Conestoga news

August 13, 2022 2:25 PM

Urban pocket parkette design project focuses on student life

On August 4, students in Conestoga’s Bachelor of Applied Technology - Architecture - Project and Facility Management (APFM) program presented urban pocket parkette designs to the college community. 

Gathered at Conestoga’s Cambridge - Fountain Street campus, five teams shared ideas for a small on-campus park. The project was part of the program’s final-year Urban and Community Planning course, which examines the fundamentals of planning through an understanding of a wide range of factors that impact how cities and towns develop and evolve.

“This is the first time we asked students to design an urban pocket parkette,” said APFM professor Adam Holland. “We wanted students to apply theory and concepts to practical interpretations of real-world planning conditions and one that would positively impact the college community and student life.”

Urban pocket parkettes are small-scale open spaces that provide a safe and inviting environment for the surrounding community. They are often created in underused or vacant spaces and closely tied to the neighbourhood they serve. The teams were asked to create designs that would serve as a small oasis for students on campus and were required to adhere to a budget. Spaces also needed to be portable and AODA compliant. In addition, students had to consider collaborations with other areas at the college, including the student association, culinary and hospitality programs for food services, woodworking programs to help construct, and business programs for help with promotion. Student designs focused on sustainability, inclusivity and biophilia.

“We’re pretty impressed with what they have come up with,” Holland continued. “The hope is that we find enough support at the college to bring these designs to life and help enhance the student experience on campus.”

Conestoga's unique four-year APFM co-op degree program is the only in Canada to be regulated by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Foundation and the first Canadian program to be accredited by the Applied and Natural Sciences Accreditation Commission (ABET). The program focuses on the entire architectural process from the planning phase through to occupancy and the adaptive re-use of buildings. Students gain strong foundations in architecture, construction, basic engineering and business; insight into project and facility management; and have additional exposure to liberal arts disciplines and practical applications for the business enterprise.