will become a valued component of the vibrant new mixed-use community and serve local and regional visitors.”
Borden Park would be expanded, connecting to the Expo Centre, with the capability to host cultural celebrations.
The working concept also includes several proposed infrastructure investments:
- Construction of a new LRT station south of EXPO Centre to increase the private
development potential in the southwest
- Relocation of the existing Coliseum LRT Station slightly north to improve access and spark private development on the northern portion of the site
- Transformation of Wayne Gretzky Drive from a decoupled arterial road to an urban boulevard
- Re-establishment of road access at 115 Avenue across the LRT tracks
- Creation of grade-level crossing at 120 Avenue across the LRT tracks and Wayne Gretzky Drive
- Creation of internal and local connections that prioritize active modes of transportation and transit
- Improvement of connections to the river valley and adjacent communities
- introduction of new amenities in EXPO Centre to encourage more everyday use
- relocation of the planned Light Rail Vehicle cleaning and storage facility from Cromdale Yard to a site adjacent to Wally Footz Field
“The result will be an exciting redeveloped urban place that provides space for economic prosperity, enhances the use of public transit and transportation choice, ensures financial and environmental resilience and improves neighbourhood health and liveability,” the report reads.”
The committee said it gathered feedback from the public, industry and stakeholders, including a survey, meetings, workshops and an Engage Edmonton event. The city was encouraged to move away from status quo development and towards something special on the site that would benefit residents, bring more people to the area and improve access to surrounding communities, the committee said.
The concept was developed based on the feedback as well as market and feasibility analyses.
The report will go before city council on April 23. If the working concept is endorsed by council, administration will refine it, explore the business case in great detail and write policy for the Exhibition Lands Redevelopment Plan.
The redevelopment of the Exhibition Lands is estimated to take at least 20 years and as much as 30 years to complete.
Watch: an early look at the Exhibition Lands (May 2018)
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