green design, eco design, sustainable design , Edmonton Freezeway, Matthew Gibbs, commuter ice rink, ice skating trail

In 2013, Gibbs came up with the Freezeway, which nabbed the first prize of a design competition. Rather than battling Edmonton’s long winter, the Freezeway would embrace it by transforming two existing greenways in the city into an icy trail. The plan would bring together the now separate greenways, connecting them into a seven mile long skating trail. For roughly five chilly months out of the year, Edmontonians would be encouraged to get outside, using the ice trail for fun, to get to work, or visit the shops and cafes it passes through. The frozen trail would also encourage locals to exercise and engage with neighbors and friends, rather than be cooped up inside during sub-zero temperatures. When intersected with pedestrians or cars, the trail would be outfitted with rubber crossing points to ensure safety.

Related: Winter Garden Lets Winnipeggers Skate Through An Artificial Tree Grove on a Frozen River

During the summer, the Freezeway could function as a bike path, continuing the trend of active, green commuting and exercise. Locals loved the idea so much that next year, Gibbs has decided to crowdfund a pilot version of the Freezeway, which will pop up at the Edmonton Ski Club.

+ Edmonton Freezeway

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