Strip Appeal: Abbotsford designer short-listed for strip-mall competition

Varga's rendition of his Five Corners redesign.
— image credit: Submitted




An Abbotsford resident has grand designs for a well-known local landmark.

Scott Varga has rendered the strip-mall at the Five Corners intersection into an intriguing public space concept for a contest entitled Strip Appeal.

Applicants were challenged by the University of Alberta to adapt small-scale strip-malls to be more viable.

Short-listed with 20 other entries from around the world, Varga's idea for economic regeneration and social sustainability can be seen in a short video and explanation that the public can vote for.

The video shows a lush greenway sitting atop functioning retail space, connected on either side by soaring pedestrian walkways.

"Stores and startups are intended to proliferate and be supported by the increase of residential and pedestrian activity through the proposed REconnect design," Varga explained.

The University of the Fraser Valley arts graduate said the response has been encouraging: "Professionals, academics, students, and residents of the Fraser Valley have all lauded the design and the change it intends to bring: revitalization of a neighbourhood that should be one of Abbotsford’s strongest hubs of identity and activity, not a place of scorn and neglect."

The winner’s work will be showcased in a travelling exhibit and bookwork that will tour planning departments and design schools across North America, as well as $1000 cash prize.

"If the REconnect concept could gain some sort of traction nationally, perhaps the momentum could then be carried into realized change for the betterment of the Fraser Valley."

REconnect can be viewed at Voting closes Monday, Jan. 16.



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