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Developed Areas Guidebook

Communities are in a constant state of evolution and growth. The Developed Areas Guidebook (Guidebook) is an important tool – together with the Municipal Development Plan (MDP), local area plans, and the Land Use Bylaw – that supports growth and change, and building great neighbourhoods. The purpose of the Guidebook is to provide a consistent planning approach through a land use framework (Building Blocks) to guide development and the local area planning process. The goal of the Guidebook is to provide a tool that can help us to achieve our outcomes in the MDP by supporting healthy communities, transit and infrastructure investment, housing choice, increased density in strategic areas, and mobility choice.

Current work

Administration has been engaging with communities and stakeholders since 2016 on the Guidebook. Collaboration and feedback from all engagements has and continues to inform the work being done on the Guidebook. The Guidebook team is collaborating with a number of on-going projects that are all working towards building great neighbourhoods for everyone. Some of these projects include:

Administration is currently working on a next-generation Guidebook that will be user-friendly and will provide clear direction and tools for communities, citizens, developers, and planners when working on local area plans and development that supports growth and change. The Guidebook will allow for community engagement to focus on what citizens and stakeholders value about their communities, and what they envision for the future as their community evolves over time. It is important to know where people live, where are the places they gather, where do they find their services, what are the places that connect them, and how to they get to these places. The Guidebook and the Building Blocks supports this type of conversation and brings these elements together in a meaningful way so that while communities evolve over time, the collective vision for the community is based on the connection to where people live, how they move, where they work, and where they gather.

2019 Timeline

  • January to March - targeted stakeholder engagement events
  • July 4 - Calgary Planning Commission
  • September 4 - Standing Policy Committee on Planning and Urban Development
  • October 21 - Public Hearing of Council


Since the approval of the Guidebook in 2017, Administration have been actively engaging with communities and stakeholders to use the Guidebook through local area planning processes and applications. Collaboration and feedback have given staff a lot of great information that is being used to inform the next-generation Guidebook. Phase 1 included engagement with communities and stakeholders through local area plan engagements, online surveys, and meetings with various groups. Phase 2 engagement includes targeted engagement with representatives from communities, the Federation of Calgary Communities, developers, and other stakeholders to help us refine the tools that were informed by the Phase 1 engagements. More details are provided below.

Phase 2 Engagement (Winter/Spring 2019)

  • Targeted internal and external workshops to test the building blocks. Building blocks are being re-designed based on extensive engagement, feedback, and lessons learned since the approval of the Guidebook in 2017.
  • Multi-stakeholder meetings for information sharing, updates, and feedback.
  • Engagement through local area plan projects.
  • Heritage Workshop, February 15 - What We Heard Report
  • Multi-Stakeholder Workshop, February 20 - What We Heard Report
  • Multi-Stakeholder Workshop, March 20 - What We Heard Report​

Phase 1 Engagement (2017 to September 2018)

Administration met with communities in Phase 1 that were going through local area planning projects and were using the Guidebook. Engagement events included:

  • Altadore/South Calgary ARP Information Session: April 19, 2017
  • Rundle Station Master Plan Charette and Open House: July 22 and November 1, 2017
  • Inglewood Ramsay Open House: May 7, 2018
  • Millican/Ogden Open house: May 10, 2018
  • South Hill Information Session: May 10, 2018
  • Chinook (Online): April
  • Bridgeland Riverside CAG Meeting presentation, Open house, CAG meetings: January - June 2018
  • Marda Loop/South Calgary (MS) Streetscape information session and Building Block workshop: June 7, 2017 and February 26, May 8, May 10 and May 12, 2018
  • Bowness (MS) Building block workshop, Open house: April 16 and June 11
  • SE 17 International Ave Land Use Information Café: November 29, 2017
  • Killarney Workshop: April 24, 2018
  • Anderson Station: Email circulation

The information presented for feedback at the in-person engagement sessions noted above is available for viewing,view the boards.

Developed Area Overview and Background

The developed areas encompass both the inner city (neighbourhoods developed prior to the 1950s) and the established areas (neighbourhoods built out between the 1950s and 1990s).


The Developed Areas Guidebook is part of the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and was approved in April 2017. It is the tool that helps to create a local area plan, and provides consistent guidance for development and redevelopment in the Developed Areas that helps to achieve building great neighbourhoods. The Guidebook facilitates efficiency in the process of creating local area plans by providing a framework of Building Blocks to be used consistently in all local area planning work allowing the local area plan process to focus on local-specific policies that are unique to communities.

The Developed Areas Guidebook is one of three guidebooks​ that help implement the broad visions of the Municipal Development Plan. The Developed Areas Guidebook is intended to be read in combination with a local area plan, and only applies when a local area plan states that it applies.

New land use districts were also created as part of this process to help implement a better mix of uses and to ensure retail requirements where needed.

Past Developed Areas Guidebook approvals:

  • Adoption of the Developed Areas Guidebook – April 10, 2017
  • Adoption of minor amendments to the Developed Areas Guidebook – December 10, 2018

Related documents


Robyn Jamieson, Senior Planner
Planning & Development

David Galoska, Senior Planner
Planning & Development

For media inquiries, please call 403-828-2954.​​