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The vision for downtown is supported by goals, objectives and design principles to provide a unified perspective and make the project a success. Based off the community engagement from the planning stage of this project, the following streetscape vision statement was created:

As the metropolitan heart of the city, downtown Grande Prairie will be a modern reflection of urban spirit and cultural vitality. Through unique and adaptive urban design, the downtown streetscapes will attract growth and support year round activity, promoting a sense of civic pride.

The seven main goals informing the design framework for downtown streets are:

  1. Urban
  2. Modern
  3. Unique
  4. Attractive
  5. Walkable
  6. Cultural
  7. Active

From the engagement sessions, nine objectives were identified which are each backed by a set of principles that guide the urban design recommendations. These objectives include:

Identity- To enhance an active and vibrant downtown destination that embraces the culture of Grande Prairie:

  • Identify opportunities for themed gateway features that contribute to the sense of destination when entering the downtown
  • Incorporate a unified theme throughout the downtown area

Mobility- To support the complete streets model, emphasizing pedestrian accessibility, transit supportive design, convenient parking, and opportunities for cycling infrastructure:

  • Give priority to the pedestrian experience within the public realm
  • Provide supporting infrastructure for public transit, trail, and cycling networks
  • Maintain on-street parking where possible
  • Encourage the construction of a parkade in a convenient downtown location

Safety- To achieve safety for pedestrians, vehicles, and cyclists throughout the downtown enhancement area:

  • Implement Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles where possible
  • Enhance intersections where possible by incorporating small bump-outs to decrease the cross street distance
  • Incorporate mid-block crossings where possible to calm traffic and offer additional safe crossing conditions

Urban Design- To establish a cohesive design language through coordinated and complementary streetscape elements:

  • Define a modern and attractive material palette for all streetscape elements that results in a unified downtown character
  • Incorporate safe and dynamic gathering spaces to support streetscape related activities
  • Identify locations for public art

Economy- To enhance the economic vitality of the downtown by attracting a mix of businesses that serve a wide variety of people:

  • Establish enhanced streetscape conditions that attract small, boutique businesses
  • Improve the opportunity for night and weekend activities in the downtown, encouraging longer business hours
  • Promote downtown business via coordinated signage and way-finding features

Landscape- To provide for sustainable landscape treatments that complement the character of downtown streets and result in their distinctive identity:

  • Incorporate appropriate species of trees and/or plant material that provide seasonal interest
  • Implement planting best practices to ensure healthy, context sensitive growing conditions

Architecture- To promote high quality architecture and redevelopment opportunities:

  • Establish enhanced streetscape conditions that attract high quality redevelopment
  • Investigate development incentives to encourage appropriate downtown redevelopment

Seasonality- To incorporate flexible design solutions into the streetscape to accommodate a range of functions and activities that can vary throughout the seasons:

  • Encourage flexible and dynamic streetscapes and furnishings that seamlessly support year round community events and ornamentation

Maintenance- To ensure ease of year round maintenance through the use of appropriate streetscape materials:

  • Use sustainable materials and construction best practices to decrease maintenance frequency and cost

The following Winter City recommendations have also been made:

Year-round activity- The proposed streetscape enhancements are designed to help downtown function to its full potential year round. Some of these features include new infrastructure for seasonal decorations and lighting, heat trap structures and expanded public gathering spaces.

Snow and ice removal- Develop a comprehensive snow removal strategy. Although some of the proposed features can potentially create difficulties for snow removal, the benefits outweigh the costs and there are other mitigation options available.

Pedestrian circulation- Pedestrians must be able to safely and conveniently navigate downtown streetscapes, parking lots and building entryways.

Vegetation- To successfully include planting as part of the streetscape, species must be chosen that are suitable for our northern climate. Further, if planted appropriately vegetation can serve to offer climate control by establishing desirable microclimate conditions.

Materials- Climate-appropriate methods and materials must be used to prevent substructure heaving and settling which can in turn create tripping hazards.

Future Development- Future site design must respond to winter climate conditions through consideration of building orientation, building design and density.
Last updated: 3/24/2017 2:54:43 PM