Calgary’s greater downtown has always been a highlight of our vibrant city, teeming with long standing local businesses, historical and cultural landmarks and a beautiful location between Calgary’s Bow and Elbow Rivers with views of the Rocky Mountains. But the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Calgary and its downtown core in irreversible ways, and increased our need to evolve and adapt so that our city can continue to thrive.
CALGARY’S GREATER DOWNTOWN PLAN: AN OUTLINE
The City of Calgary is taking action to enhance our downtown area with their recently approved strategy, Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan, which includes an initial investment of $200 million to support the outlines of the plan.
The city has developed a comprehensive plan with a vision of creating a vibrant city centre that offers a balance of residential spaces, traditional offices, retail shops, tourist attractions, entertainment options and culture.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED CALGARY’S GREATER DOWNTOWN?
Calgary’s Greater Downtown includes the Downtown Core, Downtown West, Eau Claire, Chinatown, East Village and the Beltline – which is where you can find your friends and favourite businesses of 17th Ave.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
This plan was made in collaboration with downtown strategy partners including the Calgary Economic Development, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, the University of Calgary, and the downtown business improvement areas( DBA & Victoria Park BIA), along with members of the real estate and business community and extensive engagement with citizens.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?
The initial funds have been designated to measures that will enhance the quality of life for those who work and live downtown by addressing office vacancy, supporting the development of downtown neighborhoods and improving downtown vibrancy.
You can find a further breakdown of the initial funds here, but some of the changes you can expect include financial incentives for office conversion and replacement as well as new residential development. There will also be a large portion of funds designated to impactful capital projects made to improve public spaces and support neighborhoods, as well as activate these public spaces with festivals, events and community spaces to increase vibrancy.
WHEN CAN WE EXPECT IT?
Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan will be implemented over the next 10 years, and will cost upwards of $1 billion. The initial investment package of $200 million is only 20% of the costs needed, and the plan will require many short-term and long-term actions and several different phases over the next decade to be completed.
To learn more about Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan, check out the link below.