The new rainbow crosswalk along 104 Ave downtown does important work, helping pedestrians safely get to the other side of 109 St on the MacEwan University campus.
It also does vital City Plan work.
“The rainbow crossings are part of a larger discussion of what an inclusive city may look and feel like,” said Jason Syvixay, a Planner with the City of Edmonton.
Syvixay wants more people to equate “City Plan” not just to technical-sounding concepts like transportation network analysis or neighbourhood development or population distribution. He wants more people to know The City Plan is also about building Edmonton into a community that includes traditionally marginalized groups as our city grows from 1 million to 2 million people.
Pride Week 2019 is a great time to underline his point—vividly.
“For members of the LGBTQ2S+ community the rainbow crosswalk serves as a powerful symbol of the strength and resilience of the city and its support for people who aren’t normally represented in public space development and public space planning and thinking,” Syvixay said.
The ideas of inclusiveness and compassion are woven through the work of The City Plan team, and are, in fact, one of the Big City Moves created to help guide the development of The City Plan. But how do we ensure those goals come off the page and into our lives?
The new rainbow crosswalk, a partnership between the City of Edmonton and MacEwan University, is one way of translating the planning idea to the street. And it clearly announces MacEwan University’s collective values, according to Dr. Kristopher Wells, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health and Community Studies.
“We wanted to bring Pride downtown and thought a rainbow crosswalk at a prominent downtown intersection would make a bold and powerful statement about the importance of celebrating diversity and supporting inclusion in our city,” said Wells.
The new crosswalk continues the legacy of rainbow crosswalks on Whyte Avenue.
“The rainbow crosswalk is an important and very visible part of that commitment. It reminds us that each and every day we must listen to and actively work to support the most vulnerable among us.”
Pride Festival events are taking place throughout the city June 7-16. For information visit Pride Week events.
And here’s a little homework reading on The City Plan. There’s no quiz! Actually, you can help with the answers by taking part in our planned engagement sessions. Find out more and register at The City Plan engagement.