22nd Street Station Area Bold Vision
The area around the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station is identified in the Official Community Plan (OCP) as an area intended to accommodate higher density development, with good access to transit and amenities.
In response to New Westminster City Council’s declaration of the climate emergency, a new approach has been endorsed for planning for the area surrounding the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station: to create a Bold Vision for a Climate Friendly Future. This vision will show how the area can transform into a climate friendly neighbourhood – where the way people live makes a real difference for climate action.
Early expressions of interest from several First Nations communities have created an opportunity to explore closer collaboration in this planning process. As such, reconciliation will be a fundamental project focus along with climate resilience. Opportunities to advance reconciliation, by building understanding of the First Nations context of these lands, and advancing the interests of Nations, will be explored through the visioning process.
The Bold Vision will also respond to community aspirations, as well as goals such as housing options and affordability, safe movement of people, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
Bold Vision Update - July 2023
At their June 12th meeting, Council relaunched the Bold Vision planning process for the 22nd Street, with a dual focus on First Nations collaboration and building climate resilience. The staff report can be reviewed here.
The City is now reaching out to local First Nations and working with a consulting firm, Modus Planning, Design and Engagement, to finalize the planning process, which is anticipated to include public engagement in the fall of 2023.
The process to create a Bold Vision, as currently imagined, could include the phases described below. Taking a collaborative approach with First Nations means that the City’s approach will need to be flexible, and early discussions with Nations may reveal opportunities to change and improve process (i.e., phases 2 to 6 may shift).
- First Nation Collaboration Planning and Confirmation of Process: First Nations collaboration planning will entail inviting First Nations to discuss the project, how they would like to engage throughout the process, and capacity funding options. Early discussions will also include:
- seeking input on proposed visioning process and goals;
- exploring whether there are stories about the station area that could be shared to ground planning in First Nations context; and
- starting conversations on ways to advance reconciliation through the project.
As noted above, the outcomes of this step would inform steps 2 to 6, including both the process and how First Nations engage with each step.
- Ideas Collection: The next phase of the project will entail hosting an ideas challenge, inviting submissions from global experts on climate resilience and community planning, students, and members across the community to provide creative ideas about how to achieve the project goals. The intent of the challenge is to tap into a wide range of bold ideas, many of which can then inform the vision.
Community engagement will run concurrently with the ideas challenge, to ensure early visioning is shaped by aspirations of the community. Community engagement will include ideas workshops, pop-ups, online engagement, and targeted efforts to reach lesser-heard voices.
- Ideas Evaluation and Iteration: The evaluation and shortlisting of ideas will include both expert analysis and community and First Nation input, as well as a public showcase and celebratory event. Shortly after the ideas challenge and community consultation phase, a design charrette will be held, to start integrating the ideas and input.
- Vision Development: Staff, the consulting team and First Nations will further develop the ideas and concepts that come out of the design charrette, draft a vision, and seek interdepartmental review of that draft.
- Vision Refinement: The draft vision will be brought to Council for discussion and endorsement to seek community input on the draft. Input will be sought from City committees and community members. A revised vision will be brought back to Council for consideration of endorsement.
- Vision Implementation: Once the vision is endorsed by Council, an implementation process will be determined, based on identified next steps and priorities. Implementation will likely include further developing financing growth strategies to deliver required amenities and infrastructure, transportation network options, and/or design and public realm guidelines.
It is anticipated that the phases outlined above will take place through 2023 and 2024. The ideas challenge is targeted to take place in the fall or winter, with visioning through the spring and public review of the vision later in 2024.
New applications for rezoning for development projects will not be recommended to Council until this work is complete. Development under existing zoning entitlements continues to be permitted.