merle, October 25, 2011

New York City Planner Offers Tips on How Edmonton Can Redesign its Strip Malls

The Edmonton Journal, in the video above, catches Project for Public Spaces (PPS’s) Cynthia Nikitin in action, doing a tough critique of an Edmonton strip mall.

On a scale of one to 10, Nikitin gave the Lendrum strip mall a six; high scores for local businesses showing pride in what they do, but low scores for the absentee landlord who hasn’t co-ordinated simple improvements to make the place attractive and physically connected to the neighbourhood.

Don’t miss the part where she asks a somewhat bemused pizza shop owner if he would consider creating an outdoor seating area to replace the benches near his storefront — because, as she so correctly points out, “It’s just hard to eat pizza on your lap.”

Nikitin offers the following suggestions for improving Lendrum:

• Take down the fences and draw in foot traffic from the townhouses around by making sure the back side is clean, painted not full of scattered Dumpsters.

• Widen the walkway in front of the stores to give space for patios, outdoor displays and perhaps a “Lendrum day” when the stores turn themselves “inside out.”

• Limit ugly neon road signs and use a unified colour scheme for the banners and awnings, perhaps extending the striped Sunterra awnings right down the row. That’s more eye-catching for a car travelling 60 km/h than a series of cheap signs.

For the full article click here.

merle, October 4, 2011

Size of Site: 0.2-0.5ha

In the competition brief there is a typo regarding the size of Strip Mall site:

It should say 0.2-0.5ha.

If you are finding it difficult to find a strip mall this size we will except a slightly larger site as long as the strip mall itself would be considered a ‘small-box’ retail site of roughly 5-8 stores.

You can also consider the surrounding street-scape and landscape in your re-design of the site.

Looking forward to receiving your submissions!

merle, October 3, 2011 – address to send your submissions