Municipal self-esteem, bridges, leadership, and light

At Pecha Kucha 14, Dave Mowat, CEO of ATB Financial, pitched his idea to light up the bridges: “nighttime signatures of the city.”

He makes a connection between the symbolic nature of bridges, municipal self-esteem, and the creative use of light.

This idea, and its execution, is a beautiful example of a Make Something Edmonton project. It fits with a NextGen scheme to paint the bridges and a new initiative to turn the Great Divide Waterfall back on. This is precisely what works in Edmonton: leaders working with citizens in a spirit of collaboration.

Of course, the City of Edmonton owns these bridges. Its role, with an idea like this, is crucial. There may be reasons not to do it. Change and risk are uncomfortable. But if we’re true to the Edmonton story, the municipal government should ask one key question:

What are you making? How can I help?

It’s easy for anyone to come up with an idea and ask the government for money. That isn’t what Mr. Mowat did:

“We can do this without a dime from taxpayers,” he said.


4 thoughts on “Municipal self-esteem, bridges, leadership, and light

  1. Pingback: How do you teach a city about itself? « magpietown

  2. Pingback: Edmonton and the English Language « magpietown

  3. Pingback: Edmonton Made « magpietown

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