Urban Strategies is leading a consultant team responsible for planning the redevelopment of a former Canadian Pacific Railyard in the heart of Regina, Saskatchewan. After CP relocated its intermodal operations to a new facility outside Regina’s core, Urban Strategies was retained by the City of Regina to undertake a year-long process of consultation, planning, and urban design culminating in a Secondary Plan and Concept Plan for the Railyard site.
The 17.5-acre site, once a focal point for industry and Regina’s primary economic driver, now sits empty, occupying a prime location with extraordinary potential. The City’s goals for the site include its transformation into a vibrant, mixed-use district, and using the site to connect Downtown Regina to the south, and the Warehouse District to the north, with a new pedestrian bridge across the railway corridor.
To date, Urban Strategies has consulted extensively with 40 key stakeholders and more than 500 Regina residents from across the city. A detailed consultation and engagement strategy has far exceeded statutory requirements, including three public open houses, stakeholder and landowner advisory committees, online surveys, a project website and social media, and a design charrette for City staff and area landowners. Residents have been invited to share their aspirations for the site, and the charrette involved a visioning session wherein participants used principles prepared by Urban Strategies to construct their own redevelopment concepts for the site.
Tasks completed by Urban Strategies to date include:
- Base-mapping the site, including the identification of urban design opportunities and challenges in order to guide redevelopment plans
- A detailed risk assessment (in conjunction with WSP Group), particularly important given the adjacent operation of CP Rail’s interchange and servicing facilities, which have not been relocated and which will remain in operation indefinitely
- Quantifying the impact of a new pedestrian bridge between the site and downtown (in terms of walking times and overall connectivity)
- Preparing quarterly speaking notes about the project for Regina’s Mayor and City Council
- Based on real estate market and technical analyses, preparing and refining three redevelopment concepts for the site. Input from the public and feedback from City staff and the project’s Steering Committee will then inform the preparation of a preferred redevelopment concept that will form the basis of a Secondary Plan and Concept Plan for the Railyard site.
The planning phase of the Railyard Renewal Project is expected to be complete in fall 2016.