Wednesday, November 26, 2008

East Clayton

The busiest bus stop (save for the terminus stops) on the 502 bus route that runs from Langley to Surrey Central on Fraser Highway is by the strip mall in East Clayton. There is a good reason why this stop is the busiest on the route, the neighbourhood was designed with Smart Growth principles. Smart Growth BC has a webpage that details the principles that went into the design of this new neighbourhood:

-Conserve land and energy by designing compact walkable neighborhoods.
-Provide different dwelling types (a mix of housing types, including a broad range of densities from single-family homes to apartment buildings) in the same neighborhood and even on the same street.
-Communities are designed for people; therefore, all dwellings should present a friendly face to the street in order to promote social interaction.
-Ensure that car storage and services are handled at the rear of the dwellings.
-Provide an interconnected street network, in a grid or modified grid pattern, to ensure a variety of itineraries and to disperse traffic congestion, and provide public transit to connect East Clayton with the surrounding region.
-Provide narrow streets shaded by rows of trees in order to save costs and to provide a greener, friendlier environment.
-Preserve the natural environment and promote natural drainage systems (in which storm water is held on the surface and permitted to seep naturally into the ground).

For the most part this plan has been followed. If you look around the strip mall, you’ll see the mix of housing option, and higher densities as you move closer to the mall. The original plan was to have mixed-used on 188th Street. Also, between 188th Street and 192nd Street along the Fraser Highway was planned as a business park to provide local employment options.

It remains to be seen what the commercial/mixed-use component, which is key, of East Clayton will look like, but the housing plan seems to be on track.

When you build smart neighbourhoods, you can provide alternative forms of transportation that people will actually use.

Find out more on East Clayton at the City of Surrey’s website.

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