Here is a first draft of some of our detailed scale visioning for the new Comox Valley to be used as part of our entry into the Living City Challenge Design Competition hosted by the International Living Building Institute. We plan on looking at a number of different public spaces at this scale. The image below is of a transportation corridor that includes wide pedestrian sidewalks on mixed use streets, lots of trees for shade, rain gardens to collect, filter and clean water, a dedicated and separated cycling lane, a dedicated transit lane in one direction, and two way vehicular traffic. This concept would easily fit into a current street right of way such as Fitzgerald Avenue in Courtenay. We envision a street like this running through the core of a community where we will locate the main public services. At the edge of a community core, these corridors will become transportation linkages between communities.
This is the smallest scale, most detailed that we are going to get with our re-design of the Comox Valley. We started at this scale because we have a good sense of how we want to live on a personal level, step by step, a couple of feet at a time. We will be designing various street types and various densities of living areas. The other reason we started at this scale is that the regional analysis is much harder and takes more time. It is at this larger scale where we will determine where the best places to live are in the Comox Valley. We have debated the merits of each of our three main centres and they each have their strengths and weaknesses. Why are they located where they are, historically, culturally and environmentally? Should they remain and be developed further, or should they be transformed to other uses? We are also looking at the land in between these centres. In the end, we will have mapped the entire region and the best places to inhabit will be determined. We will be considering many aspects of the land in conducting our analysis of various systems including weather, water (hydrology and drainage), soils, agriculture potential, wildlife habitat and wildlife movements, transportation and linkages between places, just to mention a few.
After this we will tackle the design of the middle scale – planning communities and neighbourhoods. What should be included in every community? What should be at the centre of every community? How densely do we need to live in order to make these communities sustainable, and perhaps self sufficient?
When we are all done, we plan on sharing all of our process and all of our ideas with anyone that wants to listen. We are encouraged by the interest that has been shown to date by our local municipalities and regional district.
Your comments are welcome and encouraged!