Key Design Qualities - All Phases

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

The Casablanca Waterfront Park improvements will focus on the craft of the details and the vibrancy of spaces by focusing on the following design principles:

1. Accessibility:

  • Park will contain fully accessible, barrier-free options within plaza spaces, play areas, and amenities
  • AODA compliant and inclusive
  • Good connections between adjacent land use and access to the park
  • Easy to navigate the entire park space
  • The main pathway will be fully accessible (slopes no greater than 5%)
  • Accessible beach options and access
  • Improved Park lighting for the safety and security of users
  • Site furniture will be fully accessible, and AODA compliment
  • Park features designed in accordance with the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards
  • Access to the waterfront and lake edge
  • Access to public transit
  • All Park signage will be fully inclusive and comply with AODA standards

2. Comfort and Image:

  • User comfort: shade, wind, microclimate, seasonality, park lighting (safety), flexible open lawn spaces
  • Park is comfortable in all seasons
  • The Interior of the park space is visible from the outside (perceptions of safety)
  • Park is safe
  • Cleanliness and good first impression
  • Are people taking photos? Numerous photo opportunities
  • Availability and choices for places to sit, rest and relax (sun, shade)
  • Good connection between Phases
  • Topography and circulation
  • Park thought of as a whole (one connected space)
  • Sense of place, experience, and welcoming
  • Public art opportunities
  • Access to the shoreline and waters edges
  • Environmental features
  • Materiality: natural elements, materiality, look, feel, function (stormwater), planting (Carolinian species)
  • Prioritize pedestrians and the public realm
  • Intangible experiences contribute to a profoundly uplifting effect on our collective and individual psyches and make users return to the Park over and over again

3. Activity Engagement:

  • Activities are the building blocks of great places. They are one of the reasons why people will visit the Park initially and often return. They make the Park a special and unique place.
  • The more activities people can participate in, the better (variety)
  • Active and passive programming
  • Variety of experiences (day, season)
  • Flexibility in spaces
  • Evolution in the future (are the spaces naturally allowed to evolve? Woodlots, etc.)
  • Unique features (play spaces, public art, signage, pavilions, etc.)
  • Equity and Inclusion: amenities for cultural activities (food trucks, markets, pop-up shops), support diversity, visible wayfinding (graphics and signage), design for differing abilities, public space as a storyteller (public art), educational opportunities
  • Open plaza spaces provide many community opportunities from farmers' markets, food trucks, concerts and dances, and yoga and fitness classes — all promoting various aspects of social gathering and mental unwinding.

4. Sociability:

  • Adding amenities and programmed activities to spaces brings people to the Park
  • Attracting more people (and a variety of people) and having them spend time in a space beyond simply moving through a space to reach a destination creates a rich and vibrant environment to enjoy and interact with each other and provides the opportunity to meet different people, enhancing social tolerance and learning
  • Ecological stewardship
  • Community ownership of the Park (i.e., do people tend to pick up trash when they see it?
  • Is the Park a place where you would choose to meet your friends?
  • Are people in groups? COVID-19? Opportunities to distance?
  • Do people use the space regularly by choice?
  • Does a mix of ages and ethnic groups that generally reflect the community at large?

5. Nature and Environment:

  • Preserve and enhance the existing natural environment
  • Woodlot clean-up and removal of invasive species
  • Protect natural resources and ecosystems (lake, creek)
  • Permeable paving
  • Solar options for lighting and other park amenities
  • Planting of native species
  • Introduce pollinator gardens
  • Improve storm water collection
  • Green infrastructure initiatives such as potential green roof on the washroom building
  • Reduce urban heat island effect
  • Designing places for physical activity (running, play structures)
  • Focus on mental health benefits in parks and nature (walking, relaxation, inspire happiness, reduce stress, etc.)
  • Create places for users of all ages and abilities to play and be outside
  • Enhance wildlife habitat
  • Provide educational opportunities where feasible (signage, events, etc.)
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