Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Asphalt Alley - City of Langley's Civic Centre

Earlier this year, I posted about how the City of Langley is buying up property in what is called the Civic Centre area in Downtown Langley. So far what the City has done after purchasing properties is tear down the buildings and put up parking lots. In what seems like a fit of 1960’s urban renewal, Downtown Langley’s core is now flanked by the large Cascade Casino parking lot and the newly expanded City-owned parking lot. While the Casino parking lots has a negative effect on the walkability of Downtown Langley, at least it has a landscaped buffer between it and the street. The expanded City parking lots has absolutely no landscaping, and when combined with the Timm Community Centre site, the Civic Centre is now looking like an urban wasteland. I took a few pictures of what this area now looks like today.

Former site of Timm Community Centre

Newly expanded City-owned parking lots at Fraser Highway and Glover Road

Now both the Timm Community Centre site and the parking lot will be redeveloped in the future, but I’m concerned that even two more years of this “temporary” parking lot and torn-down Timm Community Centre will continue to have a negative influence on the walkability and viability of Downtown Langley.

Surrey pop-up park. Part of PARKit project. Image from City of Surrey

One of the interesting things that Surrey did near the parking lot at Surrey Central SkyTrain Station is put up a temporary pop-up park. There is more information about this on Surrey’s website, but this would certainly be something worth considering in Downtown Langley. It would bring life back to the area and is a better alternative to bare asphalt.

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