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Urban Development and Proposals Discussion

gsunnyg

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We need more TOD highrise nodes. Its great that our core is denser than Houston, Dallas etc. but those cities are never idolized so IMO comparing ourselves to those cities is like getting free pity points. However, even looking at cities like Houston and Atlanta, not all their high rises are situated in their downtown. Calgary on the other hand has a very downtown centric layout with hardly any other dense nodes throughout the city. In that picture I see a beautiful core followed by a generally flat city in terms of building height. Livewire did a great series on Calgary planning mistakes and missed opportunities which they also touch on this issue. https://livewirecalgary.com/2019/06/03/calgary-planning-mistakes-and-missed-opportunities/
I love the density of our downtown but I wish we could also have various other dense nodes to complement the overall view and feel of the city. With Banff Trail and University District getting some action, hopefully that areas gains some momentum to become a mini downtown. The biggest hands down disappoint has to be the Westbrook node, just been sitting there for over a decade now.
 
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CBBarnett

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We need more TOD highrise nodes. Its great that our core is denser than Houston, Dallas etc. but those cities are never idolized so IMO comparing ourselves to those cities is like getting free pity points. However, even looking at cities like Houston and Atlanta, not all their high rises are situated in their downtown. Calgary on the other hand has a very downtown centric layout with hardly any other dense nodes throughout the city. In that picture I see a beautiful core followed by a generally flat city in terms of building height. Livewire did a great series on Calgary planning mistakes and missed opportunities which they also touch on this issue. https://livewirecalgary.com/2019/06/03/calgary-planning-mistakes-and-missed-opportunities/
I love the density of our downtown but I wish we could also have various other dense nodes to complement the overall view and feel of the city. With Banff Trail and University District getting some action, hopefully that areas gains some momentum to become a mini downtown. The biggest hands down disappoint has to be the Westbrook node, just been sitting there for over a decade now.
Great photos. These aerial shots really highlight Calgary's lack of historic "workers" or middle-class housing that is dominant in the core of almost every older city on the continent. A large, low/middle wage industrial workforce necessitated very different housing forms than were ever built in Calgary and at a much higher density - the typical worker didn't have the income to have anything close a single-family plot, and transportation networks pre-automobile required walking or transit distances to employment, forcing density. As a product of their age and workforce, it's no suprise that cities like New York, Montreal, Toronto, even port cities like Vancouver and Portland all have so much more (formerly) working class housing close to the core in the form of walkups, townhouses, rowhouses, small apartments, lot-line-to-lot-line developments etc.

With a limited historic working class population, plus the addition of disproportionately higher-income white collar population in the age of the automobile and suburban sprawl it really shows - particularly on the stark transitions between our higher density areas immediately dropping off to wealthy SFH. Neat to see the economic history of development so clearly visible from the air.
 

Surrealplaces

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For sure. Definitely a different make up compared to northeastern US or eastern Canada cities. Calgary falls into the comparison to Phoenix, Dallas, Denver etc.. due to a similar history. We do have a better built up core than most Western US cities, but that pic illustrates how much more is needed in the areas around the core.
It seems to be happening, with these smaller low rise developments, and the smaller townhouse type buildings we are seeing in Capitol Hill and Killarney, type neighhborhoods.., but it is a slow pace.


Great photos. These aerial shots really highlight Calgary's lack of historic "workers" or middle-class housing that is dominant in the core of almost every older city on the continent. A large, low/middle wage industrial workforce necessitated very different housing forms than were ever built in Calgary and at a much higher density - the typical worker didn't have the income to have anything close a single-family plot, and transportation networks pre-automobile required walking or transit distances to employment, forcing density. As a product of their age and workforce, it's no suprise that cities like New York, Montreal, Toronto, even port cities like Vancouver and Portland all have so much more (formerly) working class housing close to the core in the form of walkups, townhouses, rowhouses, small apartments, lot-line-to-lot-line developments etc.

With a limited historic working class population, plus the addition of disproportionately higher-income white collar population in the age of the automobile and suburban sprawl it really shows - particularly on the stark transitions between our higher density areas immediately dropping off to wealthy SFH. Neat to see the economic history of development so clearly visible from the air.
 

Habanero

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A bit too slow. I'd like to see the city more aggressive on increasing density zoning. nothing radical like highrises everywhere, but areas like Mission, Marda, Kensington etc.. getting above the 8 storey limit. I know annex in Sunnyside is 9 floors, but I'm thinking more of 12-14 floors. especially along 10th street or 14th street.
It seems to be happening, with these smaller low rise developments, and the smaller townhouse type buildings we are seeing in Capitol Hill and Killarney, type neighhborhoods.., but it is a slow pace.
 

Silence&Motion

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A bit too slow. I'd like to see the city more aggressive on increasing density zoning. nothing radical like highrises everywhere, but areas like Mission, Marda, Kensington etc.. getting above the 8 storey limit. I know annex in Sunnyside is 9 floors, but I'm thinking more of 12-14 floors. especially along 10th street or 14th street.
Until Marda Loop gets proper transit, I'm happy with the neighbourhood developing with 4-6 storey buildings along main streets and townhouses on residential streets. Allowing all of the postwar neighbourhoods to develop this way, plus high-density downtown, beltline, and around LRT stations, would probably be enough to absorb all the demand for housing for decades. I worry that being too aggressive with high density zoning will leave isolated towers surrounded by underdeveloped lots, just as we see downtown and in the beltline.

Also, things that look "urban" from the perspective of a plane don't necessarily look "urban" at ground level. I'd consider Kensington to be more urban than the West Village even though it doesn't look that way from the plane.
 

Surrealplaces

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4-8 floors scattered throughout the inner city neighborhoods would be great, with a few taller buildings in various locations where it works better. Theodore's 10 floors in Kensington works that location, but 6-8 works great for most of Kensington.
 

Nimbus

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I stopped into the show centre for The Theodore on the weekend. They have some 3 bedroom units in the building starting at ~$770,000, starting units down around $276,000 with some larger patio spaces. Layouts are nice. Take it with the HUGE grain of salt but the salesperson there said 3 years from now until occupancy. There were a few units marked as sold, but they are also holding a lot of the upper units until later on.
 

outoftheice

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That's a decent price point for a 3 bedroom condo! Be curious to see how fast they sell. Anyone know anything about this developer and their reputation for quality, completion, etc???
 

Patrick.1980

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$276K for any sized unit in that location seems like a great deal. Across the street from a grocery store, a block from a beautiful park, a block an LRT station, and a short walk from downtown and the beautiful river pathway system.
 

MichaelS

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I think it has been mentioned on here before that Graywood has picked up a site in Eau Claire, the former LaCaille 1st Avenue site. Still preliminary as there is no DP, and not much info on their website, but some preliminary images were in an Eau Claire Community Association newsletter back in March:
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