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.
Executive vice-president, multi-family, with Jayman Built
“The live, work, shop, play concept isn’t new. In fact, it was the form of living for countless generations when we lived in small, compact villages. We only had the recent urbanized sprawl when industrialization, car ownership and city planning became the norm. The urban village is fundamental to how humans actually connect with each other and is the natural way to form communities that offer a fulfilling lifestyle.
Our Westman Village project has several key design features that promote this kind of community. It’s highly walkable, with generous outdoor spaces, and has access to retail and shopping, as well as to the 40,000 square foot Village Centre. It speaks to a basic human need to have more than just a roof over our heads. We want to connect with our fellow neighbours in a deeper fashion than just a casual wave across the street.”
Francisco Alaniz Uribe Assistant professor in the Faculty of Environmental Design and co-director of The Urban Lab at the University of Calgary
“These kinds of communities are definitely the way of the future for Calgary – communities where all of the needs are met within a close vicinity. A community that it is more compact with a smaller footprint, where people can walk. And this type of design has been driven in part by the younger generations, who want to drive less and want to be closer to amenities that are not just the school for their future children, but places for entertainment, for exercise, for food and drink. They are interested in being able to buy locally produced products, and local coffee places, and being able to access them without driving. And it’s not just the younger generations, the older generations also appreciate the value of being closer to amenities and being able to walk to places.”
Pilot and homebuyer at Q Condos, a live, work, play development in Sage Hill Quarter by Morrison Homes
“I really love the concept of a live, work, play and shop community. So much time is spent driving to and from places, so it is appealing to me that I will be able to go to the gym, go for a drink or go shopping without getting in my car. This kind of living will also give me the opportunity to interact and get to know my neighbours better than if I was living in a traditional neighbourhood. By living a little further away from the core, I will have easy access both to work (at the airport) and the mountains anytime I want to go hiking. It’s like downtown living, without living downtown.”