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Community Critiques Work in Progress: First ‘pin-up’ inspires discussion

Jun 18, 2011

Saturday morning’s charrette show-and-tell provided Mission Road district residents and business people their first look at how the project team is responding to what they’ve heard so far.

The session is one of two “pin-ups” in which charrette leader Andrés Duany tests designers’ interpretations against community goals and the economic realities of development and redevelopment in the current era.

On Sunday at 2:30 p.m., also at the Holiday Inn, Duany re-presents a new stage of work in progress, integrating corrections and refinements offered by community members during the Saturday session.

Some core convictions behind the designers’ work:

  • There’s untapped commercial opportunity in the four corners formed by the intersection of Mcleod Trail and Mission Road. Retail analyst Tom Leung told the consulting team that the corner’s potential is unrivaled in all of Calgary. (See Leung’s video in the DOCUMENTS section in the toolbar above.) That commercial potential can be a significant driver for walkable, mixed-use development in the sector.
  • The City of Calgary understands that in order to achieve more appealing, higher-performing neighbourhoods, changes have to be made in ways planning policy is made and enforced. The Mission Road Innovation Project is considered a pilot in that City-driven effort. For an overview of that commitment, see the column to the immediate right. See how that idea has been playing out in the charrette so far by checking out the posts immediately preceding this one.

On Saturday, Duany presented designs he wished to test, then engaged in a vigorous discussion with attendees about what might and might not work along Mission Road and in their adjacent neighbourhoods.  (For notes from the session, see the DOCUMENTS section.)

Try-out designs showed a conversion of the McLeod/Mission Road intersection to a more intensely commercial crossroads capable of attracting regional shoppers. There were experiments with residential configurations to offer more attractive and economically viable choices. Well-thought-out retail space on the north side of Mission Road can expand those choices.

The presentation accompanying Duany’s comments can be reviewed here. (4.4mb .pdf)

A reminder: Resident Steve Sparks, who is also a real estate developer, cautioned his neighbours not to “fall in love or hate” with any specific designs at this stage, since everything is evolving towards a wrap-up presentation on Tuesday night.

Comments from attendees helped Duany identify aspects of the design that needed tweaks. Many of his responses, along with those of Alderman Gian-Carlo Carra, targeted community members concerns that the City would indeed follow through on charrette results and that the project team was indeed taking climate and topography into their thinking.

The presentation at 2:30 Sunday afternoon will advance many of the design ideas. So even those who attended on Saturday will find new material to react to.

By Monday morning, we will have posted comments and images from the Sunday pin-up. For now, share your own ideas and reactions below.

5 Responses to “Community Critiques Work in Progress: First ‘pin-up’ inspires discussion”


  1. Jacqulynn says:

    A video about our neighborhood and a suggestion for plan expansion! Inspired by Green Cities.

  2. Gary Ellis says:

    Calgary and in particular Mission Road/ Parkhill Community are very lucky to be involved in this highly ‘ innovative’ project with an amazing cast of expertise and talent including Andres Duany and his team and the entire Placemaker team. It’s been a very compelling process, challenging Calgarians to look outside our neighbourhood ‘ boxes’ to discover what vision of a urban village/complete community is possible. Kudos to the City of Calgary, in particular Alderman Carra, from showing progressive leadership.

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COMMENTS POLICY: We invite questions and suggestions related to the post above. The online rules are the same as they'd be if we were meeting in person. We'll respect one another and keep on topic. And we'll work together to create a compelling vision and implementation strategy for Mission Road.

If you have general comments or suggestions, you can also submit them directly by going to our CONTACT US page.


  • Headline

    Project Logo

    This is the moment we’ve all been planning towards.

    Beginning Wednesday, June 15, 2011, citizens, landowners, and City staff sat down with an international consulting team to translate years worth of lessons learned into a plan for healthy growth along Mission Road. Just as important, they used this week-long planning workshop as a test run for how Calgary's residents, business people, and government might better go about charting the future of our neighbourhoods together.

    That’s why we’ve described this project as: Neighbours on a mission. In reality, we’re all neighbours. And we have to work together to get where we want to go. Read more here.