New West will give you $5,000 for a good redevelopment idea

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      Calling all policy nerds, big thinkers, and urbanism fans: the City of New Westminster wants your help—and is willing to pay for it.

      The City adopted the 22nd Street Master Plan in 2017 to commit to redeveloping the neighbourhood around 22nd Street SkyTrain station in Connaught Heights. The planned neighbourhood will be higher density, climate-friendly, and developed in collaboration with local First Nations to be a place with good access to rapid transit and amenities.

      But having a vision and implementing said vision are different things. That’s where the newly unveiled 22nd St reGENERATE Ideas Challenge comes in. 

      From now until January 31, everyone—students, youth, community members, climate change experts, global city-planning experts, and anybody in between—is encouraged to submit their ideas to help answer one or all of the questions New West is grappling with.

      Topics to delve into include land use and housing; mobility, access and infrastructure; landscaping and water use; energy, buildings, and waste; and community connections and belonging. 

      "New Westminster residents, like everyone, are feeling the impacts of the climate crisis,” says Mayor Patrick Johnstone in a news release. “The reGENERATE Ideas Challenge is an exciting opportunity to surface new ideas from a wide pool of innovative thinkers on how a climate-friendly neighbourhood design could look at this location.”

      The top comprehensive idea will receive $5,000, with smaller prizes also set aside for the best New West-sourced idea ($2,000), top-voted idea by the public ($1,500), top youth idea ($500), and honourable mentions ($200).

      All the ideas will then be evaluated and iterated, with the current goal of implementing parts of the 22nd Street master plan starting in 2025.

      If your hours spent playing Cities: Skylines or becoming a passionate advocate for some niche environmentally-friendly tech has a time to shine, it’s now.