Fredericton’s NBEX Development Plans Win Planning Excellence Award

Fredericton’s NBEX Site Development Plan has been awarded a 2021 Atlantic Planners Institute Award for Planning Excellence. 

Guided by a partnership between the New Brunswick Exhibition and City of Fredericton, the plans lay out the foundation for the exhibition grounds’ redevelopment that is future-focused while remaining respectful of the site’s almost 150-year agricultural legacy.  Ultimately, the plan provides the NBEX with a path to thrive on the property while allowing the community to accommodate its urban growth vision through strategic redevelopment.

O2 Planning and Design, who coordinated the planning process, Fredericton Exhibition Ltd and the City of Fredericton, were recognized with the award for Physical Plans and Design for the “New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds site Development Plan” at a virtual ceremony on December 8, 2021.

“This is the example of what can happen when partners come to the table with a shared vision,” said Mayor Kate Rogers. “We’re celebrating this win with the Fredericton Exhibition Limited board of directors and are looking forward to next steps in the reimagining of the iconic NBEX.”

Jeff Melanson, President of the NBEX, was also thrilled with the announcement. “This award of excellence is a representation of the great possibility for the future of the NBEX grounds,” he said. “I was happy to be a part of the committee working with O2 Planning on the creation of the Land development Plan. I found them to be open minded, objective and forward thinking, and very deserving of this award.”

“I would like to offer my congratulations to the O2 Planning team for receiving the 2021 Planning Excellence Award for Physical Plans & Design. This plan was successful in creating direction that is a win for both the City of Fredericton and the Exhibition organization,” added said Mike Vokey, Executive Director, Fredericton Exhibition Limited.

“It was a true pleasure to work with The City of Fredericton and the FREX board of Directors, who together, led us to our final draft for these plans,” said Nicholas Dykstra, Associate Urban Designer with O2 Planning and Design.  “This is truly a community plan, spawned from many public meetings, stakeholder meetings and an engaged steering committee.”

The NBEX site development plan is now in the process of being considered for adoption by City Council through the secondary municipal plan process.  The process was initiated recently, and the plan will be before Council early in the new year.  

The future of the NBEX property is a key component to Imagine Fredericton, the City’s new municipal plan and will also be an important consideration leading into the future planning process for a new south core plan. 

There is currently considerable growth pressure in the urban core and demand from residents for a more sustainable downtown living experience with increased walkability and accessible options for active transportation.  Actioning the recommendations laid out in the NBEX site developments plans is the first step in realizing the potential of a new and robust downtown. 

The Atlantic Planners Institute Awards for Planning Excellence honour the best in professional planning projects undertaken by members in communities and regions across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.  For more information visit www.atlanticplanners.org.