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Why City Planning? Building Great Communities for Everyone

Planning Calgary now and for the next generation

Planning and enabling growth in our communities for everyone

We're changing the way we plan our city through what we call Next Generation Planning. This new way of planning makes sure our citizens, and the people who move to and invest in Calgary, can make a great life and a great living in our city. It’s a better way to plan our future:

  • allows The City to be more fiscally responsible, giving better value to citizens, over a longer period of time
  • supports our existing communities to be vibrant and successful for decades to come
  • allows for closer working relationships with our citizens

Currently, made up of nine initiatives, Next Generation Planning helps us carry out the policies and meet the goals in our Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan​ (MDP/CTP):

  • provides a coordinated and clear planning system for the whole city
  • modernizes our planning and development approach
  • updates and simplifies policy to meet the MDP and CTP
  • creates a better toolbox to allow for development and investment in Calgary

Calgary has momentum

Calgary is building on the success of the past ten years from the investments we’ve made in our city. We’ve improved the way people can move around Calgary, by growing our primary public transit network and adding new and more transportation options. We’re constructing our Main Streets, providing a better mix of housing and amenity options for our citizens, and are in the initial stages of developing homes and amenities closer to our Transit stations. 

There’s a momentum, which the MDP and CTP have created for Calgary. Next Generation Planning is carrying that momentum further. It will position Calgary even better as a place where businesses will want to invest, and people will want to live, now and the future.  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Planning and Development Department’s mission

To plan and enable building a great Calgary

Our Department's 2020 Plan

Our 2020 Planning & Development Accountability Plan​​ aims to provide an internal view of how the Planning & Development department governs and manages its business, which ultimately provides value to Calgarians.

While this plan is designed to be a reference and information tool for Planning & Development staff, it is published externally to align with our focus on transparency.

Next Generation Planning Initiatives


Calgary’s long-range vision

1. Planning our city for 2 million people

We’re updating our long-range plan on how we develop Calgary’s land and the way people move in our city. The Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plans are our vision, with goals and policies to make sure we’re successful.

Policies to PLAN A GREAT CALGARY

2. Planning communities for people and their activities

Planning our city, means planning our communities to make sure they offer more types of housing, shops and service options, closer to where people live. The Guidebook for Great Communities will make it easier for a person to find a place to live and grow in any community, regardless of stage of life, income or age. 

3. Planning future development and growth in our communities. 

Our communities are naturally evolving and people’s needs are changing, so we’re planning communities' futures together with our citizens and stakeholders. We’re creating Local Area Plans to guide future development, growth, reinvestment and renewal in Calgary’s communities. We’re striving to ensure older communities continue to attract new residents and making sure the local shops, schools and amenities in these communities continue to thrive for years to come.

4. Planning the different types of development in communities 

When people live in and visit Calgary’s communities, we want them to have a better experience, whether they’re using the streets, sidewalks, paths, parks or other areas. Renewing the land use bylaw means considering different types of development for different communities. This bylaw guides how a building is designed, a site is laid out and landscaped, and what types of businesses or activities can happen in those buildings or sites.

5. Protecting Calgary's past, for our future

It’s important we conserve Calgary’s history, whether it’s our buildings or our spaces. Our Heritage conservation incentives and programs include tools and grants that encourage property owners to designate and conserve historical properties and spaces. 

Policies to enable BUILDING A GREAT CALGARY

6. Supporting growth in Calgary’s existing, new and industrial communities

We’re investing in our existing communities, so they have the right infrastructure to grow and be successful for people who live there now and in the future. The Established Area Growth and Change Strategy will guide investments, create financial tools to allow growth, and attract private investment to our communities. 

Our newest communities need to be successful now and decades from now. That success relies on the resources that they require, from both developers and The City. The New Community Growth Strategy aligns planning policy, market demand, and service needs with City budgets. 

Strong industrial areas are the foundation for Calgary being an inland port and distribution centre for western Canada. The Industrial Area Growth Strategy will further strengthen that foundation and support diversifying our city’s economic growth.  

7. Funding new growth in Calgary

Developers support growth in our city by redeveloping existing communities and building new ones. As part of this work, they contribute to either the Off-Site Levy or Centre City Levy. These levies help pay for new services, like water and sanitary trunks, roads, libraries and fire halls in our existing and new communities. 

8. Making Calgary’s streets more attractive for investment and places to gather

We’ve identified 24 Calgary streets that have the best potential to celebrate community character, encourage business development, create a vibrant destination, and improve public health. Our Main Streets Program is transforming our streets into places where more people will want to live, work and play.  

9. People living and working closer to Calgary’s transit network

Calgary’s transit network continues to grow, most recently with completing the Bus Rapid Transit Network, and moving forward with the Green Line. Implementing the Transit Oriented Development Program means more people will live, work and shop within walking distance to our transit network. It provides citizens and visitors with an easy and economical way of living and travelling in our city. 

Planning and building great communities for everyone


Together, these nine initiatives will work together with existing polices. The goal is to plan a great Calgary with programs that will enable growth and development so we can continue building a great city.

Next Generation Planning System

Background


Change is inevitable for all cities including Calgary. City governments plan for change by working to adapt to growing populations, changes in the economy, outlining aims for a sustainable future, and creating great communities for everyone.

As Calgary grows, we want to build our city in a way that is mindful of the future, promotes sustainable ways of living, encourages a variety of housing choices, is respectful of community character, and balances the interests of neighbourhoods with the interests of Calgary as a whole.

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