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Freezeway 2       Edmonton Freezeway

When we tell people we are landscape architects, we often get the comment: ‘Oh I keep thinking about doing something with my garden…’

While we do design gardens, it’s not all we do. One of the joys of being a #landscapearchitect is that the role draws on so many different skills and is only limited by imagination. So it is gratifying to read that it is a landscape architect who has designed a new ‘Freezeway’ for Edmonton in Canada.

The simple premise, by Canadian student Matthew Gibbs, is that in a city where the winter temperature averages at -12 degrees Celsius, why not flood an 11km long disused rail track leading into town to create an icy commuter skating route into the city centre. ‘I wanted to look at what it would take to make people fall in love with winter.’ Said Gibbs.

It captures the essence of landscape architecture completely – making the city more liveable, reducing pollution and energy use, providing opportunities for health and wellbeing, boosting the local economy and harnessing simple, people-orientated design.