A project by associate professor Jesse LeCavalier has made the shortlist in a competition to envision an ambitious future for Sudbury, Ontario.
Le Cavalier's project is one of eight finalists in Sudbury 2050, a design competition initiated by the McEwen School of Architecture, at Laurentian University. The competition brief called upon entrants to create proposals for a complete overhaul of Sudbury's city centre, keeping in mind the city's setting amidst the forests of Northern Ontario, its history as a mining town, and its future as a hub for research and development. The jury includes Marianne McKenna, of KPMB Architects, and Bruce Mau, of Bruce Mau Studio.
LeCavalier titled his design "Alimentary Urbanism" — a name meant to suggest a style of redevelopment that places residents and their wellbeing ahead of financial profits. The core of the proposal is a pair of new rail spurs that connect the existing Sudbury VIA Rail station with the downtown GOVA transit hub and the nearby Elm Place shopping centre. These new spurs would become the centrepiece of a new network of rail lines that would provide rapid transit, community programming, and other services to neighbourhoods throughout the city centre.
As a way of leveraging all this new rail, Alimentary Urbanism proposes transforming Sudbury's former mining sites into locations for new industries, like agriculture, cold storage, and geotourism. The proposal also calls for substantial new land development. The city would conduct a survey of its existing building stock and decommission obsolete structures so that the space they occupy could be repurposed for collective uses. The businesses that occupy those old buildings would be incentivized to move their operations into modern mass-timber structures alongside the new rail corridors.
The project was developed with assistance from Jake Rosenwald, Connor Stevens, Jennifer Tran, Siqi Wang, and Michael Wideman.
To learn more about Alimentary Urbanism and the other Sudbury 2050 finalists, visit the Sudbury 2050 website.
Top image: A slide from the Alimentary Urbanism master plan.