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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Aging gracefully

Leaders in middle-ring suburbs grapple with current challenges, while looking to the future

Calgary is a city that is continuing to grow and expand, with new suburbs and surrounding areas showing marked growth this year, yielding new infrastructure and amenities for residents. However, while Calgary’s newer communities expand, older communities are experiencing unique challenges.

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The forgotten option

Middle-ring neighbourhoods offer perfect balance of suburban charm and inner-city convenience

Between the inner city and the burgeoning suburbs lie Calgary’s so-called “middle-ring neighbourhoods,” a concept explored in a 2010 study by the University of Calgary’s faculty of environmental design.

As the study describes, Calgary’s 80 middle-ring neighbourhoods – which include communities like Acadia, Glamorgan and Huntington Hills – are those developed between the 1950s and 1970s and “poised to undergo redevelopment.”

Canyon Meadows, established in 1963, is one such community. When Gurmit Bhachu, the current president of the Canyon Meadows Community Association, moved to Calgary in 2004, he and his wife looked for a home.

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Buses, trains and automobiles

Plans for Anderson Station transit-oriented development approach final approval

A new outline plan and land use application for the lands surrounding the Anderson LRT Station was approved at the Calgary Planning Commission in February and will now go before city council on April 16 for final approval.

Doug Cassidy, director of real estate and development services for the City of Calgary, said Anderson Station has many characteristics that make it viable as a transit-oriented development (TOD) site.

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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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