When the Neighbourhood Renewal process began in Queen Alexandra in 2013, residents quickly saw an opportunity to leverage the once in a lifetime investment. Rather than the standard “replacing like for like” process that usually happens when the streets, curbs, and sidewalks of a neighbourhood get renewed, community members envisioned the redesign of 76 Avenue and 106 Street in a way that would make the community more vibrant and livable.The Queen Alexandra community league formed a committee called QA Crossroads, named after the crossroads of 76 and 106 Street, to engage with the City about making the once-in-a-lifetime investment of Neighbourhood Renewal have a more positive impact than it otherwise would have.
QA Crossroads worked positively and collaboratively, including getting support from nearby communities, businesses, school trustees, individuals, and others. The group also appeared several times in front of City Council and created a Make Something Edmonton project to help get the word out.
Today’s pilot is different than other engagement initiatives in that it is community-led, in partnership with the City of Edmonton. Dubbed Engage 106-76, it now involves the communities of Empire Park, Pleasantview, Allendale, Queen Alexandra, McKernan, Belgravia and Strathcona, as well as members from Strathcona Complete Streets, Edmonton Bicycle Commuters, and the Old Strathcona Foundation.