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Guidebook for Great Communities

People + Places = Community

​Communities are never static, they are constantly evolving and growing​. As communities grow, change, and adapt over time, the choices and opportunities for its existing and new residents should increase. Increasing choice allows residents to age in their community and families to thrive; choice allows people to try different food and shops that suit their individual style and tastes; choice allows people of various abilities, ages, and skills to play, relax and recover in a way that meets their needs. Communities benefit and become more vibrant and resilient by offering choice.

Guidebook Update

Join us! Visit and take part in our interactive display at the Create Space on Level 1 of the Central Library​, to the end of February, where you’ll learn more about the Guidebook for Great Communities and how it applies to Calgary's citizens and the future of Calgary's communities.

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​​Download the proposed ​Guidebook for Great Communities​​

Goals for Great Communities


Planning, building and sustaining great communities begins with a conversation about the needs and wants of current and future residents, businesses and visitors to a community. What makes the community great for everyone?

  • Promote varied, inclusive and equitable housing options.
  • Provide opportunities to access goods, services and amenities close by.
  • Offer opportunities to gather and participate in civic, arts, cultural and entertainment activities, in both public and private spaces.
  • Provide varied and inclusive spaces and facilities for recreation, play, and outdoor activities close by.
  • Ensure spaces are designed for everyone, foster a sense of place and are connected together—however a person moves.
  • Ensure natural areas, biodiversity and ecological functions are protected, restored, created and enjoyed.
  • Enable and support prosperity through diverse economic opportunities at a variety of scales.
  • Support the use of existing streets, services and buildings to reduce the need for new infrastructure.

The planning system: from vision to outcome

The policies in the Guidebook are based on principles and goals central to creating and maintaining great communities for everyone. These principles and goals build on the Municipal Development Plan.

 

Frequently asked questions


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The Guidebook is useful for anyone interested or involved in a local area plan – community members, community associations, developers and builders. Each chapter focuses on different aspects of the planning process, but the Guidebook should be read in its entirety when participating in local area planning.

Chart showing how to use the Guidebook for Great Communities

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Implement the Municipal Development Plan- Bridge higher level Municipal Development Plan policies with local area plans and site-specific planning applications.

Support and Guide Local Area Planning- Provide a consistent system that supports local area planning to enable future growth and change through the urban form classification system and related policies.

Provide Guidance to Planning Applications- Provide policies to guide planning applications and development outcomes.

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Collaboration and feedback from all engagements has and continues to inform the work being done on the Guidebook. The Guidebook team is collaborating with several on-going projects that are all working towards building great communities for everyone. Some of these projects include:

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Since the approval of the original Developed Areas Guidebook in 2017, Administration has been actively engaging with communities and stakeholders to use the Guidebook through local area planning processes and applications. This, together with feedback from planning engagements across many projects over the past few years (including over 75 different events) has given staff a lot of great information that is being used to inform the next generation of the Guidebook – Great Communities for Everyone.

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It remains in effect for previously approved local area plans that already refer to it. The new Guidebook will be adopted by a stand-alone bylaw, separate from the Municipal Development Plan, under powers of the new City Charter that allows for the creation of a new type of statutory document. This will allow the existing Developed Areas Guidebook to remain untouched within the Municipal Development Plan, as it is today, to be the guiding document to a number of recently approved areas.

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  • Opportunity and Choice
    Everyone has access to places to shop, learn, work, eat and play, and there are diverse housing and mobility options for many different people and household types.
  • ​Health and Wellness
    Everyone has access to care, recreational opportunities and healthy food, and there are options to incorporate activity into how you get around.
  • ​Social Interaction
    There are a variety of places to gather, celebrate and interact with all kinds of people.
  • ​The Natural Environment
    Natural areas are protected, restored and valued, and are accessible to everyone.
  • Economic Vitality
    Everyone has access to diverse employment options and an environment conducive to starting, operating and sustaining a business.
  • Identity and Place
    Well-designed neighbourhoods create a sense of place that fosters identity and creates pride in the community.

Contact

Robyn Jamieson, Senior Planner
Planning & Development
403-268-5864
Robyn.Jamieson@calgary.ca

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

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