Architect Gene Dub believes a cluster of parking lots in downtown Edmonton could use a facelift, and his plan involves the use of stacks of shipping containers.

“It’s an idea that we think would be great for downtown Edmonton,” Dub said of his proposal. “The whole idea here is to somehow deal with the unsightly parking lots that we have downtown.”

The parking lots in question sit along 103 Avenue, between 96 and 97 Street.

Dub’s idea, called Container City, would not just feature pieces of art on 100 shipping containers. That art would serve as a backdrop to weekend markets where Edmontonians could gather.

“It would be dramatic and something interesting to visit,” Dub said. “And on weekends these parking areas would be turned into a city market and a market for crafts and food and whatever.”

Dub said his proposal has a price tag of about $2 million – and he said it could start a turnaround in the area bordering the arts district.

“It would be really colourful and it would be, I think, filled with life,” Dub said. “Particularly if we could shut down the streets and get a market street that went for three blocks.”

Container City was one of hundreds of ideas submitted to The Edmonton Project, those ideas have been narrowed down to ten. Dub and the people behind the nine other proposals will pitch their ideas on March 6.

With files from Dez Melenka