This year, Downtown Edmonton’s Warehouse District was named the first in North America to be accredited with the Purple Flag designation. With our growing Downtown, and with massive public and private investment, this is exciting news for our residents, visitors and business owners.
What does this mean?
The Purple Flag designation means that Edmonton has set the bar for North American safety standards in hospitality destinations.
Purple Flag is an accreditation program for specifically-defined nightlife/hospitality destinations. Developed in the UK, Purple Flag is a set of standards and best practices for nightlife areas. The program is rigorous and credible, and uses evidence-based reasoning to make changes and create new policy. While the UK’s Association of Town and City Management has designated 60 areas across the UK and Europe, this is the first time a North American entertainment district has received accreditation. ATCM agreed to “Canadian-ize” and pilot the program in Edmonton at the request of Responsible Hospitality Edmonton.
What are examples of the criteria?
- WELLBEING – Creating a welcoming, clean and safe area
We took a hard look at our per capita crime and anti-social behaviour rates to determine that they are at least average and show an improving trend.
- MOVEMENT — Developing a secure pattern of arrival, circulation and departure
In the last few years, late night transit went from a dream to a pilot project, and now to reality. We call it the Late Night Owl Service.
- APPEAL — Offering a vibrant choice and a rich mix of entertainment and activity
Since a vibrant hospitality area needs people of different ages and backgrounds, we had to determine and demonstrate whether the Warehouse District offers options beyond youth-oriented, alcohol-based activities.
- PLACE – Creating a stimulating destination and a vital place.
We know that creating a vibrant area means offering convenient and attractive uses of the land. Parks, night markets, festivals and markets all contribute to diversifying our use of the land.
- THE POLICY ENVELOPE — Sharing a clear aim and a common purpose
We are proud of the momentum of collaboration between sectors, agencies, service providers and policy-makers. We strive to be on the same page, and are working together towards the same goals.
Partnership is key.
In Edmonton, the Chasing the Purple Flag Steering Committee was made up of community groups, residents, local businesses and the City of Edmonton’s Responsible Hospitality team. It took three years of dedicated work to develop the model and work with the International Purple Flag Committee.
We’re leading the way.
We knew early on that the Purple Flag model in the UK doesn’t perfectly fit the culture of North America. For instance, where England measures “footfall”, we measure “pedestrian counts”. The Chasing the Purple Flag Committee did the heavy-lifting needed to translate this work and develop a North American set of standards.
We are proud to be leaders in hospitality and nightlife, and how to create safe and vibrant hospitality districts.
Looking for more information on Edmonton’s Purple Flag designation? Head over to Chasing the Purple Flag.