News

Nanaimo's waterfront vision revealed in report’s release

The South Downtown Waterfront Committee has a few ideas about how the waterfront will serve the community in the future. A report, to be released by the committee will detail guiding principles for the area’s development over the next 30 to 40 years. - CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin
The South Downtown Waterfront Committee has a few ideas about how the waterfront will serve the community in the future. A report, to be released by the committee will detail guiding principles for the area’s development over the next 30 to 40 years.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

A vision of downtown Nanaimo’s waterfront will be revealed with the release of a report by the South Downtown Waterfront Committee.

The committee’s mandate is to create guiding principles and a vision for the waterfront’s future and the final report represents the culmination of about seven months of work. The process included meetings and presentations from various groups, dealing with everything from transportation to economics.

Committee chairman David Witty said there was a need to complete such a report as the waterfront area represents one of Nanaimo’s most important building opportunities – one that is unparalleled in Nanaimo’s history.

“The vision and guiding principles are meant to frame conversations over the next 30 to 40 years about development in that area, the idea being the framing principles are really the filter through which ideas should be fed and to try and get some consistency so that we’re really thinking about future generations and it’s quite a long-term vision,” Witty said.

Consultation with the community was crucial and Witty said feedback from a harbour fair event in October was particularly useful, with 300 attendees able to get information and tour parts of the waterfront they wouldn’t normally be able to access. Committee members and consultants had a chance to converse with residents.

The committee chairman said public access to the waterfront was an important theme during public engagement. The harbour as an employment hub and area for mixed-use development – residential, commercial, work-live studio space, etc. – were  also topics of note.

The committee was comprised of the public and other stakeholders and saw representation from the City of Nanaimo, Regional District of Nanaimo, Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association, advisory planning committee, economic development corporation, port authority, Vancouver Island University and South End Community Association.

The final report presentation will take place Saturday (Jan. 11) at the Port Theatre at 2 p.m.

More information is available at www.southdowntownwaterfront.ca.

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