Established Area Growth and Change Strategy
About the Strategy
Calgary’s Established Area includes approximately 180 communities and is home to about 80 per cent of our population. Established communities range in age and type, from those experiencing redevelopment and change to those which have been recently completed.
The Established Area Growth and Change Strategy (the Strategy) outlines how The City can support established communities experiencing growth and change due to redevelopment. As communities evolve, it is important that public spaces and networks also evolve to meet the changing needs and desires of existing and new residents. Ensuring established communities remain desirable places to live and work helps achieve the goals and vision of the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan (MDP/CTP).
Three factors that support decision making related to the Strategy include:
- Alignment with the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan.
- Anticipated market demand.
- Consideration of financial impacts.
It is also important to consider an existing community’s capacity to accept change through redevelopment.
Supporting growth within existing communities allows for the efficient use of land and services. It also provides current and future residents with nearby amenity and employment opportunities by encouraging complete communities. The Strategy makes investment recommendations in strategic and prioritized areas, looks for process improvements to remove barriers to development, and reconsiders how we use funding and financing tools to support growth through redevelopment.
2022: Share Citywide Growth Strategy with Council, including Established Area Growth and Change Strategy investment, for consideration in the 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budgets process. This represents the conclusion of Phase 2 and Administration will be setting up for the continuation of this work as Phase 3, starting by Q3 this year.
- Implementation of approved Phase 1 actions and Phase 2 work
- Phase 1 public space projects design and construction
- Project-specific engagement on Phase 1 public space projects
- December: EAGCS Phase 2 progress update to Committee (PFC2020-1245)
- October: Growth Strategy Monitoring Report presented to Committee (PFC2020-0962)
- September: Working groups supporting Phase 2 began meeting
- May: Phase 1 recommendations approved by Council (PFC2020-0381)
- April: Presentation to committee and Council of Phase 1 recommendations (PFC2020-0381)
- February: Council approved Notice of Motion (PFC2020-0131) to provide $30 million for public realm improvements in the established area
- November: Initial conversations with growing established area communities about the types of public space improvements they are looking for.
- May: Project update to Committee (PUD2019-0305)
- December: Multi-partner working group meetings begin for Established Area Growth and Change Strategy.
- September: Project Scoping Report to Council (PFC2018-0891)
Public space projects
Calgary’s established communities are growing and changing. As communities experience revitalization they can be supported by investments in public spaces. These improvements increase the capacity of public spaces so they can better accommodate more people and activity. They also increase the livability and desirability of established communities. Together, these benefits attract more people to live, work and play in the area.
The Established Area Growth and Change Strategy invests in places and spaces in established communities, to meet the unique needs of each community. Some examples of investments are:
- Improving traffic and pedestrian safety.
- Updating existing and building new parks and playgrounds.
- Creating urban plazas.
Through the Strategy, we fund improvements to public spaces and places in established communities that are undergoing the renewal phase of their lifecycle. As existing communities go through renewal, they experience growth and change, including more people coming to live, work and play in the area. Through the Strategy, we identify public space improvements to accommodate a growing and changing population and seek funding to implement them.
Public space improvement projects funded through the Strategy generally fall within one of the three following categories:
- Streetscape improvements such as traffic calming, new sidewalks and pathways and intersection improvements.
- Parks and open space improvements such as playgrounds, picnic tables and benches and field improvements
- Partnership projects with Calgary Neighbourhoods and Business Improvement Associations. This can include improvements and upgrades such as plazas, community gardens, some playgrounds and public art.
These types of projects benefit those who live or spend time in the area. They improve how people walk and wheel through a neighbourhood and create spaces where people feel comfortable spending time.
In 2020, Council approved funding for our Phase 1 public space improvement projects to support the communities we identified that are currently undergoing growth and change. We used input from communities to identify public space improvement projects for funding. The Investing in Growing Communities map shows the benefiting areas and identifies the projects that are underway.
As of June 2022, we have identified the Local Area Plan areas for potential funding for public space improvements during Phase 2. They are Greater Forest Lawn, North Hill, Riley, South Shaganappi, Westbrook and West Elbow, focusing on the active market areas within these collections of communities. We have shortlisted several projects and will be narrowing down the list throughout the summer. The revised list of potential projects and associated funding request will be shared with Council during the 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budgets process. At that time Council will determine what funding they may provide for the identified projects.
If you want to learn more about the Phase 1 projects that are underway, please click on the project links below.
Phase 2 work (2020-2022)
Administration continues to work on supporting growth and change in the Established Area and has been working on Phase 2 of the Strategy since the conclusion of Phase 1 in 2020.
Throughout Phase 2 of the Strategy, the project team has:
- identified public space investments to support growth
- explored a variety of financial tools to help fund the projects
- identified and explored solutions to some of the challenges to redevelopment in the Established Area
This work was supported by several multi-partner groups, such as an Advisory Group and three working groups. They included representatives from communities, local businesses, the building and development industry, and members of Administration.
Investments identified and funded as part of the Strategy will help sustain complete and vibrant neighbourhoods in the growing and changing Established Area. They will support a sustainable compact urban growth pattern, which aligns with the Municipal Development Plan.
Several types of ongoing funding tools to support Established Area communities were explored during Phase 2 of the Strategy. They included City-funded tools, industry-funded tools and community-funded tools. Exploration of some of the funding tools will continue into Phase 3 of the Strategy.
During Phase 2, a North Hill Communities Property Tax Uplift Pilot analysis was undertaken. Through the pilot, estimated property tax uplift in the North Hill communities was calculated using assessment and tax data to link actual redevelopment with resulting increase in property values and associated increase in municipal tax levied.
Redevelopment within the Established Area can be complicated by existing technical constraints. Examples of those constraints include the limited capacity of existing deep and shallow utility networks and the location of existing infrastructure like overhead powerlines that require development setbacks. Phase 2 of the Strategy explored some of these challenges to seek solutions. Some of this work will also continue into Phase 3 of the Strategy.