Can you imagine a new dense, mixed-use community for 40,000 people built on a hillside in Abbotsford?
That is the head-turning futuristic vision of a case study urban planning concept called ‘WeTown’, which appears to be located in Abbotsford’s emerging Auguston area — on a large site just south of McKee Road near Blauson Boulevard, and a five-minute drive from Highway 1.
The concept by Hong Kong-based Avoid Obvious Architects (AOA) calls for a fully-integrated “sustainable city” that entails 36 buildings of condominiums, offices, and retail, with everything connected by a highly walkable public realm and a high-elevation walking loop that bridges towering skyscrapers.
“The 8-minute journey from home to work will be filled with greenery, healthy activities, and excitement,” reads the architect’s description of the project. “Different outdoor and indoor strategies are designed to promote an active lifestyle. Smart systems are also deployed to reduce water consumption, increase energy efficiency and promote local food.”
“We conducted a global survey to see how people can improve their work-life balance. Using the data and suggestions, we came up with a list of priorities and several must-have items. We compared the results with a similar survey done in Canada. We cross-examined the similarity and differences. We implemented these planning qualities including efficient transportation, proximity to destination, better walkability, better food option, more public art, and better jobs.”
Detailed conceptual artistic renderings show high-quality architecture, extensive landscaping and green roofs, special event and festival spaces, significant public spaces and amenities, and sports and recreational facilities.
The concept was commissioned by Abbotsford-based Auguston Town Development Inc., which is behind a major residential development in Auguston that is predominantly single-family residential.
For its imagining of WeTown, AOA won two awards from globally-renowned design competitions in 2018 — the “Gold Award in Urban Planning” from the A’Design Awards and the “Winner in Urban Planning” award from Architecture Masterprize.
Daily Hive reached out to the architect and developer, but they declined to comment on the ambitious concept. A spokesperson for the developer said the project is still in its early stages.