Retrofutures – Edmonton’s Omniplex debate

The first Retrofutures project from ECAMP takes the case of Omniplex to explore these and other questions. When the idea was first hatched fifty years ago, Omniplex was one of the boldest ideas in urban planning in Western Canada.

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Retrofutures – Edmonton’s Omniplex debate

Friday, November 21st 2014

Stanley A. Milner Library Centennial Room 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. $15 Tickets

Omniplex was one of the boldest ideas in urban planning in Western Canada. The centre would feature a football field capable of being suspended in the air to reveal a hockey rink. In addition, Omniplex would incorporate a convention center for 25,000 people, a 100,000 square foot trade show center, a movie theatre, two lecture halls, luxury restaurants and boutique shops, a parkade for 2,000 vehicles, and plenty of office space, all the while linking the structure to new rapid transit facilities.

The structure would lie in the heart of downtown Edmonton in order to spur redevelopment of the floundering city center. The project collapsed under its own weight–and its hefty price tag. But what if it had been built? Would we now be bulldozing it to make way for a new arena? Would we retrofit it to be a pedestrian-friendly facility? How can we learn from our past experiments?

Dr. Russell Cobb leads a panel discussion alongside Edmonton Journal’s Paula Simons and Homeward Trust’s Alex Abboud as they discuss the merits of the long lost Omniplex project. We’ll cap the night off with a mock plebiscite—an ode to the public vote made 44 year ago almost to the day.

To get you started, here’s Dr. Cobb’s piece on the Omniplex featured in The Wanderer.

Tickets available now on Eventbrite.