To be a city is to be constantly designed – and redesigned.
When we talk about redevelopment, the question usually comes up: “Why are we redeveloping? Can’t we leave our neighbourhood alone? The short answer is no, we can’t leave a neighbourhood alone. We redevelop for several reasons – economic, sustainability, revitalization – and all of these are related to the natural life cycle of a community.
It’s hard to imagine that, while our city has been growing at an unprecedented rate as of late, many neighbourhoods have fewer people in them now than they did back when they were built, leaving them vulnerable to decline. Let’s look at the evolution of a community, and how redevelopment becomes essential with time.
The Cathedral area is a great example of a redevelopment. The Cathedral neighbourhood is one of Regina’s earlier developments. By the 1970’s it was experiencing a declining population, decrease in quality and quantity of housing and increasing crime. The City collaborated with the Cathedral Area Community Association to develop a plan. Today Cathedral is an active neighbourhood with a mix of housing types, two elementary schools, and many local businesses. In 2013, Chatelaine magazine quoted that it is fast becoming Regina’s most happening ‘hood. Fashionistas and foodies flock here for the very best shopping, eats and culture the area has to offer.
The Taylor Field Neighbourhood is an upcoming redevelopment example that many will be watching closely. This revitalization initiative will take the site of the original Mosaic Stadium and redevelop it into a Complete Neighbourhood with a mix of housing, green spaces, retail and commercial opportunities, in an effort to rejuvenate the community in a sustainable manner.
Redevelopment is all part of coming of age for a city as young as ours, and part of the constant evolution for every older city. Cities are in a state of perpetual planning, adapting to growing populations, and it’s our turn.