Century Garden Park | ?m | ?s | City of Calgary | PFS Studio

Patrick.1980

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I’m hoping the park’s more open style will make it less used by homeless and drug addicts. The previous iteration was dark shady and the perfect place for that bad element.

The refurb of Central Memorial park in the Beltline mad a big difference. Until the safe injection site went into the Chumir that is.

I think that in order to enjoy the park the City should do something about the drug addicts and homeless, I will never get close or go with kids to that park. There are always drug addicts. Imagine your kid watching them , what an example
 

potatopizzafan

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Im sure if we got rid of crackmacs, or that entire building in general across the street the would also solve the issue.
that leads to the question, why are addics/homeless so attracted to convenience stores? the Circle K on 11th ave is also pretty bad for it
 

CBBarnett

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I’m hoping the park’s more open style will make it less used by homeless and drug addicts. The previous iteration was dark shady and the perfect place for that bad element.

The refurb of Central Memorial park in the Beltline mad a big difference. Until the safe injection site went into the Chumir that is.
I went by Century Gardens today, it does indeed look good. This is only a guess based on what we have seen so far and in the design, so I will wait until the final verdict.

The good:
  • Excellent pavement and trees.
  • Great wide sidewalk on 8th Avenue.
  • The washrooms/cafe area in the southwest corner looks quite good and inviting
  • Obviously a vast improvement over previous for sight lines and general. Lighting wasn't up yet but it'll be much improved.

The less good:
  • All pathways are curvy and most are narrow. This isn't some sleepy river park, it's a major transportation-adjacent park that will see thousands of pedestrians a day - many just passing through particularly from the SW corner to the LRT station. Some paths seem only 2m or 3m wide. If 30 people get off a train and head to walk south through the park at rush hour (something that happens 10 times an hour, every rush hour), the park will bottleneck them at the north and southwest corner.
  • So much grass. It's hard to imagine what this would be for besides dog bathrooms and eventually wearing down due to high, traffic and narrow pavement will result in dirt on many corners (much like all the narrow sidewalks in the Beltline).
  • Several big blind areas remain - but it's not the park's fault on this one as there is a development site that won't be built for decades in the NW corner and the Nexen building to the east with no tenants as neighbours. It's hard to connect to to these when they don't exist.
I don't want this to come across as too negative - it's definitely looks nice and will be a huge improvement. It just risks being a missed opportunity. It's existing high-density towers all around and in all directions, yet the park feels a bit quaint and perhaps a bit suburban or something: too much grass that isn't much good but to look at it, too many narrow curvy paths.

Calgary's "curvy with grass" park design culture isn't a problem in many cases, but ignoring traditional design options misses some chances to create a great public spaces where they are a better fit. We repeatedly seem to go out of our way to prevent straight lines in anything but streets. The Riverwalk has this issue too - a great public space but also ignores it's context with unusable grass median separating the path from the city neighbourhoods and grid of high density across the Riverfront Ave. We also have that bizarre obsession with multi-use paths being curvy for no reason other than to use more pavement and make bicycle trips take slightly longer.

For a comparison on this continent, Berczy Park in downtown Toronto is very similar in size, but has more traditional forms. It was recently rebuilt as well, replacing a 1980s design. The result is a park that is far more integrated to it's surroundings, more paved and usable either for transportation or hanging out.

Here's a good review of the space, pictures below are from this article https://www.azuremagazine.com/article/whimsical-berczy-park-makes-splash-toronto/

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Note how much more space is usable whether you are hanging out or passing through.
1604939368997.png


My TL;DR:
Looks good but would be better with straighter paths and more paved area. Still a work-in-progress and will be much improved over previous design.
 

UrbanWarrior

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^^ Was just about to say, it's theee dog fountain. Such a cool design. Can confirm that Berczy Park is dope, would love to see similar with the eventual redo of Tomkins Park on 17th, and an even better version at the new Olympic Plaza.
 

Colinfill

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I love the use of the patterned tile as well as it adds a nice design element. I always wondered why Calgary been slow to embrace patterned flooring in outdoor public spaces. It seems easy enough but maybe because of cost restraints in installation and repair work?
 

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