Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
December 23, 2004
U of G, city organizations to make Guelph greener
University of Guelph landscape architects have teamed up with city organizations to launch a community development project aiming to make urbanized areas more green.
Professor Jim Taylor is a member of the community-wide team leading the Edinburgh Road North Project, a five-year initiative engaging local residents in planning, restructuring and planting native vegetation in the neighbourhood near Edinburgh Road North, Willow Road and Shelldale Crescent.
“There are a lot of good people and organizations based in Edinburgh Road North who are involving local residents with the planning process,” said Taylor. “And when the community becomes involved, the project stands a greater chance of success.” Community partners include the university, the city, the Grand River Conservation Authority, local businesses and Trees for Guelph, a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to establishing green spaces in the Royal City’s industrial areas.
The Edinburgh Road North Project began after University of Guelph graduate student assessments of the Shelldale Crescent and Willow Road areas revealed a number of needs within the community.
During the first phase of the three-phase project, a student team directed by U of G landscape architecture professor Cecelia Paine presented these findings at a community workshop, asking local residents what they felt were problems or issues in their own neighbourhoods. The residents named physical isolation from the rest of the city, lack of community activities and the need for environmental improvements among the most important issues in regenerating Edinburgh Road North.
“One of the most pressing concerns for the area is a need to be connected to the rest of the city,” said Taylor. “Connectivity – which might be something as basic as sidewalk improvements – would allow for easier access to civic activities and services found in the centre of the city.”
In the second phase of the project, Taylor brought the workshop results to a committee of Guelph city council, which recommended that budgets be realigned to facilitate improvements within the neighbourhood.
U of G graduate students in the landscape architecture program will have the opportunity to design concept plans for greening the industrial and community spaces on Edinburgh Road North in the third phase of the project.
“Community outreach projects developed by landscape architects here at the university are a way of taking scientific knowledge and applying it in ways to better our community,” said Taylor. “Projects like this one demonstrate how the university and the community can work together to improve our city.”
The Edinburgh Road North Project is funded by Trees for Guelph, the City of Guelph and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Grand River Conservation Authority provides the majority of trees planted in Trees for Guelph projects.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.