In 2015, after two years of consulting with thousands of people who care deeply about the səmiq̓wəʔelə/Riverview site, BC Housing released A Vision for Renewing Riverview. This document summarized high-level themes for the future site, but it did not include a redevelopment plan or Master Plan.
A New Mandate
In 2021, the Provincial Government announced a new mandate to guide the site’s master planning process:
Except where land transfers may occur with kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation, səmiq̓wəʔelə will be retained in public ownership.
While the plan must still be financially responsible, this new mandate replaces the previous commitment to a break-even mandate.
Building on the themes identified through the Visioning process, the Province has established the following principles to guide the master planning process:
- Partner with kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation through a reconciliation-based approach
- Create an integrated community of mental health excellence
- Engage with the site’s pre- and post-colonial history
- Protect and enhance the site’s ecology
- Create opportunities for affordable, safe and functional housing
What is a Master Plan?
- An explanation of the overall design and development approach
- Recommended land uses for the site (ie. housing, commercial, education, healthcare services, etc.)
- An identification and mix of housing options (ie. market leasehold, non-profit, co-op, affordable housing, mental health supportive housing, etc.)
- A landscape and open-space-use strategy (ie. parks, cemetery, walking paths, trails, community gardens, protected wildlife areas, etc.)
- A heritage strategy to protect buildings, archaeological sites and spiritual areas
- A financial strategy to address capital costs
- Design guidelines about density, streetscape designs, building footprints and architectural styles
- A proposed transportation strategy (ie. cycling, pedestrian, transit, vehicular connections, etc.)
- Proposed utility and power systems for building heat, water, electrical, sewer, gas and drainage
- A plan for how sustainability, including resiliency to climate change, will be achieved onsite
- A plan for site amenities (ie. recreational facilities, artwork, cultural spaces, etc.)
The Master Planning process will provide multiple opportunities for BC Housing and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm to engage with and listen to the public. This will happen in a variety of formats.