Connected communities

Hub living is the name of the game when it comes to new-neighbourhood design in northwest Calgary

When discussing the current trend of building Calgary residential communities around “hubs” (also known as “activity centres” or “nodes”), the phrase “back to the future” seems apt.

“It’s about concentrating uses and activities in one area … It’s how settlements and civilizations have been developing forever,” said Beverly Sandalack, associate dean and professor of landscape architecture and planning in the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design.

“It fell out of favour post-World War II with the over-reliance on the car, but, except for this 50-year aberration, main streets have always been the centre of community activity and business.”

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Shopping around

Selection, convenience and one-of-a-kind design continue to draw crowds to CrossIron Mills 

Bigger isn’t always better. However, CrossIron Mills is a classic example of the perfect combination of quantity and quality. The ambitious retail development has enjoyed smooth sailing, even through periods of economic downturn, and become the go-to shopping centre for area residents and visitors alike.

Located in Rocky View County, just north of Calgary on Highway 2, CrossIron Mills occupies 1.4 million square feet across 674 acres of land. It offers 200 specialty stores and premium-brand outlets, as well as 17 large-format anchor stores.

While mall patrons sing its praises, some feared the timing of its launch in 2009 might start things off on the wrong foot.

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Main-street makeover

City of Calgary Main Streets initiative aims to revitalize streetscapes and bring communities together

In late September, a throng of Bridgeland residents turned out for the first annual community-organized passeggiata, visiting cultural and business stops along the neighbourhood’s main thoroughfare, ending in celebration at the street’s General Square.

This passeggiata — a leisurely promenade or stroll in the Italian tradition — and other activities like it are exactly what the City of Calgary’s Main Streets initiative is designed to encourage across 24 different city streets.

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North to Livingston

Brookfield Residential launches northern neighbourhood of Livingston and it’s attracting some attention as a unique space in the Calgary city-scape.

On March 4, Brookfield Residential officially launched the community of Livingston, a new community gathering attention for its innovative, attractive home designs, and a fresh, exciting take on community.

“We’re so excited that it’s finally here,” said Jessie Seymour, senior manager of strategic marketing at Brookfield Residential.

A decade in the making, Livingston covers 500 hectares straddling Centre Street north of Stoney Trail. When fully developed, the community will be home to an expected 30,000 Calgarians. A major activity centre, acting as a central hub, will include an estimated one million square feet of institutional and retail space.

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Signs of recovery

Housing officials expect new builds to post slight rebound in late 2017

“Turbulent.” That’s how the head of Calgary’s homebuilders and developers group describes the new housing market in 2016.

And 2017?

“Recovery,” said Allan Klassen, chair of the recently merged Canadian Home Builders’ Association—Urban Development Institute Calgary (CHBA-UDI Calgary).

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