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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Futuristic WeTown in Abbotsford could house 30,000 residents

An ambitious plan to bring a complete, high-density community of 30,000 residents called WeTown to an Abbotsford hillside has been unveiled.

WeTown is proposed for the Auguston neighbourhood in Abbotsford, south of McKee Road near Blauson Boulevard, a five minute drive from Highway 1.

It’s envisioned as a compact city, designed to encourage residents to get out of their cars and walk, cycle and roll. The WeTown concept includes 36 buildings, linked by a loop that will allow residents to travel from work to home in eight minutes or less.

Renderings: WeTown proposed for Abbotsford

Compact, Walkable and Self Contained Design
The community is envisioned as compact and walkable. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.
East Entrance on McKee Road with Landmark Towers
East entrance on McKee Road with landmark towers. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.
Farmers Market at Night
Farmers Market at night. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.
Office Reservoir with Public Park
Office reservoir with public park. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.
Outdoor Multi-Function Pools
Outdoor multi-function pools. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.
Rain Garden in Light Well
Rain garden in light well. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.
Market Entrance
Entrance to farmers market. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.
Coworking Area
Water feature. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.
Arts + Plants on the Bridge
Landscaping on the bridge structure. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.
Buildings with Public Amenities and Sustainable Features
Public amenity areas. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.
Sky Garden with Public Art + Amenities
Sky garden with public art and amenities. Credit: Auguston Town Development Inc.

“WeTown represents a new era of living. It is a mixed-use master-planned community for 30,000 residents inspired by nature, people, sustainable living and technology,” says Ian Renton, General Manager of Auguston Town Development Inc. “The focus is to build a sustainable community and tech campus that promotes walkability, connection, and a healthy lifestyle.” 

Buildings include residential homes, office space and commercial retail, including a farmers market. WeTown will also include a convention centre and hotel, university campus, and preserved parkland.

The driving concept behind the development is the idea of making Abbotsford a remote tech hub, benefitting from its location near the U.S. border as well as Vancouver.

Several city council members expressed concerns that the development of WeTown could disrupt the city’s official community plan.

Abbotsford already has an ambitious plan to develop a city centre, centred around South Fraser Way and Gladwin Road, and bordered by Mill Lake.

The plan aims to break up the large, existing commercial blocks on South Fraser Way and create a more walkable, human-scale community that can serve as an official “city centre” and accommodate up to 10,000 more residents.

The developer of WeTown estimates it could take up to 20 years to fully realize the vision for the site.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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