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Centre City Urban Design Guidelines project


The Centre City Urban Design Guidelines serve as a guide and inspiration for future development decisions for the Centre City area. The guidelines build on and expand the intentions and aspirations of the Centre City Plan. Along with other policies, the guidelines work toward the vision of “making Calgary a more beautiful, memorable city with a commitment to excellence in Urban Design.” (Section 2.4, Municipal Development Plan).

Designers, landowners, developers, citizens, and the staff at The City of Calgary are seen as the col​lective authors of the city. These guidelines serve as an inspiration for creativity, innovation, and cutting edge architectural expressions, and are intended to further enhance Calgary’s progressive image on the national and international scene.

The Centre C​ity Urban Design Guidelines project aims to achieve four things:

  • Consolidate existing Centre City urban design policies and guidelines, identify any gaps, and develop a comprehensive design guideline in a user-friendly, visually rich graphic format.
  • Clarify and outline expectations related to design quality while reflecting current national and international best practices in sustainable and innovative urban design. 
  • Communicate urban design guidelines widely both inside and outside of The City Administration to ensure that they are applied consistently to all applications.
  • Contribute to an efficient and effective development review process without compromising The City’s core urban design objectives.

The guidelines provide flexible and considered guidance for achieving the vision and enhancing existing amenity to create great streets, quality buildings, and memorable places. The overall framework diagram summarizes the framework for the project. It shows both the structure and the content of the guideline document, and its relationships with various existing policies and plans.

​Guideline Final Draft:​ Centre City Urban D​esign Guidelines - October 2015

Planning Process

Previous Eng

The City is committed to engaging the public in decisions that affect them. We held several stakeholder and publi​c workshops from April to June 2012, in order to ask citizens, the development and design industry, and community groups focused on the Centre City for their input before drafting the new guidelines.

What we heard during these workshops has been summarized in our Phase 1 Stakeholder Engagement Report. The report summarizes the issues and regulation gaps that the new guidelines will need to address from a stakeholder perspective, as well as some of the possible solutions that came out of the workshops.

Background ​​Documents

For all background documents related to the Centre City Urban Design Guidelines please see the following:


​Xia Zhang
Planner, Community Planning