Landscapes - Spring 2016 - (Page 14)
REBOOTWHYTE FOR ISAAK
EN_ ON AUGUST 27, 2012, Isaak Kornelsen was killed while
cycling to work on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton, Alberta. Isaak
was 21 years old, a star athlete at the University of Alberta,
and an integral member of the community. His death shook
the city, and a few days later over 500 cyclists gathered on the
car-dominated street to ride together in Isaak's honour.
I am a former running teammate of Isaak's, and just two
weeks after his tragic death, I returned to Guelph to resume my
landscape architecture studies. My first studio assignment of
the year was to design a parklet to create pedestrian space in an
automobile-oriented environment. Whyte Avenue, the street
that had just claimed Isaak's life, was a natural fit for a parklet.
This street is an historic and cultural hub of Edmonton, which
has made it the most popular pedestrian destination in the city.
However, Whyte is a five-lane thoroughfare filled at all hours
with cars, buses and large trucks.
I approached this assignment with two goals: to commemorate
Isaak's life and to provoke thought on how to redesign Edmonton
streets to be safe for all users. I designed the parklet using
colours and forms to represent different aspects of Isaak's
personality, and then spent two years raising funds and refining
the design. The parklet was first built in August 2014.
The second goal came to fruition in August 2015, when a group
of Whyte Avenue community members called RebootWhyte
came together to call for change. They researched pedestrian
and cyclist injuries on the street: 192 people had been injured or
killed over the past ten years. The memorial parklet became the
platform for RebootWhyte to announce their campaign: to have
three kilometres of Whyte Avenue redesigned as a complete
street, where people can travel safely regardless of age, ability
or mode of transportation. RebootWhyte is now asking the
province of Alberta to create a capital fund to help municipalities
finance complete street projects.
It is not very often that a landscape architecture student sees
a school assignment become part of a community's platform
for positive change. Isaak was a remarkable person and it is an
honour to help continue his legacy.
PHOTOS 1 CHRISTINA VARVIS
2 JONATHAN BEHNKE
14 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES
JONATHAN BEHNKE is a University of Guelph BLA graduate
now working as a landscape and urban designer with Lanarc
Consultants in Nanaimo, BC. He built the memorial parklet with
the help of his wonderful family, and continues to set it up
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2016
TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
OUR WRITERS | NOS RÉDACTEURS
UPFRONT | PROLOGUE
BOOKS | LIVRES
Returning the Tide
A Question of Balance
A role for the Applied Ecologist
The Ballad of Frog Plain
Landscape Laboratories|Laboratoires Paysagers
1000 Acres in Essex
3 Wetlands: 3 Discoverles...
Fen and White Cedar
The Last Word | Le Mot De La Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2016