Crossing the Tracks: Imagining a New Approach to Urban Rail Yard Revitalization in North Winnipeg
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This thesis proposes an approach to urban rail yard revitalization that is counter to the typical model of infill development. The railroad that historically joined Canada together, and galvanized urban development across the Prairies, now often separates the local communities that fall in its path. Many approaches to rail yard redevelopment conceive of a new master-planned community that includes all required amenities. However, this thesis explores how former rail yard sites could become unique environments that stitch together previously divided neighbourhoods, and celebrate the cultural value of Canada’s railroad. Using Winnipeg as a case study, my approach involves three site strategies that focus on retaining and highlighting the main rail line, establishing new connections between the surrounding neighbourhoods, and opening the remaining land for public space and cultural events. These events could include travelling markets, festivals, and expositions that would travel across the country by train and stop at redeveloped rail yards already located in the centre of major cities.