Calgarians continue to express positive views about Centre City amenities, cleanliness, infrastructure and sense of community, according to The City of Calgary’s 2015 Centre City Citizen Perception Survey.
“We are particularly pleased to see the increase in people visiting the Centre City for non-work activities, a total of 62 per cent in 2015 compared to 51 per cent when we polled in 2013,” says Cathy Taylor, Project Manager with The City’s Urban Strategy unit. “With the decline in the economy in 2015, we expected different results. This confirms that all Calgarians, even those who neither work nor live in the Centre City, are excited by what the core has to offer.”
Taylor was also pleased with the high levels of use of Centre City parks and pathways.
“At The City we take great pride in making our Centre City parks and pathways clean, accessible and enjoyable for everyone,” she says. “This survey confirms that Calgarians value them as well.”
Not only do people report being satisfied with levels of cleanliness in the Centre City, 15 per cent of Calgarians reported that cleanliness has improved over the past three years resulting in an even better experience when visiting the area.
There was a small overall decline in Calgarians’ perceptions of safety in the Centre City.
“The Calgary Police Service employs a number of additional resources, including plainclothes officers and our Beat and Bike Teams, throughout the downtown area,” says District 1 Inspector Cliff O’Brien. “We encourage anyone who believes they’ve been a victim of a crime, or who witnesses a crime, to contact us. The more we know, the better we are able to deploy resources.”
This is the first year Calgarians were asked about parking. 68 per cent of Calgarians find parking in the Centre City difficult or somewhat difficult. Almost seven in ten report insufficient short term parking spots during business hours.
“The City of Calgary continues to explore ways to improve parking accessibility to the Centre City while managing congestion,” says Eric MacNaughton, parking strategist with The City. “As part of the new Downtown Parking Strategy, we’ll be reviewing our current rules for private parking to allow underused parking spaces to be more easily rented out to people driving downtown. The goal would be to free up short term parking spaces during business hours.”
The telephone survey was conducted by research firm Harris/Decima in November and December of 2015. The survey polled 981 Calgarians, aged 18 years and above.
The City of Calgary has been investing in the Centre City since 2007, which has created a more attractive core that has a greater capacity to support and encourage future investment and growth.
“55 per cent of respondents indicated that the Centre City is a desirable place to live, up from 49 per cent in 2013 and 39 per cent in 2011,” Taylor says. “Our survey results continue to demonstrate that great strides are being made in building a vibrant Centre City.”
The survey was initiated by The City’s Urban Strategy team; key findings are available at calgary.ca/centrecity.
About Calgary’s Centre City
Calgary’s Centre City includes the Beltline, Chinatown, Downtown, East Village, Eau Claire, Stampede Park and Downtown West. City Council approved the Centre City Plan in 2007. It establishes the vision for making Calgary’s Centre City a liveable, caring and thriving place. Over 37,000 people live and 161,000 work in Centre City, while millions visit the downtown areas many restaurants, shops, public art, culture destinations, attractions, festivals and more than 25 public parks and spaces.