Sustainable Urban Integration (SUI)
A major priority of the Valley Line project is to design a transit system that both meets the overall goal of LRT expansion, and fully integrates into the communities it serves. Through direction from the City and two years of public consultation, an extensive list of design guidelines that emphasize Sustainable Urban Integration (SUI) was established.
SUI looks beyond the building of tracks and trains to create neighbourhoods that are safe, attractive and connected. This involves designing livable, pedestrian-friendly environments, and adding enhancements that reflect the feel and character of each of the communities along the LRT corridor.
Some examples of SUI enhancements include:
- Building shared-use pathways, sidewalks and trails
- Adding bike lanes that connect to the City’s existing bike lane network
- Designing pedestrian-friendly zones around stops and stations
- Using enhanced landscaping and streetscaping along the length of the corridor to create a more natural environment
- Incorporating organic materials such as stone and wood wherever possible
Community members had direct involvement in determining how the LRT would visually fit into their neighbourhood. They were able to weigh in on designs for certain elements such as structures, buildings and landscaping railings, columns and paved surfaces to reflect the distinct nature and character of each area or “Character Zone” along the alignment.
These guidelines were incorporated into the Valley Line LRT Design Guide, a document that became the foundation for specific design requirements included in the Valley Line LRT - Stage 1 Project Agreement.
Developed specifically for Edmonton’s Valley Line, SUI terminology and framework is starting to be adopted as best industry practice for new LRT projects across the country. This is another example of Edmonton leading the way in innovative LRT design and construction principles.