Looks like students from other institutions besides the University of Calgary have decided to get involved in raising awareness for this city’s potential new development plan. The UrbanCSA will be joining Plan It down at Mount Royal College at their presentation the day after the one at the U of C.
The event will be Friday, April 3 from 12:30-2:00 pm in the food court of Wyckham House, located at the west gate entrance of Mount Royal College.
We look forward to seeing you there!
What: The UrbanCSA is proud to present Plan It Calgary at the University of Calgary. There will be displays outlining not only the purposes of the document, but the reasons for its implementation, the role of the students, and a way to provide feedback to the city on just how we want it to look in the future.
Who: On hand to give presentations will be Pat Gordon, project manager of Plan It, and Dr. Byron Miller, the head of the Urban Studies program on campus. Members of the UrbanCSA will be there as well to give further information on the document and to answer any questions you might have.
Where: The event will be held in the South Courtyard of MacEwan Hall (between the Campus Security Office and the SU office).
When: This Thursday, April 2 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
This event is not just for students, but rather is an opportunity for all Calgarians to get educated about the potential this city has and to get involved in directing its future. Feel free to come by at any time, and a few other displays will be set up around campus to get more people interested. We hope to see you there!
Here’s a small preview of one of the displays we’ve created:
For further details, or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to e-mail us.
Tomorrow night is the 3rd annual Earth Hour, where those of us who advocate lower energy use can put our money where our mouths are and turn the lights out for one hour starting at 8:30 pm.
Buy some candles, read a book, go for a walk, spend some quality face time with someone… there are so many ways to spend a mere one hour that don’t involve the use of electricity.
Vote to save the planet with your light switch!
For more information, check out EarthHour.org
The Canadian Home Builder’s Association of Calgary and the UDI have used their collective heaps of money to un-ironically plan the arrival of Randal O’Toole in town today. Mr. O’Toole is a long-time anti-planner who touts the supremacy of the free market (an inherently unstable system that, according to pure capitalists, has the ability to not only meet our needs for today but provide unlimited growth and prosperity for the future without any regulation or coordination whatsoever) and a key part of the CHBA & UDI’s war against Plan It.
Since he’s in town, the Herald’s opinion section has come up with a new piece to offend the common sense in us all. Before I detract it too much, I should note that they do make one good point in that the city’s approval process for the medium to high-density developments proposed in Plan It need to be seriously overhauled to give priority to the new forms of building.
That doesn’t make up for the completely contradictory argument you’ll see in the following article; notably that they complain that the future is ethereal and unknowable, yet definite policies and concise direction are needed. I guess it doesn’t matter where we go as long as we do so with boldness and decisiveness.
Forgive me for not having faith that those with vested interests in greenfield, low-density, suburban development will somehow magically create a city I want to live in.
Our nation’s capital is currently considering raising their standards for infill development – the very idea being proposed by Plan It. Ottawa has a metropolitan density roughly on par with Calgary’s and yet their current plans call for only 36% of new development inside the city boundaries. New proposals exist to push that percentage up to 40%, and there are those hoping it will even be higher (up to 44% within twenty years). In contrast, Calgary’s proposed 20% infill growth is raising significant opposition from some developers.
Ottawa’s planners are proposing a gradual increase in the amount of urban redevelopment in the city because they say a wholesale move from single-family homes in the suburbs is not realistic.
If you hadn’t noticed, that banner up at the top of our site contains a few buildings that haven’t actually been built yet. It’s an image created by Devin Henry, who works as a graphic artist for Buss Marketing. They have a pretty cool flash presentation showing the locations and heights of buildings that will be added to the skyline by 2012. Check it out at BussMarketing.ca.
Devin has done a bunch of work in his free time to visualize what the skyline could potentially look like in 2030. Some of the buildings added to the pictures have been put on hold due to the recent financial “incident”, but it’s pretty interesting getting to see images of our city’s future. The images can be found at SkyscraperPage.com, a busy message board with plenty of information on current local construction projects, and pictures of the work sites every few days.
Also, links in the right column to BikeCalgary and CentreCity Talk have been added. CentreCity has a really interesting story about urban agriculture from the Toronto Star; I’ll add it to the links section in the next update.
By Tamara Neely staff reporter
University of Calgary students who have been travelling the world visiting environmentally progressive and sustainable communities made a trip to Okotoks when they realized there is a good example much closer to home.
On Feb. 28, members of the Urban Calgary Students Association (Urban CSA), who are studying engineering, environmental design and other disciplines, toured Drake Landing to look at the technology used to capture, store and use solar energy in that community.
Guillermo Guglietti, president of Urban CSA, and Andrew Sedor, vice-president external, both found it interesting some people bought solar homes in Drake Landing without even knowing about the innovative technology. The pair was also surprised to learn the conventional homes and solar homes were in the same price range when released onto the market.
