ZGMers rolled up like a very unintimidating bicycle gang to the official groundbreaking of the most important community in Edmonton’s modern history this Wednesday. If you have visited the old city-centre municipal airfield lately (maybe a long shot), you will have noticed that construction has officially started on the new Blatchford Community Development. Sustainable housing, community gardens, bike and walking paths, energy efficient buildings, and massive amounts of green space will all contribute to making Blatchford the largest sustainable community in Canada.
At the event, guests were invited to take the elevator to the top of the control tower. Stairs were an option as well; most of us declined that option. The tower will be staying and eventually converted (in typical Blatchford style) to something more relevant and useful (if any decision makers are reading this, our vote is for a solar-powered karaoke bar). The top of the tower offers an amazing view of a great big dirt field (536 acres to be precise) right next to downtown Edmonton and the new arena district. Mayor Don Iveson and Councilor Bev Esslinger announced the project and then invited ‘Blatchford’s Future Residents—children now, but theoretically future residents or even buyers—to help with the honour of the actual groundbreaking. We even had 2 ZGM spawn in the mix—the sons of our Edmonton Creative Director Kurt Beaudoin.
The parting gifts consisted of a piece of the old municipal airport runway, which we challenge others to think of the most creative use for (so far all we have is paper weight and really awful stress ball). As well, each guest received a Blatchford Community rendering by local artist Jason Blower, leaving no question this project is Edmonton-centric to the core. Already, the Blatchford Community has made us more aware of how our choices have an impact, which makes us believe Edmonton has never been more ready for a project like this. We could not be more excited to help this community, and the centre of our city, come to life.