Thursday, August 17, 2017

Democratic Values in Planning —
Urban Design for the Public Good:
Assignment 7, Structure Transformed

5. Uses This was a massing and mixed-uses study for a portion of a City-owned south downtown property. A mostly single-use City-owned multiplex hockey arena was proposed and defeated in a referendum. Objective here was to imagine a productive mix of mid-denstiy low-rise residential with commercial and institutional components.

4. Buildings The short-block street grid illustrated here allows for a dynamic range of land ownership possibilities including the long-term leasing of some sub-divided parcels by the City on which it could partner with non-profit organizations to build non-market housing, social, co-op, assisted, etc. Some properties would be divested to the marketplace bringing a range of uses and new capital for development. An institutional presence, Vancouver Island University, the Snuneymuxw First Nations, Federal and Provincial governments should be encouraged.

3. Public Space The precinct is anchored in the adjoining acreage between here the harbour, the Strait of Georgia (the Salish Sea). This area in its entirity should be maintained in the public domain in perpetuity and should become a brilliant new urban plaza on the waterfront. The 4 and 5 storey office and  institutional buildings in the southwest corner of the site have generous setbacks from the street allowing for green space and public use.

2. Urban Plan A visioning and guiding principles process was completed in 2013 and its reports presented to Council. The guiding principles establish the importance of connectivity, the working harbour and “bold, resilient and visionary” land use. There are rail rights-of-way on the site but it is not presently used for rail freight.

1. Terrain The site is relatively flat and has been used for industrial purposes of many years. Some remediation work has been done and it has been cleared for development with some restrictions. Its elevation is just above sea level, restricting some below grade possibilities. 

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