Share this page Print

Guidebook for Great Communities

People + Places = Community

With the Guidebook for Great Communities (Guidebook), we are planning communities in Calgary so they offer more housing, shops, and service choices for the people who live, work and visit them. When a community provides more opportunities, people can live in their neighbourhood regardless of age, income or stage in life.

 For planning the future of Calgary’s built-out communities, The Guidebook is a policy document that works with new Local Area Plans and sets the foundation for a renewed Land Use Bylaw. Together they will help achieve the goals of the Municipal Development Plan​ in Calgary’s built-out communities.

 

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. We have Planners at the Library installation Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 – 3 p.m. to answer your questions

Through February, you can join us at a couple of Federation of Calgary Community events on Feb. 8 and Feb. 29. We’ll also be at the upcoming Calgary Home and Garden show, Feb. 27 - Mar. 1.

We are scheduled to take the Guidebook for Great Communities to the St​anding Policy Committee on Planning and Development on March 4, 2020. A spring Council date is yet to be determined.

​​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


Edit accordion

Variables

Row Count: 9
ListCat: Guidebook
ID: 3603

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.​​

Edit accordion

Variables

Row Count: 9
ListCat: Guidebook
ID: 3626

  • 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.
Edit accordion

Variables

Row Count: 9
ListCat: Guidebook
ID: 3602

  • For citizens who live in Calgary and move to Calgary, the Guidebook is a framework to plan complete communities that provide more housing options, access to a variety of goods and services close by, and areas to recreate and gather. It plans communities where people can live in their neighbourhood regardless of age, income or stage of life.
  • For Planners who are planning communities and the citizens engaged in the planning of their communities, the Guidebook provides a planning policy system that focuses on how people experience their community. It’s a foundation to develop a plan for how a community can grow, develop and remain vibrant and resilient for people living there now and in the future. It is used during a community’s Local Area Plan process.
  • For developers and industry, the Guidebook provides the consistent policies and community design elements (built form) that direct them to develop sites with the community’s long-term best interests in mind. It facilities the development of a great community, while respecting and complementing its unique qualities.

See page 12 of the Guidebook​ for a summary of each chapter, when to use each chapter and who uses it.

​ ​

Edit accordion

Variables

Row Count: 9
ListCat: Guidebook
ID: 3904

Citizens will use the Guidebook when their respective community undergoes its Local Area Plan process. The Guidebook lays out how to create Local Area Plans and outlines the tools they use to plan for growth in communities. It is essentially a manual of how to create Local Area Plans:

  • lays out common urban form categories (such as neighbourhood commercial major, or neighbourhood housing local) and modifiers (such as building scale or active frontages) that can be used in all local area plans- Chapter 2
  • sets out common policies (such as landscaping, site design and building design, parking and heritage) that apply to all built-out areas and communities in Calgary- Chapter 3
  • establishes the considerations for which Local Area Plans should account regarding funding and financing public infrastructure and amenities

 For more information on Local Area Plans, visit, calgary.ca/lap 

Edit accordion

Variables

Row Count: 9
ListCat: Guidebook
ID: 3905

No. The Guidebook is a tool that Planners and citizens use during a community’s Local Area Plan (LAP), to guide the overall growth and development of an entire community- not certain types of housing or buildings.

An LAP focuses on growth and development of a community and the locations within that community where growth and development can or should go. Currently, every property (parcel) within Calgary is designated with a land use district (contained in Land Use Bylaw 1P2007). These districts outline the development potential for the parcel. 

When an LAP is adopted, parcels may be rezoned (re-designated) to achieve the desired outcomes of the LAP. Re-designations are most often led by a citizen or developer applicant. The re-designation helps guide the appropriate development that aligns with the LAP, to make sure the vision for the community is achieved. 

Administration acknowledges that once the Guidebook is adopted, new districts will be needed to better guide desired outcomes in LAPs and the communities within the LAP boundaries. The renewal of the Land Use Bylaw would allow Administration to work with all stakeholders to determine what these districts look like and ultimately, propose options to Council for how they could be implemented within communities. The Guidebook sets the foundation for achieving the vision for Calgary’s communities; therefore, work on new districts cannot start until the Guidebook has been approved.

Edit accordion

Variables

Row Count: 9
ListCat: Guidebook
ID: 3906

The Guidebook has a section on Heritage Resources that would apply to all built-out communities outside of the Centre City. It represents the most updated set of policies supporting the retention and protection of heritage resources in any City of Calgary planning document. This new approach expands the varying heritage policies that exist in current and older Local Area Plans. It also provides heritage-focused policy to communities that do not currently have Local Area Plans.

Communities may also contain a variety of existing physical characteristics, features, and buildings that are not currently considered to be heritage resources by The City or Heritage Calgary, but have significance to residents and citizens. The Guidebook helps to highlight and manage these aspects of a community’s “Identity” and “Place” with new direction within the Local Area Planning process.

As part of a separate initiative, Administration is undergoing a Council-directed review of available heritage conservation policy tools and financial incentives. To foster alignment with the Guidebook for Great Communities, a placeholder section for implementation of these tools has been created in the Guidebook, pending Council’s direction.

Edit accordion

Variables

Row Count: 9
ListCat: Guidebook
ID: 3605

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.

Engagement table

Enlarge​​​

Edit accordion

Variables

Row Count: 9
ListCat: Guidebook
ID: 3606

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.​​

Edit accordion

Variables

Row Count: 9
ListCat: Guidebook
ID: 3604

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:

Contact

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

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

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​