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Centre City Urban Design Guidelines project

The Centre City Urban Design Guidelines serve as a guide and inspiration for future development decisions  in the Centre City area. The guidelines build and expand upon the 2007 Greater Downtown Plan. Along with other policies, the guidelines work toward the vision of  “making Calgary a more beautiful, memorable city with a commitment to excellence in Urban Design.” (Section 2.4, Municipal Development Plan).

Designers, landowners, developers, citizens, and our municipal government play an important role in building and shaping our city. These guidelines serve as an inspiration for creativity, innovation, and cutting edge architectural expressions, and are intended to further enhance Calgary’s progressive image both nationally and internationally.

Goals of the Centre C​ity Urban Design Guidelines project:

  • Consolidate existing Centre City urban design policies and guidelines, identify gaps, and develop a comprehensive design guideline document in a user-friendly format.
  • Clarify and outline expectations related to design quality while reflecting current national and international best practices in sustainable and innovative urban design.
  • Communicate urban design guidelines both internally within The City and externally to ensure the guidelines are applied consistently.
  • Contribute to an efficient and effective development review process while aligning with the 13 Elements of Urban Design included in the Municipal Development Plan.

The guidelines provide flexibility and guidance to support achieving the vision and enhancing existing amenities to create great streets, quality buildings, and memorable places. The overall framework diagram summarizes the project framework. It shows both the structure and the content of the guideline document, and its connection to various existing policies and plans.

​ Final Draft:​ Centre City Urban D​esign Guidelines - October 2015



Public and partner engagement

The City is committed to engage Calgarians about decisions that significantly affect our communities. We held several partner and public workshops from April to June 2012, where we asked citizens, the development and design industry, and Centre City community groups for their input before drafting the new guidelines.

What we heard during these workshops has been summarized in our  Phase 1 Stakeholder Engagement Report. The report summarizes the issues and gaps that the new guidelines will need to address from a partner perspective, as well as some of the possible solutions identified in the workshops.

Related Links


​Xia Zhang
Planner, Community Planning


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. ​