The regeneration of an urban corridor, enriching the experience of a highway strip at the city's edge

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Cholakis, Frances
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In The Granite Garden, Anne Spirn envisions a future city where "The paths on which people move into and through the city are designed with care. Every street and highway, and every other transportation corridor, is designed for efficient movement, for pleasure, and as an asset to the neighborhood through which it moves" (Spirn 1984, 270). This practicum provides an examination of one of those "paths on which people move into and through the city", a Winnipeg traffic corridors, Pembina Highway, between the Killarney Ave., Kirkbridge Dr. Intersection, and the Perimeter Highway. The practicum looks at what traffic corridors are, what factors have contributed to their present structure, appearance, and character, and what can be done to improve the experience both of being in the corridor and of moving through it. The focus of the proposal is on community liveability and the pedestrian environment. The practicum begins by reviewing various historic and current factors which have influenced the evolution of cities and streets. The corridor, Pembina Highway and its context are analyzed, and factors which affect the use of the site are examined. The results of a literature review are presented in an overview of current design ideas and issues associated with streets, cities, and neighborhoods. Issues identified by the research are used to generate a functional, cohesive, and aesthetically pleasing design for the site. Plant material, pedestrian walkways, open space, bicycle paths, signage, and lighting are all part of the requirements for an attractive, more human scale street environment that reflects the character and identity of the community, provides opportunities for people to move easily through the area, and is supportive of local businesses. This design presents the Pembina Highway traffic corridor as a meaningful and vital urban place as well as an important gateway to Winnipeg.