Woodlands receives Planning Excellence Award

Woodlands receives Planning Excellence Award

City of New Westminster

The BC Building Corporation, in association with the City of New Westminster, Stantec Architecture, Sharp & Diamond, and Big Think Communications, received an Award for Planning Excellence for the rezoning and master plan of Woodlands. The award was issued by the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) at their annual conference in Toronto, Ontario, on July 13th.

The Awards for Planning Excellence are presented each year to honour planning projects judged on their excellence in planning work, their contribution to the profession, and for showing particular strength in the category under which they won their award. The Woodlands rezoning project won in the Category of Implementation. The CIP judging panel indicated that the Woodlands project demonstrated its potential for implementation after extensive public involvement in the planning process.

The Woodlands site, in New Westminster, B.C., is a 65-acre former major mental healthcare facility which is no longer required by the Provincial government. The site has been largely vacant since the relocation of many programs in 1995. The site is unique in its natural and built heritage, its topography, and the views it affords of both the Fraser River and the surrounding mountains.

Due to its specific healthcare use, barriers were created, isolating the Woodlands site from the surrounding community. The redevelopment plans involved careful study to integrate new development into the fabric of the community. Strong communication was reinforced throughout the planning process between stakeholders and planners.

The redevelopment plan benefits the community through the preservation of historically significant structures, a cemetery, a large number of mature landscape specimens, and development of a new village heart area. It results in an 8% increase in overall open space for the City of New Westminster.

This plan ensures that divergent and often conflicting perspectives were included in the implementation and design. The Woodlands rezoning project represents a unique example of a successful design evolved from extensive public involvement in the planning process and solid implementation.

The overall plan envisions a mixed-use development of 2,000 to 3,000 people, including market and non-market housing, in addition to health-care, commercial, cultural and recreational facilities. The plan for Woodlands also integrates a number of strategies around site planning, greenway connections, and transportation that will create a community of people that can walk, bike and use public transit. The BC Building Corporation has recently sold the Woodlands site to a Lower Mainland developer, Onni Group of Companies, and the site will be built out over the next 10-15 years.

Related Link: http://www.city.new-westminster.bc.ca/

For more information contact:

John Hopkins
City of New Westminster
511 Royal Avenue
New Westminster
British Columbia V3L 1H9

Phone: 604-515-3767
Fax: 604-527-4511
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.city.new-westminster.bc.ca/

Posted July 22, 2004

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