Removing two key characteristics — a foot bridge over the Rideau Canal and an artificial reversible island — won’t make the winning Lansdowne Park design “any less potent,” the chief designer said yesterday.

The challenge now is to reincorporate the intentions of those elements — designed to capture imaginations — into the design, Greg Smallenberg said at city hall Thursday.

“We think that’s important, that community should be linked to important green spaces,” he said.

With respect to the island, “that was put there as a provocative idea ... We weren’t being disrespectful to Parks Canada, but what we were saying is that you’ve got this amazing water course that runs through the city of Ottawa ... but there is a handful of places you can get down to the canal.”

As for merging the urban park design with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group’s retail component, “there is enormous potential to fuse these two initiatives at the hip and make them better than either one of them could be alone.”

“What we want to do is generate as much interest, activity (and) interaction as possible within this park space.”

The big idea here is to create the commons, said Smallenberg. “But there are a number of very intimate spaces within this park.”

The two teams, along with the design review panel, will meet soon to begin a process of integration, said Coun. Peter Hume.

“The park is a great thing for Ottawa,” said Smallenberg. “So we will come at our discussions and our collaborations with the OSEG group with that spirit in mind.

“We want to develop something in Ottawa that’s beyond anybody’s imagination.”