Blatchford project on the right track
Re. “More Griesbach, no Blatchford please,” David Staples, Oct. 6
David Staples’ column had some good ideas about redeveloping Northlands. However, it was short-sighted about its assessment of the Blatchford project, including its critique of the city acting as developer.
Blatchford is an ambitious project, however its goals of environmental and social sustainability are laudable and timely. In the same way that Edmonton’s leadingedge waste treatment procedures have attracted worldwide interest, Blatchford is already being watched closely by the global community.
While developers are needed for typical construction projects, their principal mandate is to make a profit, not necessarily to create the community of the future.
Urban sprawl is already damaging to the pocketbook and health of city dwellers: Blatchford, Griesbach and other infill projects are all greatly needed. Blatchford is too important to be developed privately; it will put Edmonton on the map even more than its resplendent river valley, fantastic festivals and mega-mall.
The cost to taxpayers will be much less than “hundreds of millions,” and building a medium-density green community is well within the reach of our innovative and inspired capital city. The first residents will be moving in 2019, not unreasonable given it was still an airport a mere four years ago.
A great deal of work has been already done at the site, dismantling buildings and installing infrastructure such as a district energy heating and cooling system. Residential construction will commence in 2018 and continue for the next 20 years.
Victor Dorian, Edmonton