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People know their neighbourhoods. They experience them on a daily basis, from the corner where cars come around too fast to the best street for a Sunday stroll. At the same time, people do not necessarily realize the impact urban design has on neighbourhoods. They don’t often consider how a curb radius affects traffic speed or building setbacks might influence their propensity to walk.

 

I believe this discrepancy is not a lack of thought but rather of vocabulary. Having a basic design language opens up possibilities for discovering why neighbourhoods function the way they do and enables a deeper understanding of the tradeoffs between different design ideas.

 

Designing Edmonton is my attempt to make design ideas accessible to Edmontonians who, to varying extents, may not have a framework to understand how design affects their day to day lives.

 

I have compiled a visual inventory of eight Edmonton neighbourhoods, including street networks, land use, housing density and massing, building typologies and street uses. By pulling apart different aspects of neighbourhood design, I hope to offer a new perspective on the places where we live.