City given award for Ross Street Patio

During its most recent annual conference the International Downtown Association recognized the City of Red Deer with a Downtown Merit Award for its work and initiatives related to The Ross Street Patio.

The Ross Street Patio, a pilot project to create more vibrant public spaces in the downtown, was among 22 qualified entries in the category of ‘Public Space’. This category recognizes capital improvements that enhanced the urban design, physical function, or economic viability of downtown and the community.

The idea for the Ross Street Patio pilot project came from a public consultation session that was held as part of the City’s Integrated Movement Study.

“The Ross Street Patio brought a whole new dynamic into our downtown. As a pilot project it was very successful in showing how streets can be transformed into vibrant gathering spaces,” said Craig Curtis, City manager.

This past summer, the patio was home to benches, picnic tables, flowers, trees and the community street piano was there too. A number of concerts and entertainment took place there throughout the summer and many people were seen grabbing a coffee or having lunch at the outdoor venue.

The Washington, D.C. based International Downtown Association (IDA) is a champion for vital and livable urban centers and strives to inform, influence, and inspire downtown leaders and advocates. With 550 members and thousands of friends, IDA is a guiding force in creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities, and regions.

“The City of Red Deer’s project received the IDA Merit Award for delivering excellence in downtown management,” said David Downey, IDA president and CEO.

“Each year the IDA Awards Jury recognizes organizations that utilize best practices in our industry. The Ross Street Patio is a shining example of excellent downtown management that delivers real results.”

In addition, the City is currently looking for feedback on the Ross Street Patio. There are two online surveys that are available – one for residents and users and one for downtown businesses. The surveys close tomorrow.

The results from the surveys will form part of a report to council. The report will also include pedestrian and parking counts that were collected numerous times over the course of the pilot project.

The Ross Street Patio was an integral location used in the ‘Best Summer Ever program’, playing host to 24 cultural or musical performances and two evening concerts over the summer.

The Ross Street Patio will be removed for the season at the beginning of October.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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