What is City Building?

Calgary is a city of opportunity and choice. As our city’s population approaches two million, The City of Calgary must prepare to support this growth. The City Building program will align and strengthen The City’s plans and tools to create a place where everyone can thrive.


The City Building program will produce the Calgary Plan, Zoning Bylaw, and Street Manual. All three of these documents will work together seamlessly to create a clear, concise and central 30-year vision and 10-year action plan for Calgary’s future.

  1. The Calgary Plan will merge the Municipal Development Plan with the Calgary Transportation Plan into one updated document. This statutory plan will guide the way we move and use land across the city.
  2. The new Zoning Bylaw (currently called the Land Use Bylaw) will simplify the rules that govern the use of land and the form of buildings in the city.
  3. The new Street Manual (currently called the Complete Streets Policy & Guide) will provide updated direction for the design of Calgary’s streets to support safe travel options for all Calgarians.

Calgary Plan

The Calgary Plan will update, simplify and combine the 2009 Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and the Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP).

The Municipal Development Plan guides land use, built form, and growth. The Calgary Transportation Plan guides the city’s transportation networks.

The aim of updating and combining the plans is to:

  • Streamline both plans into one simple, concise document
  • Inform Local Area Planning direction
  • Reflect Calgary today, plan for the future and guide actions over the next 10 years of the plan

Zoning Bylaw

The Zoning Bylaw regulates how and where buildings are developed throughout the city, including:

  • The activities (uses) allowed on a property (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial)
  • How sites can be laid out
  • The shape of a building

The aim of creating a new Zoning Bylaw is to:

  • Remove barriers to desired development
  • Simplify and clarify the rules to support the design and use of buildings and land
  • Make it easier for businesses and developers to adapt to market changes and provide homes, jobs and amenities

Street Manual

The Street Manual outlines how city streets are designed, including:

  • The different spaces needed to accommodate all travel options
  • What public streetscapes should look and feel like
  • How to accommodate trees, public utilities, and other street features

The aim of creating the Street Manual is to:

  • Deliver on the goals of the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan
  • Enable safer travel for all Calgarians, whether they walk, wheel, take transit or drive
  • Better align street design with community lay out and building design


Why now?

Calgary is growing rapidly, and we will soon be a city of two million people.

For our city to keep being a great place to live, we need to take intentional actions to plan and build with renewed purpose.

This will ensure we create a city that provides more choice for every Calgarian.

What is our focus?

Creating straightforward plans will help build this city in a way that benefits all Calgarians by:

  • Improving ways to get around by providing safe, efficient and appealing travel options for all Calgarians.
  • Acting boldly on climate change by supporting more resilient and sustainably built homes, offering more sustainable mobility options and protecting our trees, parks and rivers.
  • Supporting economic development by building a city that attracts talent and investment. Simpler processes, more flexible rules and a quicker path to saying “yes” will make it easier to start or grow a business.
  • Building attractive neighbourhoods and spaces that offer lifestyle choices to residents, families, and businesses.
  • Improving housing security and choice by increasing the amount and variety of market and non-market homes in Calgary.
  • Enhancing relationships with Indigenous communities by reflecting community priorities, honouring places of significance and incorporating Indigenous knowledge. This brings together both Indigenous and western worldviews to achieve a more equitable and inclusive city.

What can the City Building plans address?

The Calgary Plan, Zoning Bylaw and Street Manual will influence many facets of our lives in the city. This includes our connection with the natural environment, our growing and resilient economy along with other qualities that make our city attractive and livable.

Together, the City Building plans can help guide:


Our connection with the natural environment.

  • Where and how we protect, conserve and restore natural areas and systems today and in our future
  • Where and how we grow to reduce climate change impacts
  • How we design public spaces, including planting trees and shrubs, and collecting and cleaning stormwater run-off
  • How we provide Calgarians access to open space, opportunities to play, and opportunities to connect with nature
  • How all Calgarians have fair access to our natural areas
  • How to create neighbourhoods that are more resilient and low carbon

Check out these other related City projects underway:


The qualities that make our city attractive and livable.

  • How mobility networks (transit, sidewalks, streets and pathways) are designed and how they connect people and places
  • Where different types of activities go and how they get built to supply a mix of opportunities close to home
  • How we create neighbourhoods with a mix of housing, jobs, shops and services that attract people to live and/or visit
  • How the design of buildings and streets interact with one another to create a positive experience for people
  • How diverse perspectives and people are included in planning and design processes
  • How Indigenous Ways of Knowing are integrated into planning and design processes

Check our these other related city projects underway:


A growing and resilient economy.

  • How a growing city supports job creation and opportunities for Calgarians to thrive.
  • How the city fosters an innovation ecosystem and hubs for economic development and growth
  • How to support transitioning towards a low-carbon economy
  • How to ensure people and goods can move around the city efficiently, affordably and in environmentally-friendly ways
  • How to remove barriers and support economic opportunities for all Calgarians

Check out these other related City projects underway:


The City of Calgary is making a plan to shape the Calgary of the future—and make sure our city keeps on being a great place to live. First, we want to hear from you.