Edmonton Urban Design Awards recognizes DIALOG-designed river valley project

Edmonton Urban Design Awards recognizes DIALOG-designed river valley project

Mechanized River Valley Access, one of the most unique places in Edmonton’s river valley, has been recognized with an Edmonton Urban Design Award. Known widely as 100 Street Funicular, the project received an Award of Excellence in the Civic Design category, and the project team couldn’t be prouder.

“One of few projects that truly was equitable for all ages, abilities and seasons. Places like this are transforming Edmonton’s identity, and we appreciate the boldness of the intervention.”
–International jury panel

In addition to the award of excellence, Mechanized River Valley Access was also acknowledged for its important winter city and child-friendly design considerations. Royal Alberta Museum, another proudly DIALOG-designed project, was also recognized by the awards program for its child-friendly design features.

About Mechanized River Valley Access

The large elevation difference and steep slopes of Edmonton’s river valley are part of its great beauty, but makes access difficult for users with mobility challenges. The project addresses this challenge with a funicular, staircase, promenade, park, pedestrian bridge, lookout, and elevator.

The top promontory provides panoramic views of the valley and offers places to sit and take in the view.

A funicular—essentially an inclined elevator—runs between the promontory and a promenade mid-way along the slope, allowing people in wheelchairs, cyclists, families with strollers and people with mobility challenges to easily and safely traverse the steep slope.

Parallel to the funicular is a broad staircase with ample seating—a place to actively traverse the slope or take a relaxing break.

Next, a boardwalk promenade takes people along a midpoint park space. Dynamic public art incorporated into benches evokes river waves and curving contours of the valley, while providing more opportunities to sit, relax, and play.

The gently sloping pedestrian bridge carries people over the roadway, with rest areas and seating along the way. Across the bridge, a glass elevator connects directly to the trails below. The bridge cantilevers over the valley, providing a lookout and unique vantage point. Rising above the forest, it is an immersive experience that you can’t get anywhere else in Edmonton.

In only five minutes—or longer, if you linger along the way—one goes from the urban core to nature. The experience is intuitive, graceful, and delightful throughout all seasons.

About Edmonton Urban Design Awards

Since 2011, the Edmonton Urban Design Awards have celebrated the best new projects in Edmonton. The program recognizes individuals, organizations, firms and projects that have contributed to urban design and the city’s quality of life. This year’s competition had 11 award-winning projects from 58 submissions.

“From the very dramatic to the very subtle, all submissions elevated the tone and quality of urban design.”
– International jury panel

You can view all of the award recipients and submissions here. Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients!

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