D'Ambrosio Architecture + Urbanism
The economy and vitality of Nanaimo’s downtown core have been eroded by decades of growth in suburban malls and sprawling residential development. The plan is part of effort to revitalize the downtown core and emerges from a desire to preserve the downtown's historic buildings. It aims to guide development of a human-scaled pedestrian centre that can accommodate a mix of cultural and commercial uses, along with new residential development in a contemporary idiom. The new guidelines are meant to inspire owners of undeveloped or underdeveloped sites and to assist municipal planners in directing landowners and developers toward a coherent and vital urban form.
“This Plan clearly demonstrates the validity for small communities to undertake a major urban planning exercise. It is not only large cities that can benefit from urban design thinking but communities of all sizes. This document provides clear direction not only for future private development, but also for the whole range of interventions within the public realm that in the long run will dramatically increase the quality of urban life in Nanaimo.”