Photo Credits: Noselski, 2017
Initial research by: Karissa Noselski
Edited by: Samantha Miller & Nicole Brekelmans
Case study compiled in 2019
Project: Wildwood Park
Type of Urban Strategy: Green Cities
Type of Project: Alternative neighbourhood design / Community design / Cultural landscape
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date Designed/Planned: 1945
Construction Completed: 1947 + upgrades 1960s
Designer: Vision by Hubert Bird, Design by Architectural firm Green, Blankstein and Russell (G.B.R.)
Wildwood is a unique ‘reversed’ concept residential neighbourhood located in Winnipeg, designed with pedestrians and a shared natural setting in mind. The community was finished soon after World War II to address post-war housing shortages, taking inspiration from Stein & Wright’s Radburn development in New Jersey. Houses are oriented with their front doors facing inwards to a shared central park space, with the back of the house facing a private lane-way.
Long known for its strong sense of community and mature tree canopy, Wildwood remains an important precedent for neighbourhood designs everywhere. It is ultimately an oasis within Winnipeg. Today, space is ultimately the most significant limitation and criticism. While the neighbourhood is 74.7 acres in size, the limited space dedicated to the back lane-ways for parking has been a challenge for some in more recent years. Even so, Wildwood acts as a prime example where trying something bold or radical in neighbourhood design paid off, while also addressing social and in some ways, environmental sustainability.