Imagine a lush, green valley. Then picture a river running though it. Now imagine five glass pyramids by that river. Sound beautiful? Sounds like Cloverdale.
“It really does have an extraordinary feel,” says Paul Bunner, president of the community league in Cloverdale, which scored high in the Best Neighborhoods survey because it’s surrounded by green space while remaining close to downtown.
Readers told us that parks are of the utmost importance when judging a neighbourhood’s livability. Just over 89 per cent of them rated green space highly desirable. Why?
Bunner says they’re a “social enabler,” a place to meet and connect with neighbours.
Jeannette Wheeler, the City of Edmonton’s principal of forestry, agrees but doesn’t single out any specific reason for the demand for parks. For her, it’s the sum of activities you can enjoy in parks that make them indispensable to a great neighbourhood.
“It’s a sense of community,” she says. “You can take your family there; it’s where your family first learns to ride a bike. You can go tobogganing. It’s a mix of all those things.”
And on top of all the money you could save on that gym membership, a park increases the values of nearby homes.
Covering over 18,000 acres, the river valley – North America’s largest linear park – winds through the city and brightens every neighborhood it touches and boosts their values. As Bunner puts it: “Having access to greenspace, bike trails, rivers – it just adds exponentially to the quality of life.”