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Take a Bow, Calgary: Weeklong collaboration ends on high note

Jun 22, 2011

The applause for charrette leader Andrés Duany at the close of a two-hour presentation on Tuesday night was genuine. Many in the 150-person-strong crowd had attended multiple meetings throughout the week and were appreciative of what they saw as a steady evolution culminating in the images and ideas in the wrap-up presentation.

Duany returned the compliment. “What is exciting about working here,” said the renowned urban planner, “is that the city is willing to lead the planning.”

What was accomplished over the intensive week could be tweaked, said Duany. “Some things could get a little better. Some could get a little worse,” he said. “But I would just call a council meeting and get on with it.”

More applause.

Gian-Carlo Carra, the Calgary alderman who has been the Calgary Council’s biggest supporter of the Mission Road Main Street Innovation Project, said the core ideas of the charrette will be reviewed by appropriate City agencies as early as July, adjusted as needed, and then taken before the Council in the fall. The goal for the planning model pioneered during the charrette, said Alderman Carra, is “to enable it maximally and to hinder in minimally.”

For the alderman’s overview of the charrette’s goals, check out the column to the right. And for coverage of each step in the process on the way to Tuesday night’s final presentation, read the posts preceding this one.

The big attractions in Duany’s presentation were evocative illustrations of how the Mission Road neighbourhood might evolve if the team’s proposals came to pass. Below is a selection of images from the presentation with captions. For the complete presentation, click the graphic above or visit DOCUMENTS for everything from the past week.

The proposed plan for Mission Road and surrounding area. Includes an enhanced urban environment connecting the neighbourhood with LRT via Mission Road and 39th Avenue, the restoration of Burnsland Road as a fully functioning street, and the relocation of the LRT station. Click for larger view.

An aerial view of what ultimately emerged as the full project area. Details are shown in the following series of images. Click for larger view.

Current site of the ENMAX utility building, redeveloped as a small office building with terrace roof and adjoining community gardens. Click for larger view.

Looking down Parkhill Street at the proposed tower which, through its siting, terminates the view of both Parkhill, looking north, and Mission Road, looking west from Macleod Trail. A small cafe or similar neighbourhood-serving enterprise is included. Click for larger view.

The much-discussed residential, with its English mews-style rear units, on the north side of Mission Road. Mews units lay flush against the required retaining wall, separating lower residences from those up the hill. Click for larger view.

Redevelopment at the corners along Macleod Trail allows current automotive businesses to remain operating while creating a more pedestrian-friendly gateway to Mission Road. Click for larger view.

This Mission Road pedestrian plaza, just east of Macleod Trail, improves the walkable connection with the LRT. Click for larger view.

Approaching the proposed LRT station, moved from its current location to one between Mission Road and 38th Avenue. This stretch of Burnsland Road, reconfigured as a fully functioning street, is envisioned as a flexible, low-investment business incubator environment, reflecting a style described by Duany as "very Granville Island." Click for larger view.

39th Avenue, configured to connect Burnsland Road with an expanded Parkhill Community Hall, which would then serve as a visual focal point for both 39th and Parkhill Street. Click for larger view.


Your and everyone’s participation has been invaluable to this process. Please don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts and reactions below.


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  2. Mission Road Innovation Project | Take A Look: Local developers present development plans 14 05 13

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    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.