TO SUDBURY 2050 & BEYOND...
With the impact of a meteorite nearly 2 billion years ago, a crater was formed that would become home to a robust mining industry, an abundance of freshwater lakes and forests, and people from a variety of cultures. Inspired by this geo-cosmological event, this masterplan reminisces on Sudbury's cosmic origin by bringing a spiralling galactical form to this particular place earth. This structure results in three axes, ten zones, and one point of convergence from which the city can be viewed.
The downtown core can be characterized by its three-axes corridor: the pedestrian corridor, the green corridor, and the activity corridor. The three axes reach outward from the point of convergence to serve as the underlying framework for the downtown and Greater Sudbury as a whole, ensuring that spaces are always considering their relationship to the pedestrian, their green thumb, and how they bring activity to the community. From these three axes, ten zones emerge, serving the heart of the city, ensuring that the downtown addresses a variety of purposes for a variety of people. These ten zones are based on themes that will inspire actions that will strengthen and bring vitality to Sudbury's downtown. These themes include: Culture; Arts; Innovation & Education; Shopping, Dining & Entertainment; Mobility; Recreation; Green Space; Housing; Social Services; and Work.
CULTURE An important part of Sudbury's identity is its economic role in Northern Ontario. While Ontario's provincial capital is in the south of the province, life up north is much different, resulting in a window of opportunity for the City of Greater Sudbury to present itself as the capital of Northern Ontario. Supporting this would be the creation of a Museum of Northern Ontario, located in the former YMCA building downtown. In addition, as Sudbury continues to boom and attract newcomers, an amplified Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association will be there to provide services and programming for all, as it has continually done for decades.
ARTS With new catalytic projects on the way, such as the Place des Arts and the Junction, the downtown already has plans for attracting people to the urban core. This can be reinforced by investing in more spaces that garner the interest of all kinds of creative individuals. Spaces that are proposed in this masterplan include a new home for the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra in the former Sudbury Theatre Centre. Currently, all lessons provided by the conservatory take place at Cambrian College. With the anticipation that individuals of all ages will appreciate some form of artistic expression, this new home for the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra hopes to contribute to downtown Sudbury's creative potential.
INNOVATION & EDUCATION Education and innovation go hand-in-hand when it comes to thinking about the future. Students are introduced to information and technology that fulfills and expands a city's potential. The McEwen School of Architecture is one of these big players that not only inspires young individuals, but also explores and investigates a city's possibilities. Architecture students can engage with the community by providing programming in a makerspace and woodshop, as well as inform them about Northern Ontario's forestry industry and its role in the future of mass timber construction. In addition, students provide a lot of stimulation to the downtown economy, so expanding post-secondary campuses downtown, particularly departments that can add to the cultural and institutional spaces, can attract prospective students, faculty and professionals to Sudbury's urban core.
SHOPPING, DINING & ENTERTAINMENT The primary commercial and retail space in Downtown Sudbury is Elm Place. However, there is a problem, the exclusively indoor shopping experience pulls the consumer away from the outdoor pedestrian experience. This new proposal for a new and improved Elm Place adds recreation and cultural programming to the mall, with more retail spots opened to the main street. This provides an improved connection to the street and the larger regional transit system with the new transportation hub sitting across from it. Additional community entertainment is also provided in a shared outdoor public plaza and pedestrian street, located at the corner of Durham Street and Beech Street. This area can be found activated at any time of day, and at any day of the week. During Friday nights, it might serve as a biergarten to complement the night clubs along Eglin Street, an outdoor patio for the mall during bright summer evenings, or as a reception venue during weddings on the weekend for the church, with long harvest tables looking down Durham Street.
MOBILITY Sudbury is notorious for being inaccessible without a car and unfriendly to cyclists due to its sprawled out communities and distant natural attractions. With Sudbury's long-lasting winter and the limited daylighting hours, travelling through the city has its challenges, however, that has never stopped the typical Sudburian, and in the year 2050, travel will just get easier. By introducing a year-round maintained regional bike network and an improved transit system, travelling through the region will be faster than ever. This system will provide easier and affordable transportation for everyone. On a smaller scale, within the urban core, all streets between arterial roads will become pedestrianized and supported with street trees. Trees create a microclimate on city sidewalks by providing shade during hot summers and shielding pedestrians from chilly winter winds.
RECREATION A lot of outdoor active opportunities in Sudbury take place outside of the city, in the abundant surrounding forests. However, not everyone will have the time or easy access to such places. In 2050, the brownfields in the urban core, the rail lands, will have been reclaimed by green corridors, bringing recreation activities to Sudbury's downtown.
GREEN SPACE A unique aspect of Greater Sudbury's cultural makeup is its concentration of Indigenous culture. The Greater Sudbury area is located on the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. An important part of indigenous culture is land stewardship. With the campaigns that have taken place for decades in favour of re-developing the rail yard, an opportunity presents itself to reclaim the rail lands as part of Sudbury's internationally renowned regreening strategy to create a space for indigenous educational gardens, a community food garden, as well remediating the brownfield site by introducing Northern Ontario's boreal forest to the urban core. As the rail lands are reclaimed over time, downtown Sudbury can establish a green corridor to Ramsey Lake.
HOUSING To bring people downtown suggests to house them as well. The lack of affordable housing has been a problem in Sudbury for quite some time, in fact, the city is losing affordable housing rather than growing it. As the urban core is supplemented with social services, arts and cultural buildings, recreation, etc, individuals who might benefit the most from these places will also want to live here. A variety of housing will be provided for them, no matter what their financial situation might be. Affordable, low-income, rent-toincome, women's shelters, multi-family, and intergenerational housing will be ready with open arms.
SOCIAL SERVICES Sudbury is home to some vulnerable populations: it typically has a high unemployment rate, ranking below average in level of education completed, as well as a large aging population. By 2050, a variety of services will be required to support these individuals. This will be addressed by providing a range of social services and community amenities to maintain a healthy downtown. This will include addiction and mental health centres, medical services, programming to promote active living, and community spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals.
WORK It is common for students, adults and families to move away from a city to a metropolitan area in search of work. As students move into Sudbury to pursue a post-secondary education, how can the city make them want to stay after graduation? With the abundance for services, institutions, etc that pop up downtown, student jobs will always be included. In addition, as more spaces for businesses settle in, entrepreneurs and small businesses from Sudbury's adjacent communities will want to move downtown for the increased foot traffic. Opportunities to set up pop-up shops and restaurants will also take place in community centres, increasing outreach to customers, interest, and demand for those shops to establish a permanent space in the downtown.
Finally, at the heart of these ten zones, lies a skywalk from which the city can be seen. It is the point at which the dense urban streetscape, the railway, and future green spaces will emerge from. From here, we get a sense of what the city was in its past: a railway company village and mining town, to a regional central-declining city, to a city of 2050 that sustains itself and its neighbouring communities. What will Sudbury become in the far future? This is the point to stand at to consider Sudbury 2050 and beyond.
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