What would you do about an eyesore in your neighbourhood? Cringe every time you walked by? Avoid the spot altogether? Well, Mathew McLash went above and beyond what most of us would do; he went ahead and bought the site with ambitions of turning it into so much more.
Mat bought a brownfield site, which is a site that contains contaminated soil from former buildings such as fuelling stations or laundromats. These types of sites must be remediated before the site can be used. For the past eight years, Mat has lived in the Windsor Park community, only six houses away from the site, and has dreamt of transforming this empty lot into an environmentally sustainable development that the community can be proud of. Even though remediation can come at a large financial cost, with the City’s Brownfield Redevelopment Grant Program, Mat’s remediation costs will be covered so that his dream can be turned into a reality.
Mat’s vision was to turn this blight on the community into a development that would help create a dense, walkable and vibrant neighbourhood. His development would even incorporate sustainable features such as a terrace garden, solar panels, and a co-generation mechanical system so that everyone who lives there would never have to pay a power bill.
In the video below, hear Mat talk about why he chose to purchase a brownfield site, and his vision for its transformation.
This video is the third in our “Innovation in Sustainability” series which will be running throughout October. The series showcases Edmontonians sharing their stories about how they are living the City’s “The Way We Green” initiatives.