CALGARY – The City of Calgary Parks is gathering public feedback through an online survey on how parks are used and should be used for commercial activities. The survey will be open for one month and can be accessed at www.calgary.ca/parks.
Currently, The City has a limited framework for permitting commercial activity within parks. Permits are granted on a case-by-case basis, and research is needed to develop a policy that improves the permitting process and reflects citizens’ values.
“Commercial activities can contribute to the vibrancy of our open spaces, and help improve people’s experience in our parks,” said Catherine Stotschek, Parks Commercial Business Services Lead. “Buying a cup of hot chocolate at an outdoor skating rink or attending a concert are good examples.”
Stotschek says the goal of the survey is to understand how to balance the needs of park users with appropriate commercial activities in the right locations.
Parks is consulting with key stakeholders, and would like to hear what citizens think through the online survey. Feedback from the survey will help Parks develop a policy framework for permitting commercial activities. The framework will identify consistent principles and processes to ensure where permitting is appropriate, that the permitting process is fair, priced appropriately and reflects citizen values.
Parks is working with a Canadian-based retail and commercial development company to conduct stakeholder and public engagement. The company will also research best practices and innovative ideas carried out by other municipalities.
The framework will be presented to Council in 2014.