The concept of SUDBURY LITE· highlights and emphasizes the "LITE· environmental impact of human and natural development in the next thirty years. The City of Greater Sudbury, established in 2001, is a collection of proud communities that have grown haphazardly for almost 150 years. Bureaucrats decided these 32 communities and neighbourhoods should be clumped into a municipality- one of the largest in area in Canada. The "City" is an almost ungovernable and "unsustainable" urban area of 3,228 square kilometres-- larger than the great cities of Paris (105.4 sq. km), London (1,572 sq. km) and Rome (1,285 sq. km) combined with a population of about 162,000.
Planning First for People and Quality of lite, not only for Developers and lndustry. lt is almost impossible to live outside the city's historical boundaries without access to a vehicle - making roads the most important city budget consideration. Yet, the City of Greater Sudbury's Official Plan has determined Downtown Sudbury should be the centre for culture and entertainment. This Plan also accommodates already active and growing digital, cinema and mining innovation fields.
Inside and "outside" attitudes have grown over the past two decades resulting in the current divisive KED controversy. SUDBURY LITE, a plan for Regional light Rail Transit, connects the communities and does its part to heal "lnside" and "Outside" divisions which if not addressed could limit economic growth by making the city unable to attract or retain a talented and skilled workforce.
Because of its size and stagnant population Greater Sudbury could be an unliveable city by 2050. SUDBURY LITE will allow citizens who live outside the historical boundaries of the City of Sudbury to have easy and swift access to employment, amenities, shopping and entertainment. Smaller places would be allowed to thrive as communities although they have outlived their original economic purposes. The unofficial capital of northeastern Ontario is blessed with natural resources, a multicultural population. - a microcosm of Canada -- skilled workers, excellent health care facilities and three post- secondary schools, it is the centre of Franco-Ontarian culture in Ontario. The "City" is set in reclaimed lush landscape with more than 300 lakes. An area with so much has grown without thoughtful planning after the CPR set the first grid plan in 1883 which began on Station Road, now Elgin Street, SUDBURY LITE revisits this historical core with potential to finally address this issue of unsustainable, rambling growth to actually create a great city.
Refined Transit, working and Living Forms lead to Commercial and Economic lmprovements. Regional light Rail Transit (LRT) largely using the existing rail beds radiating from the central core, highly automated and with smart signal systems --allowing short headway and high speed, powered by over-head pantographs or Maglev technology - to integrate with rail companies freight and intercity passenger operations, connecting the outlying communities such as Hanmer, Chelmsford, Coniston. Copper Cliff, Lively. Transit will have the priority of schedule, timing and routes over freight within the Greater City. The main freight line through the downtown neighbourhoods will be tunnelled below the transit lines from east end of Ramsey Lake to north of Kathleen Street, enabling public access to the entire north side of Ramsey Lake and better traffic flow downtown. ln the downtown neighbourhoods there will be a "spin-off or mini-transit" system consisting of small electric powered bus shuttles which circulate continuously, picking up and dropping off, free of tares, between popular shopping, commercial, residential areas and LRT stations. The Green Zone downtown will have radically re-designed Rights of Way; only small electric cars (on the scale of the "Smart Car") and pedal-cycle type vehicles allowed, with very limited short term surface parking ln key areas (in the style of The Shops at Don Mils in Toronto but a more principled development enabling freedom of walking and cycling as described here). The pavement system will render snow ploughs obsolete and redundant in the Green Zone. Snowbanks will be a thing of the past. There will be pavement warming systems, allowing melted snow and rainwater to be drained to large central cisterns, underground irrigation systems, and reused for street washing and tree and plant watering. Drivers of larger private vehicles will be limited to parking in and charged appropriate tee, to underground and/or structured above, and then proceed to circulating shuttles, or walking, or cycling. Commercial delivery and emergency vehicles will be appropriately organized. Street design will emphasize wide sidewalks, trees, plants, bike lanes and free stations for bikes similar to Montreal BIXI system; pick up at one station and leave off at any other. Wider areas of pedestrian zones will have glazed weather shelters with sitting benches at appropriate intervals, with overhead infrared heat installations for more comfort in the winter. Perhaps even outdoor cafes in the winter as well as the warmer seasons. New buildings downtown will be mandated to include elements of green technology; solar arrays, green roofs for cooling, growing, water retention. Lots of planting to create an "Urban Forest". Tax credits for green property improvements on existing buildings, not assessment increases/penalties. Our Plan will have generous elements of a variety of living accommodations in the downtown area and adjacent neighbourhoods. The Plan will mandate the absolute elimination ot "homelessness" in the Greater City, together with affordable housing for ail who need it (nodes of the "Small Houses" concept, co-housing will be part of the Plan), and larger apartments/condos for all who want and can pay for it. MIX IT UP - NO GHETTOS. ·we're all in this together· as the saying goes as inspired by the COVID19 cri sis. If the Private Sector won't take this on then the State (Municipal, Provincial, Federal) will be the main sponsor. Seniors Living concepts have to be completely and radically changed! No more "warehousing" type model. Aga in, after the realization of the effects of the COVIO19 pandemic on this population, this has to be, unquestionably, thought out and implemented quickly, not over a period of 30 years, and it has to be government sponsored and the major elements should be part of the universal health system. (A progressive Sudbury has already shown it can carry out such a development. Finlandia which consists of Nursing Home Facilities, Assisted Living, Supportive Housing, For-Sale Townhouses and Recreational/Community Centre.) The Neighbourhoods will be planned with Seniors' Social Centres integrated with Childrens' Oaycare and After-School Activity Centres. Seniors LOVE the presence of young people, the laughter, the conversations, the interactions. There becomes a mutual generational appreciation.
Downtown, despite ail its current shortcomings, really matters as a unique central core. Architect and City Planner, the late Oryst Sawchuk, said: "Downtown is the heart of any community. A healthy heart is essential to having a strong community identity. Downtown should be the showcase of our city. The historical core of our community and its buildings, its architecture embody the community's past and provides the visual and psychological identity for all of us in Greater Sudbury." The SUDBURY LITE proposal has the potential to unite the historically separate settlements, provide a sense of social connectedness and create a liveable Great City.
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