To continue reading clickhere
The American suburb as we know it is dying. The implosion began with the housing bust, which started in and has hit hardest the once vibrant neighborhoods outside the urban core. Shopping malls and big-box retail stores, the commercial anchors of the suburbs, are going dark — an estimated 148,000 stores closed last year, the most since 2001. But the shift is deeper than the economic downturn. Thanks to changing demographics, including a steady decline in the percentage of households with kids and a growing preference for urban -amenities among Americans young and old, the suburban dream of the big house with the big lawn is vanishing. The Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech predicts that by 2025 there will be a surplus of 22 million large-lot homes (on one-sixth of an acre [675 sq m] or more) in the U.S.
On March 3, Tom Howard and I made the courageous journey all the way from the East Village, across the vast plains, and out to Fort Calgary to party with some planners. The event, put on by the Alberta Association of the Canadian Institute of Planners and the City of Calgary, was orchestrated for planners to show what had been learned through the new processes of public consultation used to create the Brentwood TOD. While there are those in the community that would argue the City did not go far enough to listen to all possible perspectives, what was apparent to my fresh eyes was that not only did the City take a serious approach to public consultation, but they are actively seeking to make the process more efficient and effective for all stakeholders.
In a groundbreaking study of urban sprawl in Calgary, Max Foran, professor of Canadian Studies in the Faculty of Communication and Culture, analyzes the relationship between land developers and the local government between 1945 and 1978, implicating both in a pattern of policy and decision-making that has resulted in the urban sprawl Calgary experiences today.
“By abrogating the responsibility for where, when, and how utilities and roads were installed in new subdivisions, the City of Calgary in effect lost the real power to direct residential growth.” – Prof. Max Foran
Earlier this week, Alberta Energy Minister Mel Knight announced the government would reduce royalty rates and introduce royalty credits for oil companies embarking on new drilling projects over the next year.
The total cost of this move to the provincial treasury, based on current drilling projections, is estimated to be in the neighbourhood of $1.51 billion.
This, of course, is in addition to the royalty breaks announced last November to encourage new drilling. Those breaks, according to the government’s own projections, carry a price tag of $1.8 billion over the next five years.
When you take these two royalty holidays and add them to the $2 billion the provincial government has set aside for the oil industry to invest in carbon capture and storage, you get a total of over $5 billion in incentives and subsidies announced for the industry in just the last six months.
Calgary’s new long-range growth blueprint recommends quadrupling the transit network but no new major roads as the city fits 1.3 million more people within its current boundaries over the next 60 years.
It’s already being decried as an undesirable concrete utopia, but Plan It Calgary’s project manager said it will save taxpayers about$ 8 billion over the sprawling alternative.
“The further you push your roads out, the further you push your pipes out, the more it costs you,” Pat Gordon said Monday after releasing the draft Plan It report.
The plan says the city doesn’t need to annex any further rural land if it accommodates one-third of its population growth in the next 30 years, and half over the next 50. It envisions that more frequent transit with more crosstown routes, a better cycling system and a full Calgary ring road will help get that supersized Calgary moving.
To continue reading click here
The Undergraduate Bureau of Urban Design has been approved by the SU to receive $35,000.00 to upgrade the Craigie Hall bus loop area!
For more information see http://www.ubudcalgary.com/
After much deliberation, we’ve finalized the design of our Urban CSA hoodie! This badass bunny hug will keep you warm and sexy, urban studies style. If you want to order one, submit your information to: Hoodies Order Form. We’ll need your name, e-mail address, phone number, and size (S/M/L/XL).
Check these bad boys out!
It looks like what I’ve hearing about the Regional Transit Symposium last Friday was accurate, and the province is indeed dropping the ball on giving a regional transit service any priority. The plan was to begin forming a transit network between Calgary and 7 of the outlying towns in order to allow people to commute without driving their cars, but apparently the province decided that sounds like a bad idea.
Leaders in the region are fine-tuning their vision for a seven-town transit system, even though the province is warning it will deliver only a tiny sliver of its promised $2-billion fund.
Cochrane Mayor Truper McBride said express commuter buses could roll from communities such as Airdrie and Okotoks into Calgary as early as next year, if the province provides enough upfront cash. Train links could follow in 10 to 15 years, he said.
February 28th, 2009. Calgary Herald.
Close your eyes and lean forward. You’re on the 66th and top floor of McIntyre Plaza in downtown Calgary.
To the west, tombstones at Shaganappi cemetery look like grey pebbles, and the monorail zooms above both Louise Bridges.
To the north, there’s the Prince’s Island Museum, just beyond the downtown penetrator freeway. East of City Hall, a canal traverses Mount Royal College.
Welcome to the Calgary that Could Have Been.
Continue reading the article at the Calgary Herald’s Website: Calgary, as the dreamers saw it.