Mechanized River Valley Access

Edmonton, Alberta 

Photo Credit: DIALOG

 

CASE STUDY

Research by: Samantha Miller

Edited by: Nicole Brekelmans

Case study compiled in 2019

 

Project: Mechanized River Valley Access

Type of Urban Strategy: Water

Type of ProjectRiver Access / Urban Space

LocationEdmonton, Alberta 

Date Designed/Planned: March 2016

Construction Completed: December 2017

Designer: DIALOG

 

The City of Edmonton has long been hoping to improve connectivity between the North Saskatchewan River Valley and the urban areas for the public. One of the first significant steps to achieve this goal in the city was the implementation of the Mechanized River Valley Access project, created in partnership with the River Valley Alliance. Designed by DIALOG, this was an impactful project that has affected how citizens and visitors can connect from the core of Downtown Edmonton to the River Valley. The main intention of the project was to not only improve access to the River Valley and back to the downtown, but more importantly to make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to be free to explore Edmonton just as anyone else. The project connects “downtown Edmonton to the network of river valley trails and, conversely, a journey from the valley floor up the slope to the downtown urban core” (DIALOG, n.d. It hoped to be a focal point within the city, bringing people together and ‘allowing Edmontonians to become tourists in their own backyard’ (DIALOG, n.d.). There are many waterfront redevelopment case studies and case studies which have the sole intention of bringing more people to and from the waterfront. However, this project is unique because it focuses on the connection between urban and natural landscapes that should be enjoyable for everyone, no matter the age or level of physical ability. This case study is an excellent example of excellent urban design that is designed only for the people, and create spaces of athleticism, relaxation, play, and enjoyment.