The Future Lives Here
Surrey is ideally positioned as a metropolis located between the city of Vancouver, the USA and the Fraser Valley. It offers resources and amenities such as an extensive system of parks and greenways, the Agricultural Land Reserve, cultural and arts centres and universities. Its most significant potential and challenge lie within the infrastructure of its major arterial thoroughfares. These thoroughfares make Surrey highly accessible and connected, but are, to date, undeveloped in their urban and livability potential.
Our proposal was developed through an analysis of all five Townshift sites. We found that all the sites share similar typological challenges. Thus, in our opinion, a relevant proposal needs to develop a strategy to reform these typological conditions. For this submission our proposed strategies have been adapted for the Cloverdale site. However, the overall strategies are also applicable to the other Townshift sites.
The built environments, constructed in response to the arterial roads crossing through Surrey, have produced three conditions that impede sustainable urban development.
Retreat from the Edge
Most of commercial developments are set back from the arterial road. Parking dominates and creates a generic landscape.
Cul-de-sac developments impede the permeability of Surrey's large block structure and reduce connectivity within neighbourhoods. Single and multi-family housing turn their back on the highway. One's impression of these neighbourhoods is a 6 foot high plastic privacy fence.
Development pushes into the Agricultural Land Reserve along the highway edge, eating up the dwindling supply of agricultural land, while allowing unchecked growth.
Focus growth along arterial corridors as they already have the infrastructure in place to support higher density. They are also well served by public transportation routes. Over time this will create a highly serviced loop between existing town centres.
Establish hierarchy by building residential towers only at the highest density nodes and medium-density solutions elsewhere.
Locate car-oriented commercial and light industrial uses at the highway edge with surface parking behind buildings.
Develop surface parking areas that can also be used for recreational and cultural activities when parking demand is low. Divide parking areas into small pockets with green edges.
Avoid residential development directly adjacent to highways. Locate medium-density housing parallel to the highway - buffered by commercial and light industrial buildings.
Reconnect the City
Increase connectivity between arterial routes, residential neighbourhoods and amenities by connecting secondary streets to arterial roads and through Surrey's large blocks.
Expand and link green corridors between residential areas, amenities and the ALR.
Limit Encroachment on the ALR and Re-brand it as an Amenity
Limit sprawl to encourage densification and urban food production.
Hard-line the urban boundary and re-orient development to value rural vista.
Develop an Agri-wall that negotiates the edge between agriculture and urban uses, connects urban and rural residents and redefines this edge as primary urban amenity.
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- Presentation Panel