Road smarts

City delves into intelligent traffic technologies in preparation of autonomous future

There’s method to the madness that is Calgary’s rush-hour traffic.

And if autonomous vehicles play into mainstream society the way many are predicting, our city could be at the forefront of changing that daily commute, suggest local officials.

While drivers stuck in gridlock may feel differently, Calgary currently operates one of the most advanced traffic systems in Canada – a claim backed up earlier year in a TomTom Traffic Index survey that identified Calgary as the least congested city in Canada.

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Let’s make a deal

Industry spokesperson says construction fund largely going unused

Players in one of the city’s most active multi-family construction areas have made limited use of a cash-for-density fund established by the City of Calgary, says a spokesperson for the industry.

While a number of projects have been brought forward related to the Beltline Community Investment Fund (BCIF), the CHBA-UDI Calgary Region Association, the umbrella organization for the builders and developers in and around Calgary, is scratching its head about why the fund hasn’t been used more.

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The future of infills

City revisiting inner-city development

Almost 15 years ago, Naz Virani made the shift from chef to homebuilder and developer. Since then, he has been one of a handful of builders at the fore of Calgary’s gentrification.

In the early 2000s, Virani founded Sarina Homes, and began what he describes as a journey to transform the inner-city, one infill home at a time.

“A lot has changed since we started the business,” he recalled. “We started out building single-family homes, then moved into semi-detached and then fourplex designs.”

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Genesis goes beyond suburban vanilla

Builder focuses on the extra flavours*

When Lisa Kaiser goes to suppliers seeking quality products for Genesis homes, she doesn’t want the “vanilla ice cream” flavour they are offering every other builder.

“When everyone is buying vanilla ice cream, you get a lot of vanilla ice cream,” said the company’s project manager interior design. “I ask them to give us the new flavours.”

It is one way of explaining Genesis Builders Group’s focus on ensuring its new suburban homes don’t fall under the stereotype of being bland when compared to its inner-city counterparts. (more…)

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