Legacy Study Lays Groundwork for North Central Neighbourhood Plan

Spent Monday evening at the open house presentation of the draft of the North Central Community Legacy Study. Fun stuff.

Ostensibly, this study is about integrating the North Central Shared Facility (NCSF) into the larger community. What we got instead was the foundation for a new North Central neighbourhood plan. From the sounds of things, the time is ripe for such a thing. There've been a series of studies done on North Central over the last five years and all the while there are a myriad of community groups on the ground who're committed to improving the neighbourhood. The Legacy Study and any neighbourhood plan it could inspire appear to be a good way to help focus all those energies.

The presentation involved an extensive list of recommendations around issues such as sustainability, land use, housing, leadership and transit. It was very comprehensive, getting down to things like recommending strategic placement of community gardens so that no one will ever have to walk more than five minutes to get to one.

Might sound like overkill considering what was being considered was the integration of the NCSF, but according to Bruce Rice, the city’s Manager of Housing and Neighbourhood Planning, you can't just plunk a facility like this into the centre of a neighbourhood and expect it to succeed. (For the record, I don't think he actually used the word "plunk".)

For instance, he pointed to the fact that the NCSF will have a daycare that services 90 kids, and for that to work you have to have a neighbourhood in which people feel safe as they'll walking their kids to and from the facility. That's why the recommendations are so extensive and reminiscent of plans put forward for the downtown and the Core Neighbourhood.

The study is being shepherded by some familiar faces. Office for Urbanism, the crew heading up Regina's Downtown Plan, were brought on board in November so it's no surprise the study hits a lot of the same notes.

Other highlights include recommendations to preserve the Albert Library Building (which will be vacated as the library moves into the NCSF) and turn it into an active public use; establish an urban design framework; integrate Crime Prevention through Environmental Design principles into a neighbourhood plan; and advocate for a regulatory framework for rental housing which could include landlord licensing. Mention was also made of the need for enhanced transit and pedestrian linkages with the rest of the city and of the importance of small schools in building and sustaining communities like North Central.

Once feedback is incorporated and other stakeholders are consulted, a final report will be prepared and could be released as early as March.

Six In The Morning

And not just ANY morning. Monday morning! Hooray!

1 FOOTBALL HEROES The Pittsburgh Steelers win Superbowl XLIII. Didn't watch the game, don't particularly care but I am a fan of that city, so...yay! I guess. (TSN)

2 MALIGN MEAT MONEY Twenty-seven million dollar settlement to listeriosis victims, pending paperwork. (Globe And Mail)

3 HE SMOKED THE "MARIJUANA PIPE"! OMG!!! Fishman Michael Phelps gets flack for using a performance un-hancing drug that should be legal (and taxed, and regulated, and yadayadayada). (Toronto Star)

4 GODLESS HORDES Remember this post? They're coming to Canada! They're invading Toronto! They've targeted Calgary! Eeeek! (Various media)

5 AFGHANISTAN COPS KILLED Twenty-one police die in a suicide bomb attack. (CBC)

6 RECESSION REFUGEES Chinese migrant workers leave the cities because there's no jobs there. How many people are on the move? Try 26 million. (The Guardian)