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  Urban professionals address the needs of our communities and help unlock the benefits of development - we build cities.

Nancy MacDonald

Principal, Sector Leader, Community Development (Canada)

Edmonton, Alberta

A fascination with cities drew Nancy to the world of planning. She loves the way they change, grow, and fit together, combining diverse people and places to make something greater than the sum of its parts.

Experience has taught her that urban planning works a bit like cities. With the right mix of people and disciplines, there’s no limit to what a great planning team can achieve for communities and clients.

She’s seen this play out in the public and private sectors, on infill housing projects and brand new neighbourhoods, on university campuses and community master plans, in meticulously detailed plans for a single building, and in projects that imagine the transformation of whole city districts.

Her work in planning also created a deep connection to the communities of northern Alberta. Nancy works where she lives. She loves that she gets to help make it a better place every day. 

Designing for winter means thinking about winter differently...

Nancy tells us why

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>NANCY: Designing for winter means thinking about winter differently—seeing winter as an asset and not a liability.</p> <p>This is something we haven’t done all that well in the past.</p> <p>So now what we try and do is design spaces, provide infrastructure to bring people out of buildings, bring people out of their homes and ensure that they’re actually being active in the winter climate. It’s really important. We do it all summer long, and we can’t stop doing it in the winter.</p> <p>One really great example of this is ice ribbons.</p> <p>Ice ribbons are a continuous path of ice built in an urban area. They’re constructed to allow communities to have a place to skate and they weave through a park space.</p> <p>So it’s a really good way to active the park space in the winter months, rather than just having it in one rink. So it pulls people into the park spaces and gets them using it.</p> <p>So it’s a fantastic idea and it’s a really great thing that we’ve built in a variety of great communities across North America.</p> <p>A really simple winter design principal is the use of colour. If you look around, there’s a whole series of really good examples of this.</p> <p>The Edmonton Clinic Health Centre is a perfect example of using colour—bold, strong colours were used on the façade, and it really enlivens the space around it.</p> <p>Another example is the Iqaluit Airport.</p> <p>The airport was designed to be red, so we’ve got this very strong statement, a very visual statement, of colour within that landscape. Really simple things to do, and a really great way to enhance the winter experience.</p> <p>If you live in a winter city, you know important it is to get outside in the winter. That’s one of the things that we’ve started to employ in the design of our spaces.</p> <p>A good example of this is One Boulder Plaza. It’s a mixed-use building that was designed in Boulder, Colorado.</p> <p>In the summer, the open space is a water fountain, a splash park. In the winter, it’s a skating rink. On the main floor, there’s lots of retail.</p> <p>So the space is really active, there’s places in the winter for people to warm up, have coffee, go back out, skate.</p> <p>And it’s a great example of how to create a sense of community that’s used in the winter.</p> <p>At Stantec, we understand winter design principles. Edmonton is where Stantec grew from, a northern community. Long before we were a global company. We’re really excited to be part of this shift and the trend towards including winter design principles in the projects that we work on, and for the communities that we serve.</p>

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