Designing the Emerald Crescent

for the Decoteau Area Structure Plan

As Edmonton continues to develop, proactive planning aims to protect its unique landscape of knobs and kettles as new communities emerge. Ryerson Master of Planning students are partnering with the City of Edmonton for their studio project to deliver a green network strategy focusing on biodiversity and wildlife connectivity for one of the City’s newest communities.

In the Fall of 2017, the City of Edmonton approved a new Open Space Policy called: Breathe: Edmonton’s Green Network Strategy. The strategy includes three high level themes: ecology, celebration and wellness that frame how the city thinks about their green network. Breathe focuses on the ecological integrity of the network and of its broader regional connections, so as to “preserve and enhance the ecological quality and connectivity of the green network”.

This project: Designing the Emerald Crescent for the Decoteau Area Structure Plan presents an opportunity to apply the Breathe vision and principles to an area of Edmonton expecting future urban development. In southwest Edmonton, the 1,960 ha Decoteau neighbourhood will develop around the area’s green network, the Emerald Crescent and will provide a remarkable opportunity to prioritize the provisioning of ecological functionality in this area set to accommodate 75,000 new residents.

This project will create three potential scenarios for the City to consider and help envision the future green network for the area. The scenarios will embrace human usage and wildlife movement through the design of innovative strategies, based on leading International open space strategy precedents and inspired by Edmonton’s plan.

The development of three scenarios for the Emerald Crescent will introduce Edmontonians to the Decoteau neighbourhood and demonstrate how Breathe can be applied at the neighbourhood level. The Ryerson team will produce community engagement tools, including a series of graphic panels to be displayed in Edmonton’s City Hall, and a survey instrument delivered through Edmonton’s Insight (a standing group of engaged citizens).




The City of Edmonton

Team Members

Carla Acosta, Danielle Culp, Mariya Gorlova, Amanda Mackaay, John Ngyuen, Michelle Rowland, Joshua Wise