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The Bridges - Public participation

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​​In 1998, The City of Calgary launched an extensive public participation process for The Bridges. Stakeholders included the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association (BRCA), local residents and business owners along with members of the general public and the Ward Alderman. A variety of public engagement tools were used including surveys, workshops, design charettes (visioning workshops), proposal reviews, public meetings, open houses and City of Calgary public hearings.

In anticipation of the planning process, a Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) was appointed by the City in 1997, consisting of 15 members, each from various stakeholder groups affected by this project which included BRCA members, local business owners, design professionals, a private sector developer, local residents as well as members of the general public.

Their role was to work alongside The City in an advisory role. The PAC assisted with the design of the public participation process, selection of the winning design from the design ideas competition, and review of the final draft Bow Valley Centre (BVC) Concept Plan. The PAC also ensured a balance between City-wide and local objectives.

During this public participation phase, the BRCA established a Community Development Team (CDT) with the primary focus of ensuring the voice of the community would be heard during the planning process. The CDT was tasked with gathering community input regarding the redevelopment of the lands. Its findings were forwarded to the PAC for  consideration.

Information gathered from public participation was incorporated into the draft BVC Concept Plan. Stakeholders were able to review the draft plan and provide feedback. They also presented at the public hearing of City Council, when the plan was approved.

Implementation of the BVC Concept plan required land use amendments and subdivision. The land use amendment was a Direct Control District (The Bridges Direct Control Bylaw.)  Once again, open houses were held and The City worked closely with the BRCA to secure Council approval.