Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Find planning confusing? We can help!

Have you ever wondered who decides what gets built where in Calgary? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

Good land use planning is key to ensure our city is a great place to live, work and play. However, many different polices and decision-making bodies regulate development to achieve this goal, which can make it tough to know how and when you can effectively participate in the planning process.

If you are passionate about land use planning but are still learning how it all works, you might be interested in some of the upcoming Partners in Planning courses. Three core courses cover the basics of the development approval process, and three elective courses cover topics like transportation planning and community character.

The courses are free to attend, thanks to a partnership between the Federation of Calgary Communities and The City. Attend as few or as many as you like, but if you complete all three core courses and at least one elective, you will receive our Partners in Planning Certificate.

If you would like to join us, all you need to do is register online so we know you’re coming.

Partners in Planning Courses

Basics of Implementation Planning
Learn about the planning process and how to respond to development and land use applications circulated to your community.

The Land Use Bylaw
Learn how to navigate and understand Calgary’s Land Use Bylaw and how the rules are applied to development applications. This is an excellent overview of this important document.

Development Appeals at the SDAB
Learn about the appeals process, what makes a well-reasoned planning case and how to give effective presentations to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

Moving people and goods between places is just as important as having great places to go. Learn how The City prioritizes transportation projects, encourages transit use and cycling, and how traffic impacts are considered.

Planning for Growth and Change
Planning a city requires long-term thinking. Learn about The City’s 60-year land use and transportation plans and how their vision can direct growth and change. Find out how to influence the evolution of your community.

Community Character
Learn what creates “community character” and how architecture, building scale, landscape and their relationship with public spaces, through good design and planning decisions, can be used to strengthen and enhance community character. This course draws from the fields of urban design and heritage planning. There is a walking tour portion, so dress as appropriate.


  1. Unfortunately, this push for "high density living" in existing neighbourhoods is completely destroying them. In my area, a massive condo development has create absolute chaos because the existing infrastructure was not built to handle this huge population. Traffic is already bad and the condo development isn't even open yet. The warped mentality is that by building by C-train stations, people will not drive.This is ludicrous. 1) C-Train service is already poor and too many instances of breakdowns/problems. 2) Even if people commute via transit to work, they will still own cars and cause more congestion on local roads. 3) There will be a huge influx of visitors to the development, that has multiple towers. So more traffic on already busy roads. 4) A residence for seniors/dementia patients will mean ambulances having to access the complex.
    Local roads have been dug up multiple times already, without notice. Construction frequently starts before 7am. Huge ugly electrical towers have been erected that absolutely compromise the aesthetics of the area.
    The list goes on and on.
    This has to stop.
    The City is being ruined by politicans who are idealists, not realists.

  2. Not promoting high and medium density redevelopment only increases the demand for urban sprawl which will ultimately bankrupt cities, increase air pollution and continually diminish the health of city dwellers by forcing their primary mobility option to automobiles, which is proven to increase obesity. Providing more choice to home buyers and renters gives the individual person more flexibility to determine how they live their lives, i.e. not driving, not owning a car or only using a car infrequently. Forcing all growth to the edge of the city (not a free market approach), especially in a low density form, will only increase the size, capacity and congestion on freeways that will consume more and more land in the inner city. Most communities built 40 to 50 years ago have about half of the population of the peak community population and have a surplus of infrastructure capacity. For a neighbour I would prefer a condo tower with an increase in commercial and retail stores over expanding freeway to accommodate cars for people living kilometres and kilometres way.