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Friday, October 24, 2014

WANTED: Your input on West Eau Claire Park design concepts

The City completed the first round of engagement on West Eau Claire Park, receiving over 1600 comments and ideas, and is now ready for public input on the draft design concepts created from the comments received.

What: Open house
When: Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014
Time: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Eau Claire Market, Centre Court

At the open house, a summary of what was heard during the first round of engagement and a site analysis will be available along with the draft design concepts.

“We received very thought-out ideas in the first engagement which tells us people are passionate about this park space,” says Greg Stewart, project manager with The City of Calgary. “At this stage, the input we receive will help revise our strategy and concept designs to ensure we are using as much public input as we can, based on the budget and capabilities available for the space.”

The West Eau Claire Park is along the Eau Claire Promenade from the Louise Bridge (10th Street SW) to Eau Claire Plaza. The public input will help The City identify a clear vision to guide the design, provide a concept plan, and prioritize improvements for West Eau Claire Park.

For more information about the project and to see results from the first round of engagement visit

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New public art series encourages connection to Calgary's watershed

Varying Proximities, a new temporary two-part public art series, encourages us to think about how we experience our rivers. The series was created by Broken City Lab, one of five artist groups working through The City of Calgary’s WATERSHED+ Artist Residency program.

Part one, titled Subtext: River Signs, asks a series of questions, in place until mid-January, affixed to 100 stormwater outfall signs throughout the downtown area along both sides of the Bow and Elbow.

Broken City Lab’s project invites us to consider the importance of our relationship to our rivers through a new lens, asking questions we might of a person or a relationship,” said Sans fa├žon, lead artist for the WATERSHED+ public art program.

Immersed in Water Services

The artists were immersed directly with The City of Calgary's Water Services staff and learned the specifics about Calgary’s water systems, resources and processes. The artists say that level of accessibility and engagement with City staff was truly essential in the development of the project, which is specific to Calgary's watershed.

Part two of the series, Connecting to the Bow, invites you to call the Bow River from anywhere in the world by dialing 1-844-OUR-BOW-RIVER. For the next 12 months, you can dial the toll-free hotline and be transported to the river’s edge.

Appeal to the senses

“Hearing the Bow River flowing really made that connection for me. It’s kind of our lifeblood in the sense of the water giving us life and allowing us to be nourished. For me, it was the beginning of having more respect and responsibility and more knowledge about our place in it all,” said Calgarian Carol Clausen.

Over the span of a year, Broken City Lab worked alongside The City of Calgary through the WATERSHED+ public art program, a cornerstone of The Utilities and Environmental Protection (UEP) department’s public art plan.

More information on the Varying Proximities series or any of our other public art projects. 

Submitted by Jennifer Storm, Arts and Culture, Recreation

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You have opinions. The City of Calgary wants to hear them.

We're looking for Calgarians to join Citizens’ View – The City’s new online research panel.

Citizens’ View is a timely and cost-effective tool that will make it easier for citizens to share their views about life in Calgary. Calgarians who join the panel will have the opportunity to participate in surveys and discussions on topics that matter to them and understand how their input is used.

“The magic of public service lies in our ability to deliver what citizens require now as well as preparing for what they will need in the future,” said Jeff Fielding, City Manager. “Citizens’ View will help The City gauge opinions about our programs and services. It will also provide us with valuable information essential to meeting the community’s long-term aspirations.”

Citizens’ View is a Transforming Government initiative that will complement The City’s existing research and engagement tools, making information sharing more transparent, accessible and interactive for citizens.

“Creating an even better Calgary takes all of us—not just government,” said Mayor Nenshi. “Citizens are the key to improving our communities and creating the best programs and services for our city. Calgarians are the experts in their lives and I encourage them to share their thoughts about life in Calgary by registering at”

Members can expect to participate in surveys approximately once or twice per month; join interactive, online discussions; and receive information and updates on upcoming City events and service improvements.

Calgarians 18 years and older can register at

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rocky Ridge recreation facility takes next step forward

Northwest residents have a new reason to celebrate – construction on the Rocky Ridge recreation facility is about start. 

