Downtown West Revitalization Strategy
Downtown West has the potential to be one of the best parts of Centre City and Calgary. Its dense population, riverfront location, LRT access, regional park attractions, and educational and cultural assets are all invaluable assets that provide the foundation for an interesting and vibrant community.
However, in its present state, the Downtown West remains largely disconnected from the rest of the Downtown and the Beltline and lacks amenities and a draw to the area. Downtown West is also the last remaining neighbourhood of the Downtown to gain traction in both the development industry and the local economy. It trails other communities in a number of areas, including development activity, public investment, and property values. While Downtown West is the densest neighourhood by area, and is home to nearly 2,800 Calgarians, these residents currently need to leave their community to serve many of their daily needs.
The purpose of the Downtown West Revitalization Strategy is to provide an implementation plan with short-term, low-cost initiatives that can provide immediate benefit to the area, as well as longer term strategies and actions.
This strategy focuses on five essential pillars to the revitalization of the Downtown West community:
- The Local Economy
- The Physical Environment
- Neighbourhood Vibrancy
- Connections & Places
- Community Identity
The City has proposed strategies and actions for each of these pillars (outlined in the Downtown West Revilization Strategy). Several of these actions (or projects) are currently underway.
The Future of Stephen Avenue
The City of Calgary and the Calgary Downtown Association are developing a plan for the entire length of Stephen Avenue from Olympic Plaza to 11 Street S.W.
This project will aim to:
- Extend the energy and liveliness of the pedestrian mall westward along 8 Avenue S.W. into the Downtown West
- Establish a new vision for Stephen Avenue that creates opportunities for private investment and redevelopment
- Create short and long-term strategies that can be implemented over time to make Stephen Avenue better for Calgarians and visitors
To learn more about this project, please visit the project webpage.
Temporary Park and Community Space
The City of Calgary is supporting the Downtown West Community Association, in creating a temporary park and community space for the enjoyment of residents and visitors to the neighbourhood. City of Calgary owned land that is currently vacant but slated for future development will be temporarily transformed to include an off-leash dog park (a testing ground for future inner city off-leash areas), open space, as well as space for the community to transform as ideas and projects transpire.
The temporary dog park and park space is slated to open in Summer 2019.
Community Mural Program
The Downtown West Community Mural Program is a pilot initiative to support and showcase local artists, improve the public realm, and build community spirit in Calgary’s Downtown West neighbourhood. This program is offered through a partnership with the Downtown West Community Association and The City of Calgary, and is part of the Downtown West Revitalization Strategy - a short-term implementation strategy that focuses on a variety of initiatives ranging in scale and cost that support overall neighbourhood improvement within the area. The intention is that the Community Mural Program will continue and expand in future years, bringing new life, vibrancy and visual interest to the streets.
Building: Attainable Homes
Artist: Jason Botkin
Façade Improvement Program
In 2018, The City of Calgary undertook an initiative to encourage and assist building owners to refresh and revitalize building facades throughout the Downtown West community in order to improve the public realm. Property owners were able to apply for grants to upgrade business facades, enhancing the streetscape and bringing vibrancy back to properties in need of renewal.
The program is now closed, however funding may be available in 2020. If you are interested in learning more please contact email@example.com.
Building: Continental Towers
Artists: Cheka Creative (Sergey Ryutin and Alex Kwong)