Monday, February 22, 2010

20th Century Development in the 21st Century

A friend of mine is currently living in Regina and posted a status update about a development that is called Harbour Landing. I’m sure you are thinking the same think I am. "Wait, there’s no ocean in Regina." And you’re right, this development is right beside an airport (hence the "landing" part of the name.)

The Habour?

With a name like that in an area like Regina, I had to dig deeper. This development is your textbook single-family house suburban sprawl development complete with big box power centre. The development does include some multi-family which appears to act as a buffer between the single-family houses and the airport. There appears to be no mixed-use. It also has something called an urban village that is anything but. This “urban village” is in an island of 4,500+ stall parking lot ironically called the Grasslands.

As you can see, this development places the auto way ahead of the cyclist or pedestrian. Looking at the following drawing, you can see how hard it is for people in some parts of the development to access the major roads or the “urban village” power centre. This is how they could have made it better. The red lines are an example of possible cyclist/pedestrian corridors. Oddly enough, there is on section of the development that is actually done right.

Anyway, I find it interesting that developers realize that people increasingly want to living in urban areas with a sense of place and strong centre. If you look at the developer’s website for this project, you would think that you are moving into a New Westminster or Langley City type place. Why not just build a real mixed-use urban centre then?

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Oh, and they're shuttling people from Southland Mall (the former Walmart location and soon-to-be ghost town) to the Supercentre so those without cars can shop there too!