Oct 6, 2020

The Value of our Valley

Photo credit: Mike Watchman

The City of Edmonton’s urban places and river valley policies guide development decisions within our city’s most treasured asset- the land that winds around our North Saskatchewan River. I believe that any activity or development involving Edmonton’s river valley needs to meet the collective approval of the public. The river connects our city and citizens in a way that no other amenity could. As the backbone of our incredible ecological network known as the Ribbon of Green, our river valley is deeply valued by Edmontonians and belongs to each and every one of us. We should be cautious about decisions or agreements that commodify or disturb river valley land.

Putting a market price on the productivity of these kinds of green spaces along the valley doesn’t appreciate the immense social, cultural, and environmental value these areas have. There was a time when landfills, water treatment plants, and parking lots were built in our river valley. But times have changed. We have come to value the few sanctuaries we have to escape into nature right in our own urban back yard.