Five finalist firms from around the world to compete to redevelop Edmonton’s City Centre Airport land

Five design firms from Sweden, the Netherlands, UK, the United States and Canada will compete for the chance to deliver the winning plan to redevelop the 216-hectare site into a sustainable, transit-oriented community. The firms are: Sweco International AB of Stockholm, Sweden; Perkins + Will of Vancouver, Canada; KCAP Architects & Planners of Rotterdam, Netherlands; BNIM of Kansas City, USA; and Foster & Partners of London, UK.


“We had an overwhelming response to our request for qualifications,” says Phil Sande, Executive Director, City Centre Airport redevelopment project, City of Edmonton. “We’ve received 33 submissions with a wealth of experience in innovative sustainable design, urban design and redevelopment, engineering and architectural design.”


“We’re confident these five firms have the capacity, skills and sense of innovation to help us turn these lands into a world-leading sustainable community. The process to choose these firms was fair, equitable, transparent and most importantly of all, the choices were unanimous by our selection committee. Each of the five finalists has committed to using Edmonton architectural firms, engineering firms, design firms and landscape architects as part of their bid, an important consideration in our selection criteria.”


“We have clear direction from Council on a timeline and we’re proceeding in the most efficient way to achieve Council’s goal – phased closure and redevelopment of the airport lands,” says Sande. An expert panel of six members reviewed, graded and chose the five finalists. The panel included: Simon Farbrother, City Manager; Gord Jackson, Acting Manager of the Policy and Planning Branch; Rick Daviss, Manager of Corporate Properties Branch; Peter Hackett, Exec. Professor School of Business, VP Research and a Fellow of the National Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Alberta; Chris Henderson, CEO of Delphi Group, Canada’s leading strategic consulting firm in the environment and clean energy sectors; and Todd Latham, President of Actual Media Inc. which produces ReNew Canada, the infrastructure and renewal magazine. The committee also included a facilitator, James McKellar, Associate Dean, External Relations Academic Director, Program in Real Estate and Infrastructure, Schulich School of Business, York University. He also ensured the review process was transparent and fair.


The five finalists will now have four months to prepare detailed plans including providing display panels, sketches, drawings, and images which best describe their vision for the site. The five finalists’ submissions are required to address planning principles such as planning and design, ecological footprint, infrastructure, family housing, open space, technology and history. A similar selection review will occur for the five final entries with the same panel members but the panel has the flexibility to expand its membership. One member already confirmed as an addition to the panel is Lars Franne, Retired Project Manager, Hammarby Sjöstad Sustainable Redevelopment, Stockholm, Sweden.


Edmontonians will also have a chance to review the five finalist bids as part of a Council-approved public consultation process. A winner will be selected in early 2011. 


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