Inclusivity is a guiding tenant of the South Village development plan, throughout all stages of the project. The South Village will be an inclusive place, one that ensures that all people – regardless of age, race, faith, ability, income, gender or sexual orientation – are catered to, and their rights respected. In order to achieve this level of inclusivity, it is essential to get feedback from a diverse range of voices. Our approach is informed by grassroots engagement, and the conversations we have with individuals and community groups that make Claremont such a special place.
The South Village is envisioned as a welcoming and flexible place with: safe and accessible healthy public spaces, accessible public transport, adequate play provision, safe space for cyclists and pedestrians, walkable, wheelchair-accessible public realm, public seating, gender-neutral public toilets, and visual and aural navigation for those who are blind and deaf.
Sustainability is a core value of the South Village. Our approach is informed by the three pillars of sustainability; environmental, social and economic. We believe that these dimensions of sustainability are interrelated and can work together to create successful outcomes. The South Village project is planned as a transit-oriented development, which is proven to be the most sustainable land use. Transit-oriented developments are compact, mixed-use developments that facilitate walking, bicycling, and use of public transport through urban design. This type of development is at the heart of smart growth and sustainable development, as successful TODs can reduce residents’ energy consumption and driving up to 85%.
Ongoing meetings with Sustainable Claremont have provided valuable feedback and insight into the sustainability goals and needs of the community. This wealth of community feedback on sustainability provides the vision and foundation for our sustainability masterplan, which will be developed and refined by our sustainability consultant, Verdical Group.
Connectivity is an essential component for the success of the South Village. Connectivity is critical to transit-oriented developments in order to reap the potential sustainable and community benefits of such a development. The physical linkages between places and people are facilitated through smart street design, walkability, micro-mobility options, and easy wayfinding. One of the biggest opportunities is active transport: increasing safe walkability and bikeability with protected lanes, bicycle parking, and convenient connections between different parts of the city to make walking and cycling more attractive than driving. The Village South is intended to foster a culture of activity, and link people to places and to each other.
The South Village will provide more than physical connectivity, it will be designed and programmed to facilitate social connectivity, and especially intergenerational connectivity. The community and individual benefits of social connections are extensive, and the built environment has the power to influence the ease of such social connectivity for good or bad. We believe that it is critical to consider both aspects of connectivity early in the design and programming process in order to create the most successful outcomes.
The design of our built environment influences the physical, spiritual, social, and mental well-being of our communities. The projects will capitalize on this linkage between design and health in order to create a new healthy community. Building on the transit-oriented nature of the project, the South Village will be designed to foster a culture of activity. This culture of activity will encourage people to get out of their cars and get moving. Active transportation, including walking, biking, light rail, is not only healthier for the environment and our air quality, but it is essential for human health.
The South Village will promote healthy lifestyles with buildings designed for occupant health, wellness-oriented pop up programming, incorporation of biophilic design principles, and retail programming focused on fitness and healthy eateries.
Authenticity is the essential ingredient in making great public places. The spirit of a place matters – and can be the most important element in creating genuine, thriving places. It is critical to understand the history and heritage of a place before setting a plan for growth, including the arts, architecture, native landscape, and gourmet landscape. In order to create places that are unique public spaces that reflect the heritage of the neighborhood while also looking ahead to the future, we are focused on cultivating on local entrepreneurship in retail and restaurants, preservation of historic architecture, partnerships with local community groups and schools, and creating a platform for local arts and culture.
One of the cornerstones of the South Village is the adaptive reuse of the historic Vortox Building. In collaboration with Claremont Heritage, the South Village will preserve the Vortox building and breathe new life into the space as a vibrant community amenity. As an adaptive-reuse food hall, the Vortox Public Market will showcase the best of what Claremont has to offer- tastefully preserved historic architecture, local entrepreneurship, sustainably and ethically sourced gourmet cuisine, lush native landscape, and a curated mix of haute and casual fare.