Winnipeg is a “river city”, yet public waterfront access and development have been limited by increasingly frequent and severe floods, erosion, loss of vegetation and land ownership patterns. However, over the last decade, interest in the city’s riverfronts has grown significantly. The city is on a flat and very broad floodplain near the geographic centre of North America, halfway between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. Known as the "Gateway to the West", Winnipeg is a transportation, logistics and financial centre, as well as a thriving cultural, sports, and education hub of the Prairie provinces. Winnipeg also faces various pressing challenges, such as changing flood regimes, loss of the city’s elm and ash canopy to diseases, maintenance costs of over 4,000 hectares of parkland, eutrophication of Lake Winnipeg, car-centred development and suburban sprawl.