The Freezeway

Matt Gibbs

Project Title

The Freezeway

Entrant Location

Edmonton, Canada

Special Recognition

2013 Winner


Project Summary

The Freezeway’s vision is to create an iconic and vibrant city that forges its identity from embracing its climatic setting. Moreover, it aspires to create communities and a culture that longs for the winter season with excitement and anticipation.

Utilizing Edmonton’s cold climate, which is on average below freezing for 5 months a year, the Freezeway uses a climate adaptive approach to address the way we live, and the way we move in a winter city.

Celebrating the magnificence of the winter season in the urban environment, the 11km year-round greenway, combats the typical sedentary nature of the season by creating a winter skating lane that allows you to skate to work, the Oilers arena, or simply just to have fun. It is an urban design intervention that at its heart addresses the need to promote:

  • winter programming
  • active lifestyles
  • sustainable forms of transportation
  • social activity
  • an iconic identity

Furthermore in a changing climate, land-based skating (vs pond-based), will be more resilient since it requires far thinner ice. As soon as it’s cold enough for ice it can be up an running, creating a refreshing and warming new approach to living in a cold climate.