Pehonan: Heritage in Urban Design

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

You'll learn about:

  • How to integrate multiple, conflicting histories in the urban design of a place, including indigenous heritage
  • How to address heritage within urban design without significant built form to preserve
  • How to use  urban design as an “imagination” tool to provoke, rather than as a “solving” tool

Rossdale, a neighborhood in Edmonton, Canada, has been a key gathering and ceremonial site for indigenous peoples in the area for thousands of years. Also known as Pehonan (“gathering place” in Cree), it was a key location during the fur trade, and significant to the start of the city and province. Now, it is mostly vacant with large traffic arteries running through it—a result of decades of planning decisions.

Numerous challenges exist: There are few existing buildings or remnants; the landscape has changed significantly, and much of the space is used for roads and utilities. There is little memory about the significance of the heritage of the site.

This poster presentation explores several urban design concepts integrating the heritage of the site, from small to large scale, as a starting point for further discussion, consultation, and imagination. Learn how to rethink heritage not as preserving buildings, but as restoring the conceptualizations of the site as a gathering place and restoring the materiality and memory of previous uses.


Alix Krahn , Vancouver , BC (see bio)
Activity Type: Posters
NPC Topic: Urban Design