Landscapes - Spring 2016 - (Page 14)

UPFRONT PROLOGUE UPFRONT REBOOTWHYTE FOR ISAAK JONATHAN BEHNKE 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 every August.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2016

Returning the Tide
A Question of Balance
A role for the Applied Ecologist
WET Design
The Ballad of Frog Plain
Landscape Laboratories|Laboratoires Paysagers
1000 Acres in Essex
3 Wetlands: 3 Discoverles...
Fen and White Cedar
Ecological Landscaping
The Last Word | Le Mot De La Fin

Landscapes - Spring 2016