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Guiding Principles for The River District Development

The redevelopment strategy for The Rivers district is based on the following principles:

  1. Create and ensure a sustainable environment ...
  2. Promote and support mixed land uses - live, work and play ...
  3. Provide Parks and open spaces ...
  4. Develop safe and secure communities with a strong sense of identity ...
  5. Connect people with places through transportation choices ...
  6. Promote innovation and excellence in urban design ...
  7. Encourage and environment that supports tourism, and a range of employment and business development ...
  8. Manage finances and assets responsively, ensuring accountability ...
  9. Forge new links and relationships between The Rivers partners ...

Create and ensure a sustainable environment by

  • Supporting, preserving, protecting and enhancing open spaces, natural features, built heritage and sensitive environment areas within The Rivers
  • Remediating brownfield sites planned for redevelopment.



Promote and support mixed land uses, a community wherein Calgarians can live, work and  play by

  • Promoting distinctive attractive districts with strong individual identities, districts that take advantage of the features that make The Rivers special, such as the Bow and Elbow rivers and Nose Creek, heritage sites and educational, cultural and recreational facilities and activities
  • Keeping homes, jobs, recreation and shopping areas convenient and close together, thus reducing the need to drive
  • Encouraging diversity, vitality and a sense of community by creating a range of housing choices to meet different lifestyle needs and incomes.

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Provide public parks and open spaces where people can be relaxed, refreshed and restored by

  • Creating safe, attractive and enjoyable walking environments for pedestrian use
  • Creating a well-connected public area where residents and visitors can easily access the natural river and creek landscapes.

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Develop communities with a strong sense of identity and belonging, where people feel safe and secure by

  • Ensuring public enjoyment and safety are priorities when developing and designing the streets, parks and open spaces and other public places
  • Creating an environment that promotes a lively and interactive urban community.

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Connect people with places through a variety of transportation choices by

  • Ensuring movement in and around the area by making the best use of existing and proposed roads, while protecting our neighbourhoods and environments
  • Ensuring there are safe, viable and efficient alternatives to driving
  • Creating a variety of experiences, both urban and natural, to be "discovered" by pedestrians throughout every season of the year.

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Promote innovation and excellence in urban design by

  • Giving priority to public space and its design as a way of preserving and enhancing important historical characteristics of the area
  • Ensuring that The River's precincts integrate with the surrounding city context and nearby neighbourhoods
  • Focusing public life on the street and giving special consideration to sidewalk beautification and street art
  • Encouraging a high degree of architectural distinction in all new public and private building design.

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Actively encourage an economic environment that supports tourism and a wide range of employment and business development opportunities by

  • Creating a community where people want to do business
  • Establishing collaborative relationships that will promote and support the development of new educational, cultural and business opportunities.

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Manage finances and assets responsibly, ensuring accountability through a transparent and  responsive planning and decision-making process, now and in the future, by

  • Working together with stakeholders -- other orders of government, the private sector, community organizations and citizens -- to establish and maintain an equitable, long-term cost-sharing of redevelopment infrastructure, services and facilities
  • Encouraging and responding to citizen participation in development decisions.

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Forge new links and relationships among The Rivers partners and across project boundaries, by

  • Developing links between existing master plans and new development initiatives, to create synergies that collectively benefit all stakeholders
  • Enabling the establishment of relationships between the public and private sectors
  • Establishing new connections between new and existing communities and developments.

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For more information

Read the booklet The Revitalization of the Rivers District in Calgary.