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Downtown Parking Strategy


The City of Calgary has maintained a comprehensive downtown parking strategy since the late 1960s. The strategy manages downtown traffic congestion by limiting the amount of parking. Managing congestion:
  • supports Calgary’s economic productivity,
  • improves quality of life for inner city residents, and
  • reduces the growth in vehicle emissions.
The downtown parking strategy was last updated in 2009. The current update is in response to direction from Council and development industry concerns that the existing strategy does not align with market demands for parking, and may put new downtown office developments at a competitive disadvantage.
To determine if and how the current strategy should be changed, The City evaluated four different scenarios for the downtown parking strategy. The City engaged multiple stakeholders including office developers and building managers, the Downtown Association and the Calgary Parking Authority. The What We Heard report summarizes input from these stakeholders and the general public.

The What We Did report highlights several recommended changes to the downtown parking strategy in response to stakeholder feedback and The City’s technical analysis. The recommendations include:
  • continuing to limit the total amount of parking that can be built for new office towers (1 stall per 140m2 of gross useable floor area), which limits the amount of traffic and congestion entering the downtown, and
  • ending the cash-in-lieu program, which would allow office developers to retain all required parking onsite instead of providing 50 per cent of the stalls in Calgary Parking Authority public parkades.

Council approved the above recommendations in principle as part of the Integrated Downtown-TOD Parking Strategy report on 2016 June 20. Council approved extending the use of voluntary parking relaxation contributions for use on parking at LRT Stations in addition to transportation improvements in the Centre City.

The principles approved in June 2016 formed the basis of the policy update to A Parking Policy Framework for Calgary which will be presented to committee in May 2017.

Next Steps

Fall 2017 / Early 2018

  • Revise Land Use Bylaw to reflect and fully implement the updated Downtown Parking Strategy.
  • Complete the outstanding implementation actions to fully implement the policy change.

Questions or Comments?

Please contact 311.