In October 2003 the Downtown Redevelopment Steering Committee recommended the City of Lethbridge engage Dr. Avi Friedman and nine of his students at the McGill University School of Architecture to develop conceptual revitalization plans for nine blocks in Lethbridge’s downtown core. The study was completed in 2004 and formed the basis of a “catalytic” community forum which ultimately lead to the creation of the Heart of Our City Master Plan.
The committee asked the students to consider ways to:
- increase housing downtown by redeveloping at least one site on each block
- integrate Galt Gardens with the surrounding streets
- integrate Park Place Mall with Galt Gardens and the surrounding blocks
- make the streets more pedestrian friendly while keeping in mind parking needs
- build on the historic identity of the downtown
- develop streetscapes, street themes and a unified downtown core identity
- include more cultural and arts activities like an Aboriginal Arts and Culture Center and a University of Lethbridge satellite Art Gallery
The students responded with exceptional ideas and unique designs for each block. They also developed two visionary master plans for the entire nine block area: the ‘Museum
Experience’ Concept and the ‘Mall’ Concept. These block designs and master plans are conceptual. They were meant to stimulate community discussion about what could happen
in our downtown and have no official status.