City Centre Plan
The City Centre Plan represents the ongoing commitment by the City to ensure Saskatoon's Downtown and major connecting corridors maintains and expands its level of importance and stature, and meets the needs and expectations of the community as we move towards a population of 500,000.
The purpose of the City Centre Plan project was to develop a new comprehensive Plan for the Downtown and adjacent areas situated along the key corridors of Broadway Avenue, 20th Street West and College Drive. Due to the scale of the project, the City Centre Plan was separated into four phases with very clear project deliverables for each phase:
Phase 1 – Public Spaces, Activity + Urban Form Strategic Framework
Phase 2 – Saskatoon Speaks Community Vision
Phase 3 – City Centre Plan
Phase 4 – Civic Precinct Master Plan
The City Centre is the financial, commercial and cultural centre of Saskatoon and region. However, Saskatoon is evolving and municipal policies and strategies need to be re-evaluated in order to preserve and enhance the fundamental role of the City Centre. Furthermore, Saskatoon Speaks revealed that Saskatoon residents expect a different city in the future; one that provides for all forms of transportation efficiently, has higher densities, and is environmentally and financially sustainable over the long term.
The City Centre Plan will facilitate the development of a vibrant mix of uses including new residences, commercial office space, retail and restaurants, as well as cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities. These uses will be supported through pedestrian-oriented design, high quality open spaces and public infrastructure, additional parking opportunities, and innovative policy that will foster private investment, creating more market interest, and the absorption of vacant lots.
Through a series of policies and initiatives, the Plan implements the direction provided through Saskatoon Speaks, and will allow Saskatoon's City Centre to attract private investment and benefit from the region's growth.
The City Centre Plan identifies 12 key strategies to achieve the vision of the plan:
1) a strong and unique retail centre as a destination for the region;
2) a new west Downtown;
3) a new network of public spaces throughout the city to serve all seasons;
4) a broad network of pedestrian priority streets;
5) improved connections to surrounding neighbourhoods;
6) advancement of arts and culture within the City Centre;
7) stronger existing neighbourhoods;
8) improved transportation, transit, bike, and parking systems;
9) sustainable design;
10) City policies to foster private and public investment;
11) residential development is a priority; and
12) business development is a priority.
Due to its size and complexity, the City Centre Plan will be implemented in phases over a 20 to 25 year period. The short-, medium-, and long-term projects are outlined in the Implementation Plan. As well, several priority items were identified for “immediate” implementation. These priorities were considered critical first steps to the success of other initiatives and projects.