Monday, March 17, 2014

Dutch students offer ideas on urban planning



Last week, a group of students from NHTV University in Breda, Netherlands pitched innovative ideas for improving Calgary communities at the Safe and Smooth Symposium. The symposium is an annual event organized by Safer Calgary, intended to foster discussions about new ways of interacting and moving through our city.

The students worked with local representatives to pitch their ideas in a Dragon’s Den style session. The pitches focused on transportation and urban design elements for the communities of Acadia, Bowness, High River, Sunalta, and Ogden. The judging panel included transportation and development experts from The City of Calgary, as well as members of the media.

Highlights

Bowness:

  • Build a canal, cycle path, and tramway through the community to reduce vehicle traffic.
  • Tramway could eventually connect to Canada Olympic Park.
  • Redesigning Bowness Road so it is not an attractive cut-through route for commuters.

Ogden:

  • Redevelop the old industrial area to high-density residential.
  • Embrace the existing canal system and natural area, and upgrade it to create a “canal community”.
  • Improve connectivity between Riverbend and Ogden with land bridges.

Acadia:

  • Land bridge or “traffic circle in the sky” over Macleod Trail to improve connectivity.
  • Connect the community to Heritage CTrain station.

Sunalta:

  • Develop the new “West Village” with Sunalta as the anchor.
  • Mixed-use retail space and mixed income residential (including affordable housing).
  • Improve connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians through the community and across the Bow River.

High River:

  • Divide the centre into three areas – shopping, waterfront, and parkway with green space.
  • Create a canal system to mitigate potential future flooding. The waterfront would be a beautiful and usable recreation area. 
  • Shopping area would be restricted to pedestrians and cyclists, with only emergency vehicles permitted. 

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