“The Quarters” Downtown East Urban Design Plan

Edmonton, AB


Project Description

Size: 18 city blocks (40 ha/100 acres)

Location: Edmonton, Alberta

*Recipient: Edmonton Urban Design Awards 2009

Award of Merit: Unimplemented Urban Design Plans

The Quarters Downtown will be made up of five distinct districts or precincts. There will be four “quarters,” each having their own unique character and design; at the centre of The Quarters will be a linear park corridor known as The Armature.

The City of Edmonton’s vision for The Quarters is a neighbourhood that is well-connected to the downtown core and river valley, yet has a distinct image that identifies it as a unique place in the city. Streets are improved with limited through traffic, making the streets safe and inviting for pedestrians and bicyclists. Large city blocks are broken into smaller, more inviting and walkable pieces. Activity abounds.

There is a mix of parks, shops, employment, services, and housing. There is a diversity of ages, incomes, and cultures. Open space is surrounded by businesses and housing, creating a safe and inviting amenity year round. The Quarters is a place where community is important and pride and investment in the neighbourhood is evident.


Community density is the key to success in the Quarters for small service business longevity, with lively, safe streets. Innovative strategies to initiate development include: density enhancement, building and streetscape greening development, energy solutions, source resource use reduction, accelerated permitting, infrastructure improvement, community enhancement rezoning, and carefully integrated landscape inspirations.

Over the next 15-20 years the area will be transformed into a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community that is well connected to the central business and cultural district as well as the river valley. Once completed, The Quarters Downtown will be an environmentally-sustainable, walkable, diverse community with appealing design, inclusive housing, and green spaces.