Integrating Infrastructure: Post-Traffic Viaducts as Community Connectors
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In many Canadian cities, over-built and under-used road infrastructures from the ‘Urban Renewal’ era exist adjacent to their city centres. In Vancouver, plans for their removal and site re-design strategies are already underway. This thesis challenges the demolition of such infrastructures generally, by investigating their potential for re-use locally. As an alternative to clean-slate planning, cities should identify the potential in what has already been built. Following the removal of motor vehicles from their surface, the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts offer a unique opportunity to inject new life into a neglected city district. A multi-faceted design response draws from an urban landscape history to serve the communities originally impacted by the viaducts’ construction, while improving conditions for current and future user groups. Design strategies focus on public placemaking through the intentional blending of user groups, like skateboarders, creatives, visitors and commuters, creating vibrancy and strengthening the community.