Edmonton, Canada

Biophilic Cities Member since May 26, 2016

Edmonton is a city that can be proud of its abundant wildlife and biodiversity. Edmonton is unique among cities as a leader working toward a more connected network of habitats and green areas, where the different animals that co-inhabit the city can move and travel without the danger of cars. The city has been implementing this vision through the design and installation of wildlife passages. At its beginnings, landscape architect Frederick C. Todd envisioned a river valley park system that would create an ecological network linking the city’s mature forests and making them accessible for residents to experience nature as part of their daily lives.  This early vision saw its realization in the River Valley Parks, which link urban parks along the North Saskatchewan River and twenty-seven connecting ravines through the heart of the city.  At 18,000 acres in size and covering thirty miles, it is the largest municipally owned park in Canada. The city has continued this legacy through a variety of complementary planning efforts aimed at conserving and promoting the city’s urban ecology.

City Contact: City Councillor Ben Henderson
  • “Conservation of nature is central to the design and planning of our city as we create opportunities for our citizens to learn about, celebrate and connect with nature.” -Ben Henderson
  • “The City of Edmonton has made a name for itself nationally, and internationally, for its efforts to grow in ways that ensure space for both wildlife and people, and in many ways their evolving approach tracks well the necessary shift that cities everywhere must begin to take.” -Tim Beatley
  • As stated by Councillor Ben Henderson in his May 3 motion, Edmonton has “join[ed] the Biophilic Cities Network to connect, and learn from, cities and experts from around the world that endeavor to protect, grow, and celebrate nature.”
  • Grant Pearsell, Director of Parks and Biodiversity, City of Edmonton, who has been central to moving Edmonton’s Network membership process forward, comments: “The network presents a great opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded cities throughout the world.” Pearsell states further that “joining the Biophillic Cities Network recognizes the importance nature plays in creating resilient neighbourhoods and providing a high quality of life and ultimately aligns with Edmonton’s Way We Green strategic plan.”
  • Edmonton’s Breathe campaign seeks to enlarge its residents’ understanding of urban ecology and extend the city’s open spaces so that they are accessible for neighborhoods across the city.
  • Natural Connections Integrated Conservation Plan is Edmonton’s plan for the protection, management and restoration of local natural areas and biodiversity, and the engagement of the community in that effort. The plan applies an outcome-based, ecological network approach to the conservation of Edmonton’s natural areas systems.
  • The Way We Green is the City of Edmonton’s 30-year environmental strategic plan with emphasis on resilience and sustainability. The Way We Green sets 12 goals that need to be reached for Edmonton to achieve a sustainable and resilient future.
  • https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_vision_and_strategic_plan/the-way-we-green.aspx
  • As the largest urban park in Canada, with more than 160 kilometres of maintained pathways and 20 major parks, the River Valley is a natural wonder for all Edmontonians to be proud of. The parks, trails and attraction facilities in the River Valley offer Edmontonians unparalleled opportunities to connect to nature, get outside and play.
  • Edmonton Freezeway

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