Edmonton boasts many of the amenities of an ideal urban centre like Toronto or Montreal, but the majority of it is poorly designed. An steady flow of newcomers combined with availability of cheap farmland sold for residential development has resulted in major urban sprawl. I would argue that although Edmonton is smaller in size and population than Toronto and Montreal, it lacks accessibility and the essence of connectedness a city of its size should have. The overarching goal of my internet platform is to unite the city by giving it a vessel for the stories that matter most to its people.
Edmonton is often perceived as a “blue-collar” city because of its association with industry; at first glance, it’s not an artful place. While this is simply untrue – for example, Edmonton is home to a thriving theatre community and hosts North America’s oldest and largest Fringe Theatre festival – there is a stigma that brands the city as cold and lacking imagination. In my opinion, Edmonton’s arts community is incredibly vital to its appeal and sustenance as a city not only for its inherent value, but for its energy. Of course there is a place for industry – it creates jobs for a healthy economy and this keeps unemployment rates down – but the problem with it is it’s often a quick fix for newcomers who don’t stay to invest in the city. People move to Edmonton and stay for a few years to make a quick buck and don’t stay, so there is less of a forceful demand for investment in the things that make a city appetizing such as infrastructure and accessible transit. I would like to see a community forum filled with news about efficient and sustainable urban planning for new projects, preserving and recycling historic buildings instead of ripping them down without cause, and a focus on drawing more traffic through the cultural hubs of the city while putting money into a downtown face-lift.