Downtown areas are the economic, social, and cultural heart of communities; they reflect a community’s identity and values. The Town of Stony Plain, Alberta has initiated a downtown redevelopment that will represent their past, provide a focal point for commercial, cultural, and civic activities, and stimulate economic growth.
A community of 17,000 located west of Edmonton, Alberta, the Town of Stony Plain has established a visionary Community Sustainability Plan. This plan sets a holistic direction for social equity, economic viability, cultural vitality, and environmental responsibility. Aligning with its sustainable planning vision and Community Master Plan, the town initiated a program to redevelop its downtown core, which included an extensive consultation process. The public and stakeholders identified the need for improvements such as bicycle route linkages, landscape improvements, public seating, traffic calming, spaces for cultural events, and unique shopping, dining and gathering experiences.
Project Manager, Diego Mejia, tells us, “The stakeholder and public meetings provided a significant amount of information. We collated and used this data to inform our conceptual designs of the downtown redevelopment. To help convey the design to stakeholders, we prepared an interactive 3D visual model, including both the existing buildings and the proposed concept. We received very positive feedback from stakeholders and unanimous approval to move forward with the design.”
The town implemented a phased approach for its Downtown Redevelopment. Phase 1 included reconstructing the downtown back lanes. In the short-term, the back lanes were enhanced to serve as temporary pedestrian and vehicular detours for subsequent phases of the redevelopment. In the long-term, the back lanes will become multi-use pathways.
In 2018, we began Phase 2 of the Downtown Redevelopment. The reconstruction of the downtown Phase 2 includes two city blocks and two lateral streets. We developed the streetscape concept, and completed detailed design of the streetscape, civil infrastructure, electrical, and structural works.
Project Lead, Chris Parfitt, says, “To improve environmental sustainability, we used soil cells which are soil structures that have sufficent soil to support root growth, allowing trees to reach full growing potential. The load-bearing soil cell support hard surfaces that accommodate vehicles and pedestrians. This technology is used around the world and is gaining traction in Canada.”
The team also designed a self-watering system that channelizes surface runoff through the soil cell via catch basins and perforated pipes. Overflow is redirected into the main sewer system.
Key personnel involved on this project include Diego Mejia, Chris Parfitt, Steven Tran, Laurel Richards, Lisa Butler, Kevin Carnagie, Tyson Buckley, Dan Chartrand, and Melvin Lacebal.