What They’re Saying

A smattering of Calgarians give their thoughts on the city’s new live, work and play developments

Almost 20 years ago with the advent of Seaside, a live, work and play development with a village-type feel on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in northwest Florida, the philosophy of new urbanism took root.

Based on concepts espoused by renowned urban planner, Jane Jacobs – who designed Greenwich Village in New York City – new urbanism takes the inner-city vibe and brings it to the suburbs. The concept is rooted in historical village-style planning structure, with a central amenity pool in the village centre and high-density housing peppered throughout. It’s a design that draws people out of their homes, and walkability is a central feature. This provides a downtown feel and downtown-style amenities, and the concept is catching on big time in Calgary.

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Middle-ring mindset

A new look at old neighbourhoods

In addition to the Twist and Woodstock, a lot of great neighbourhoods were created in the 1960s. Today, Calgary’s middle-ring suburbs – those developed between 1950 and the early 1970s – face some serious challenges, but, at the same time, some unique opportunities.

“These neighbourhoods are in a good location, fairly close to downtown, and feature large lots with single-family, detached bungalows and split levels,” said Francisco Alaniz Uribe, an assistant professor in the faculty of environmental design at the University of Calgary. Uribe co-authored a study on the city’s middle-ring communities with his colleague Beverly A. Sandalack, professor and associate dean with the faculty of environmental design.

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