In previous issues, the downtown, centres, corridors and major redevelopment sites were discussed. How these areas fit within the urban structure, which is the city’s new framework for accommodating growth in different parts of the city, were described.
“New communities” are also an important part of the urban structure. New communities are large, vacant or underdeveloped land areas near the edges of the city that have been identified for future development. Like most Canadian cities, Winnipeg includes new communities as a part of a balanced approach to accommodating population growth and development over time. New communities are developed as the city’s population increases and more land is required to address the demand for residential and other uses.
Winnipeg is growing faster than it has in decades (about 10,000 people per year). A number of key areas are identified as part of the city’s plan to accommodate this growth. As mentioned in the previous articles, these areas include downtown, corridors (important city routes), centres (hubs of localized activity) and major redevelopment sites (large, underused parcels of land next to existing developments).
Over the long-term, new communities also have an important role to play. It is important to plan our new communities as “complete,” to help ensure their long term sustainability.
OurWinnipeg specifies that new communities are to be planned as complete from the outset. As a starting point, all new communities identified in OurWinnipeg are serviceable, of appropriate size, adjacent to, or near, existing developed areas and meet requirements of area supply and demand. In addition, planners and development stakeholders must work together to ensure that new communities provide the amenities necessary to meet the the living, working and recreational needs of Winnipeggers.
Most new communities are planned to provide opportunities for mixed uses, a range of housing types, parks and employment options within walking distance of diverse residential neighbourhoods. They are planned to provide direct and efficient active transportation (cycling, walking, blading, wheeling), automobile and transit routes that connect Winnipeggers to jobs and retail amenities, as well as integrated natural areas with open spaces and sustainable infrastructure systems.
Winnipeg planners are using the Complete Communities Direction Strategy as their “playbook” for evaluating development proposals in new communities. In addition, several other tools are being, or have been, created to serve as tools for implementation. These include:
• A planning framework for new communities has recently been developed to help provide clarity and certainty for developers when proposing to build new communities.
• The Complete Communities Checklist, a new tool under development that is intended to assist development stakeholders in achieving complete communities.
• The city’s Zoning By-Law 200/2006 will be reviewed and aligned to support the Complete Communities Direction Strategy.
Current success stories are being featured on an interactive online map which will be expanded over time. City departments will be working together to ensure that their daily work and budgets support the goals of OurWinnipeg, Complete Communities, and the other three Direction Strategies (sustainable transportation, sustainable water and waste, and a sustainable Winnipeg).
Visit speakupwinnipeg.com. And while you’re there, check out OurWinnipeg in Action, a new on-line interactive map tool that helps you learn about the urban structure and innovative projects taking place in different parts of the city.
— provided by the city’s Planning, Property and Development Department.