The Canadian city of Edmonton is no stranger to the cold. For five months of the year the city is gripped by sub-zero temperatures. But rather than allowing the blisteringly cold weather to impede the life of the city, Edmontonians are always on the look out for ways to embrace their frozen cityscape. The latest addition to their wintry wonderland could be the ‘Freezeway’; a proposal designed by local landscape architecture student Matthew Gibbs.
The Freezeway is an eleven kilometre trail that would be deliberately flooded during winter months, allowing people to ice-skate or toboggan through the city as a new mode of transportation. For the most part, the envisioned route would run along two derelict rail tracks that lead towards downtown Edmonton. Occasionally, the trail would slice into parkland or cut through existing plazas, generating an exciting and unique skating experience. During the summer months, the corridor could be used as a cycle way or a walking path.
The concept was selected as the winner of the 2013 COLDSCAPES international design competition. The idea has since gained momentum and a pilot project is now being planned for next winter. Gibbs has put forward three different versions of the Freezeway – a naturally frozen path, an electrically-refrigerated one and a carved ice-block. The overall costs are not yet known but Gibbs hopes that the project can be paid for with crowd sourcing and/or corporate funding.
Gibbs also presented the proposal at Edmonton’s 2015 Winter Cities conference; an event aimed at exploring innovative ways to turn the bone-chilling winters of northern cities into an asset rather than a hindrance.
Watch the video below for more information on this exciting new proposal!
Lead image courtesy of Make Something Edmonton