Armed with public feedback, the City of Edmonton is reimagining 104 Ave. as a great street closer in look and feel as Jasper Ave. We all know a good street when we see one, but we’re not always able to find the worlds to explain what sets it apart. These are some technical terms you might hear to describe the future of 104 Ave., and other building projects around town.
1. Active Frontage (or “active edge”)
When a building’s ground floor has windows and doors facing the sidewalk. Passersby can window shop, and customers, staff and office workers can see outside. It all adds up to streets that feel less isolated and more interesting.
Buildings that are flush with sidewalks, without parking, lawns or fences in front. These buildings help define the street, making it more comfortable for pedestrians and ensuring that cars and parking stalls in front of it aren’t the most prominent feature.
3. Front setback
The distance between a building and the sidewalk. In commercial areas, minimum front setbacks of 3 to 4.5 metres are usually required in Edmonton’s zoning bylaw, but they can be reduced to zero along street-oriented shopping streets. Many buildings along 104 Ave. today, like Longstreet Plaza (think: Red Robin west to Edo Japan) have large setbacks with parking out front.
A combination of activities in a single building or area. For example, a building that has a café (commercial use) on the ground floor and apartments (residential use) above. Mixed-use can also describe an area where separate stores, offices and residences are closely mingled together and easy to walk around (like 124 st.). A mix of uses encourages people to be present at different times of the day.