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Municipal Development Plan (MDP) Volume 2: Community Guidebooks

The Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP) are The City’s long-range land use and transportation plans that look 60 years into the future. The Plans help shape how the communities we live and work in grow, develop and evolve over time.

The New Community Planning Guidebook, Guidebook for Great Communities and the Centre City Guidebook make up Volume 2 of the MDP. They standardize and simplify the planning process, land use frameworks and common policies to guide growth and change in established areas.

Planning for the Future helps understand why the guidebooks play an important role in the overall planning for our city.

New Community Planning Guidebook

The New Community Planning Guidebook contains policy used with new community area structure plans. It provides community design elements (built form) for new development. The new community area structure plans describe how those building blocks are arranged.

Centre City Guidebook

The Centre City Guidebook is the foundation for local area plans in the Centre City. It provides a common framework for how the Centre City is planned and developed today and into the future. It also provides general policy to shape a more compact urban form that is well connected and supported by amenities and services to meet the daily needs of residents.

Developed Areas Guidebook

The Developed Areas Guidebook establishes policy for local area plan work on developed areas, Main Streets, and within Activity Centres, including Transit Station Areas. It outlines general policy guidance and direction for establishing more context-specific policies related to character areas, as well as defines the building blocks to support the amenities, desirable mix of uses and the built form to ensure that neighbourhoods are developed to be high quality living and working environments.

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 a 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 is intended to be read in combination with a local area plan and only applies when a local area plan states that it applies. The Developed Areas Guidebook applies only to the following plans:

  1. Anderson Station Area Redevelopment Plan
  2. International Avenue Area Redevelopment Plan
  3. Montgomery – Bowness Road NW Main Street Area
  4. Bridgeland – 1 Avenue NE Main Street Area
  5. Killarney, Glengarry, Glendale – 37 Street SW Main Street Area
  6. Killarney, Glengarry, Shaganappi – 17 Avenue SW Main Street Area
  7. Bowness –Bowness Road NW Main Street Area
  8. Rundle Station Master Plan - suggested

Guidebook for Great Communities

In time, the Guidebook for Great Communities will replace the Developed Areas Guidebook. It will help advance a people-centred approach to community evolution by focusing on where life and activity occur and planning development to support it. The Guidebook for Great Communities provides an urban form classification system to be applied through the local area planning process and policies to direct planning applications.

The Guidebook for Great Communities will be the key tool used by citizens, stakeholders and City planners to create community local area plans. It was used by citizens to develop the draft North Hill Communities Local Area Plan, and is currently being used to develop the Westbrook and Heritage Communities Local Area Plans. If appropriate, the local area planning process can also augment the Guidebook’s policies to better reflect a community’s context.

Developers and industry will also use the Guidebook to develop sites. It provides them consistent policies and community design elements (built form) to keep the community’s long-term best interests in mind.


This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​