Historic Urban Landscape

Pursuing a Historic Urban Landscape:
Approach to Heritage in Edmonton

A guiding document to the HUL approach in general and how it might apply to Edmonton

EVOLVING REPORT / important note: as an area of emerging expertise for each of the partner organisations this report is presented as an evolving, or living, document. It is a work in progress that continues to help guide and capture the development of research in this area. Correspondingly, the reader would be cautioned against reading this document as either an analysis of current heritage planning in Edmonton, or as a roadmap to a new approach. It is rather aimed at supporting further learning, research development and engagement on themes including heritage, culture, city-building, urban sustainability and urban inclusion. Criticism, comments and further content suggestions are much appreciated, as is patience with our unpolished and emergent writing.

Current Version: 2-1 June 14, 2018.

Recent Changes: Expansion of literature review; addition of glossary terms; expansion of research cases; overall edit and copy-edit; page numbering and contents; activities update.

Forthcoming Summer 2018: Final Version; revision of conclusions; further activities summary; forthcoming research introduction.


This project explores approaches to innovating urban heritage planning. Specifically, it provides an introduction and overview of emerging Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) perspectives, and explores their potential application to advancing heritage planning in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. The City is experiencing a renewed wave of urbanisation and interest in city-building, faces many of the challenges of finding a place for heritage planning within a rapidly changing city. Success, this report advances, will involve doing so in ways which acknowledge and make meaningful the complex heritage and the diversity of cultures, narratives and histories which make up the city.

This guiding document is the outcome of a graduate student internship between the University of Alberta's City-Region Studies Centre, Edmonton Heritage Council and MITACS. It is based on a research project involving:

  1. A brief literature review of the history of HUL and its core themes and concepts.
  2. A selected overview of current heritage planning in Edmonton and a consideration of how HUL can identify areas of potential planning innovation.
  3. A scan of current areas of the city which could be supportive of HUL concepts and practices.