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DIALOG’s kinistinâw Park Awarded Edmonton Urban Design Award of Excellence

November 27, 2023

kinistinâw Park, designed by DIALOG, received the Award of Excellence in the category ‘Civic Design’ at the 2023 Edmonton Urban Design Awards. These awards recognize the best in urban design and urban spaces in Edmonton, and demonstrate the role good urban design plays in creating great places.

Great places are not only attractive, but safe, accessible, vibrant, and inclusive – all fundamental building blocks of city-building. Mayor of Edmonton Amarjeet Sohi also noted his admiration of the number of projects that have embraced and created space for Indigenous culture.

The Jury honoured kinistinâw Park, stating, “The renewal of kinistinâw park in the quarters deftly uses public art to reference both Indigenous and Metis cultural traditions and the Chinese history of the area with playful and colourful design elements. It is a beautiful contribution to downtown and celebrates the stories of Edmonton in a dramatic, equitable way.”

Click here to see the 2023 Edmonton Urban Design Awards

We decided early on that the unique canopy should act as a thread that weaves in and out of the landscape and ties all elements together. Shaw-Collinge’s art layer covers approximately 30% of the surface underneath. Two more art screens are made of perforated metal sheets to maintain the park sight line. The canopy also acts as gateways on both ends of the park, and as a shelter for park visitors.

About kinistinâw Park

Located in the Quarters district in east downtown Edmonton, kinistinâw park is an important piece in the revitalization of a neighbourhood that is expected to be transformed into a vibrant, inclusive community. Multiple amenities for the redeveloping community are located along this linear park, including open play areas, shaded seating areas, and a natural playground, all woven together by a red steel ‘ribbon’ canopy offering respect to the area’s Indigenous and Chinese history. Public art elements produced by artist Tiffany Shaw reference traditional Métis beading patterns and are integrated into the canopy.

A key goal of the project was to use environmentally sustainable landscape design practices. Low impact design features of the park include an irrigation cistern that captures stormwater run-off from the park. Water captured from the cistern provides water to maintain plantings within the park.

Extensive stakeholder and public engagement were an integral part of the development of the park. The park is an important first step in revitalizing the neighbourhood, offering a place of respite in the inner city and proving great design can improve lives.

The park includes a central spine with a paved open space for food trucks, events, markets, and emergency and service vehicle access.