Community and council members at the ceremony on Oct. 15.
On Wednesday, Oct. 15, The City and its project partners gathered with community members to commemorate the exciting milestone. Over the past few months, crews have been preparing the site for building construction. This included stripping and grading of the land and preparing for an enhanced wetland.  

Now that the groundwork phase has wrapped up, local residents can expect to see the facility structure take shape soon.

New rec centre operated by YMCA

When complete, the approximately 285,000 square foot facility will include amenities such as two ice rinks, sport and leisure pools, a gymnasium and fitness centre, an art-making studio and gallery space, childcare and child-minding and a open-concept library. The City-built, City-owned facility will be operated by YMCA Calgary through a partnership model.

Calgarians determine amenities at each facility

The new Rocky Ridge facility is one of four new recreation facilities in development by The City of Calgary to meet our growing city’s need for convenient access to recreation opportunities. It supports the important role recreation plays in building complete communities. 

Each facility is being designed to meet the specific needs of the community, with the vision and proposed amenities determined through extensive engagement with Calgarians, community leaders and numerous sport and cultural advisory groups.

Learn more about the four facilities.

Submitted by Karen Merrick, Community and Neighbourhood Services 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Four key facts regarding bicycling in Calgary

On October 16, the Manning Foundation released a report on cycling in Calgary. The City welcomes the report’s recommendations, many of which reaffirm actions The City is already undertaking. In response to some of the statements found in the Manning Foundation report, Don Mulligan, Director of Transportation Planning, offers four key facts to help set the record straight.

Report: Only limited studies of the demographics of cyclists in Calgary have been conducted (page 7).

Fact: The City has conducted a variety of surveys to learn about different types of cyclists in Calgary. In 2006, a survey explained about the type of cyclist who commutes downtown. In 2009, a co-sponsored survey with University of Calgary looked at the demographics of cycling in the University of Calgary/West Campus area. In 2010, The City commissioned Ipsos Reid to conduct a city-wide telephone survey to learn more about the demographics of Calgarians who cycle and those who do not. Other research methods on demographics include the Civic Census, the Household Activity Survey and the Annual Bike Count Report.  

In addition to who and who doesn’t cycle in Calgary, the results of each survey informed The City that there is a strong support for more on-street bike lanes. Ultimately, these surveys assisted with the creation of the Cycling Strategy, which led to dedicated funds to improve conditions for bicycling outside and inside the downtown area for all demographics. Moving forward, The City will continue to reach out to citizens to help plan the right bicycle facilities in the right places, including the upcoming city-wide Bikeway and Pathway plan.

Report: Future design decisions must not continue to be made based on the city’s “typical cyclist” as they have been up until now (page 7).

Fact: The 2010 Ipsos Reid survey results identified that 80 per cent of respondents want to cycle more but do not, citing safety as a primary concern. The Council-approved Cycling Strategy provided the funding to plan, design and build more bike lanes and cycle tracks to attract a broader demographic than just the Calgarians who already cycle. Contrary to Manning Foundation’s report, The City’s 2011 Cycling Strategy includes specific actions that help make cycling a comfortable and safer travel option for more Calgarians, such as the recently opened cycle track on 7 Street S.W. and the future cycle track pilot project in downtown.

Report: The City’s Transportation department only conducted its first official bicycle count as recently as the summer of 2013 (page 16).

Fact: The City has been collecting data on bicycle counts for the past 20 years. The City uses a variety of data collection methods including manual counts, video cameras and in-pavement sensors. The City conducts field tests of new technologies before implementing them and expects to install several new automated counters next year, with data live on the web. Trends are captured in the Yearbook publication. Calgary is one of the first cities in North America to publish bicycle data in several different ways in one complete and comprehensive document.  The 2013 Bike Count Report is but one of the ways we collect and analyze data.

Report: Even when specific projects are being proposed, data is not being collected before, during, and after these projects are introduced, to measure their success.

Fact: The City collects and analyzes data before, during and after projects are introduced. Data is continually used to analyze impacts to traffic and gauge current and historic trends by the City’s Transportation Data Division. Analyzing various factors, here’s how data was used to help plan and design the new Bowness Road. For the 10 Street NW bike lane project, The City has released new data here and here.

For more information about The City’s effort to improve conditions for bicycling please visit You can find more information on The City’s bike data at