Transit Villages Engagement Workshops
On January 17th and 18th, 2018, the City of Saskatoon and DIALOG hosted a series of workshops and engagements events with the public, landowners and stakeholders, and City staff to develop preliminary concept plan opportunities for the three Transit Village sites. The images below show the collaboration between these groups.
Vision and Principles
For each Transit Village site, a strong and compelling vision was established to clearly direct goals, aspirations, and opportunities for the future. These statements explain, in a concise matter, what is really important to these Transit Village sites and provide a high-level guide for designing plans and implementing development.
Preliminary Concept Opportunities
In collaboration with the public, landowners, stakeholders, and City staff, a series of preliminary concept opportunities were created for each Transit Village site. These preliminary designs are intended to show key connections, opportunities for land use and density, enhanced spaces for public realm, phasing of development, and integration of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. DIALOG will use these preliminary concept opportunities and return on March 7th with refined versions to present at the public open house at the Western Development Museum (4:30 pm to 8:30 pm).
Existing conditions: The Centre Mall site is a local commercial hub along 8th Street East. The site is surrounded with predominantly low-density residential uses, although there are some medium-density residential uses to the east. The character of streets around the site are generally auto-oriented and, with the exception of a few arterial streets, there is poor connectivity in the area, making for circuitous walking routes. The Centre Mall, straddling Acadia Drive, currently occupies the site and serves as a regionally important commercial centre and amenity for local neighbourhoods as well as the City at large.
Preliminary Concept Opportunities: The photos below show preliminary ideas for future uses of Centre Mall. They imagine a variety of land uses, including mid-density residential, street-fronting commercial, and office uses. They show the addition of public space, such as a park, as well as a finer-grained street network with enhanced streetscaping, including boulevard trees.
Confederation Suburban Centre
Existing conditions: The Confederation site is a local commercial hub that includes a range of commercial amenities, including a mall. It is surrounded by predominantly low-density residential uses, although there are some higher density residential uses along its edge. There are a number of green spaces, schools, and community facilities nearby. The Confederation site is an important commercial destination within the city, providing access to a range of retailers and other services for surrounding neighbourhoods.
The site contains several commercial buildings and properties. In many cases, the properties are not orthogonal and do not follow a typical urban grid.
Preliminary Concept Opportunities: The photos below depict preliminary ideas for the future Confederation Suburban Centre Transit Village. Enhanced connectivity across Confederation Drive and 22nd Street West are shown as vital elements. Similarly, a pattern emerges where we see an enhanced greenway along 22nd Street West to perhaps provide a multi-use trail and passive recreation. A finer-grain street network is proposed and includes street fronting buildings (that incorporate both residential and commercial land uses), public parks, and plaza areas.
University Heights Suburban Centre
Existing conditions: The University Heights site is one of the few commercial hubs in the area, serving a fairly far-reaching suburban community. It is surrounded by a mix of land uses including some medium-density residential uses, community facilities, and open spaces, although there is a predominance of low-density residential development in the area. While there is a fair amount of open space in the area, most of it is designed to serve specific active recreational functions. The site contains a number of low-rise commercial buildings that are surrounded by surface parking.
Preliminary Concept Opportunities: The images below show the desire for the site to remain a hub for commercial services, but to diversify the range of land uses by proving medium-density residential and a range of retail offerings. It is recognized that the site should take advantage of the adjacent park space, community uses, and high schools by proving better connectivity and complementary uses (such as a civic leisure facility). The preliminary opportunities show a desire to create a finer-grained street network with more active frontages and more efficient use of existing parking areas. A theme can be seen for creating a public plaza in the heart of the site, as well as providing a greenway along Attridge Drive and McOrmond Drive.