News / Edmonton

Edmonton launches first ever infill design competition

Infill design has gotten mixed reviews in some neighbourhoods, with criticism often levelled at the way in which houses do — or don’t — fit in with the neighbourhood.

A sample infill project in one of Edmonton's mature neighbourhood.

Metro file.

A sample infill project in one of Edmonton's mature neighbourhood.

Edmonton has launched its first ever infill design competition.

Lana Phillips, a senior planner with development and zoning services said it’s an “open ideas” competition — meaning they’re throwing it wide open for both entrants and designs.

“It’s an ideas-based competition. We wanted to really start to have a conversation about infill, to have developers and the community look at the diversity in infill,” she said.

Over the last few years infill has become a growing concern in Edmonton’s mature neighbourhoods.

In 2013 the city launched an infill map to advance development — meaning the construction of new houses on vacant or underused lots in existing neighbourhoods.

The current target is for 25 per cent of new development to take place in existing neighbourhoods, a goal that’s never been reached.

Part of the issue is that infill design has gotten mixed reviews in some neighbourhoods, with criticism often levelled at the way in which houses do — or don’t — fit in with the neighbourhood design.

“I think it’s about having a conversation so that people see that there is more opportunity to be creative,” she said. “How do we broaden our horizons and look for new opportunities?”

The challenge: Design for a hypothetical Edmonton bungalow “in a post-war residential neighbourhood with streets forming a grid pattern, mature boulevard trees, and rear lane access,” according to the completion overview.

In other words, a typical Edmonton infill project.  

There is a category for detached and attached houses, garage or garden suites, as well as an open category. Both professionals and students are invited to enter.

Registration is now open, and designs have to be submitted by the end of August. Designs will go before a jury who will select a winner—and there will be a people’s choice contest too.

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