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Site: Ford City, Windsor Ontario
School: St.Clair College
Course: Drafting and Design Housing and Mixed-use Development (ARC601A)
Professor: William Rawlings
Student Name: Matthew Hopkins
The following blOAAg posts feature a research project by St. Clair College students, which raised the question of “how might a mixed-use affordable housing development help bridge the gap between two neighborhoods and better create an understanding on how to incorporate affordable market rate housing into a development as a standard for new construction?”
Solution from Matthew Hopkins (3rd year, St. Clair College):
Connecting Ford City is an urban planning initiative focused on creating dense, mixed-use urban areas while establishing links to the otherwise separated neighbourhoods of Walkerville and Ford City. Conceptually, Walkerville and Ford City were imagined as puzzle pieces in a larger picture. In order to understand what the connecting piece will look like, it is important to study the neighbourhoods first.
The goal is to connect people with services and business opportunities as well as active public space. Each neighbourhood was analyzed to identify focal points in each community. These areas are the Walkerville business area along Wyandotte, Ford City’s Drouillard road, the riverfront lined with public park space, and the existing market on the site. The cities street grid pattern is continued through the site providing entrances for both communities. Pedestrian thoroughfares and corridors run diagonal to this grid creating a connection to nodes and promoting a walkable neighbourhood. Density in the area is increased and parking for residents is relocated below grade to allow for more public space. The existing city market is accompanied by public green space to allow for outdoor market space.
With respect to housing diversity, the housing opportunities provide a variety of apartment sizes all within a single complex. The idea is to allow residents living in a 500 square feet unit to neighbour units up to 1200 square feet while still maintaining the same amenities. Townhomes and detached homes honour the build form of Albert Khan’s 1904 historic townhomes found in Walkerville. They share a community garden and green space for children and families.