A new guidebook will set common standards for new community development and provide building blocks for community design.

The new document has been proposed to be a part of the Municipal Development Plan, which will allow the area structure plan to refer to the New Community Planning Guidebook.

Chris Wolfe, a planner with the new community planning department at the City of Calgary said, “The New Community Planning Guidebook outlines what the City believes is the best way to design future new communities, based on what Calgarians have told us they want through processes like imagineCALGARY and PlanIt Calgary.”

“Calgary is expected to grow by over a million people in the next 50 – 60 years, and it is important that we plan for that growth in a way that is more sustainable and creates opportunities for people to live, work and play in the same community.”

The guidebook will consolidate the policies that would be found in the area structure plans, streamlining the entire process of planning new communities.

“The key aim of the guidebook is to set common development standards for planning going forward. This will make planning practices easier to understand and improve consistency while reducing red tape. The City typically repeats a lot of development standards in each new community’s area structure plan. The guidebook consolidates those policies in one place,” said Wolfe. Some of the concepts that the guidebook will include is how park space and pathways should be integrated into a community, how the community should be easy to travel around on foot and how there needs to be a variety of housing types.

“The guidebook outlines the things we feel are needed in order for a community to be a complete community. The goal is to design areas where people have various options for housing, work and recreation that they can get to by walking, riding a bike, taking transit or driving,” said Wolfe.

“These qualities will have a direct impact on the quality of life for those who will live in our future new communities and contribute to making Calgary an even better city.”

The aim of the guidebook is to provide more direction to guide decisions of Council, land developers, the public, other stakeholders and City staff when planning new communities.

The guidebook was presented to Council at a public hearing in December, and Council referred the document to the Jan. 15 planning and urban development committee meeting.