What is Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan?

Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan is a long-range, non statutory plan that will help city-builders, decision-makers, investors, and citizens understand the direction for place-making in the heart of Calgary over the next decade. It builds on current momentum by guiding future initiatives to realize the vision of being a vibrant and resilient destination for everyone.

To read the Plan and learn more about our vision, roadmap and action plan for the Greater Downtown please visit Calgary.ca/greaterdowntownplan.

What happened to the Centre City Plan?

The 2007 Centre City Plan set out a vision and framework to make “Centre City a livable, caring and thriving place” while also providing consolidated policies and actions. The ten-year review of the Centre City Plan revealed that considerable progress had been achieved over the past decade, yet with changing times, there was a need for a new Plan for this key area. A new name for the Plan was also needed as the term Centre City lacked meaning to our citizens who consistently refer to the area as the “downtown”. The Greater Downtown encompasses:

  • Downtown Core
  • Downtown West
  • Eau Claire
  • Chinatown
  • East Village
  • The Beltline

Calgary in the New Economy, the economic strategy for Calgary, identified Place as one of four interconnected focus areas to implement the strategy for an enduring and prosperous economy. Place is defined as “the environment we live in, as well as our overall quality of life” and recognized as important for attracting new talent and businesses to Calgary.

Place-making is now recognized as being an integral part of a resilient economy. When a city can attract talent and businesses because of the quality of place, then jobs will move to the talent.

Following the approval of Calgary’s economic strategy, the City created a Downtown Strategy to support economic vitality by focusing resources on the geographical area of downtown. The Downtown Strategy brings together civic and community partners through coordinated and collaborative work with the commitment to making life better every day for citizens, customers, residents and businesses through a focus on four pillars: place, work, live and connect.

The Place pillar focuses on building and supporting initiatives in the downtown that create a destination and experience for all Calgarians and visitors to enjoy. As an initiative of the Downtown Strategy, the Greater Downtown Plan is the plan for place in the heart of Calgary.

Other relevant policies

Calgary's Greater Downtown Plan is not meant to replace any local area plan, but to provide higher-level vision and guidance for the Greater Downtown overall. For example, the Beltline Area Redevelopment Plan is currently being reviewed and updated as a separate planning exercise.

The Plan is aligned with the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan and is the main document for planning and action within the Greater Downtown. The Plan is a non-statutory (not based on law) policy document and does not overrule any other existing approved Area Redevelopment Plans, Policy Consolidations or Bylaws; however it is implemented through statutory and non-statutory plans, policies, bylaws, strategies and actions. The Plan provides a broad framework for the acknowledgement of more detailed area-specific or topic-specific plans and strategies.

Examples are included in the links below:

Calgary’s 2009 Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is our vision for how Calgary grows and develops over the next 30 to 60 years. The Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP) works together with the MDP to provide transportation options so all Calgarians are able to travel safely and conveniently.

Calgary’s Greater Downtown is an important economic generator and a convergent point for Calgarians who use a variety of modes to travel to and within this destination. The Plan is a comprehensive and strategic long term vision for the future of Calgary’s Greater Downtown and the Centre City Mobility Plan defines and coordinates the role and function of the streets within this area.

Links to other Centre City documents can be found here.


Public Engagement Summary

The What We Heard report from 2018 public engagement is now available. Click here to view the report.

Thank you to everyone who has participated to date. We received hundreds of online comments which has helped us understand the values, aspirations and concerns in relation to the Greater Downtown.

From August to October 2018, we completed three public workshops, seven pop-up events and received more online input. At each stage, we collected hundreds of ideas as well as important feedback on The Plan's vision and principles.

The project team summarized and reviewed your input and The What We Heard report from that engagement is available above.

Internal Engagement Summary

We held six focused workshops in spring 2019 focused on key outcomes, goals, and initiatives related to subject areas, including parks; an inclusive, caring and safe downtown; culture and activity; transportation; economic and climate resilience; and place making.

To inform each workshop, six associated briefs were prepared and provided to each participant prior to each workshop. Following the workshops, What We Heard Reports were prepared and the briefs were updated with summaries of findings. These briefs present some preliminary ideas and proposals for Greater Downtown Plan content based on the process to date. A detailed internal review of the ideas and proposals included within these briefs is ongoing prior to the release of a formal draft Greater Downtown Plan.

Please click on the links below to view the What We Heard reports from these workshops as well as the associated brief.

The input collected through all engagement will be balanced with a technical understanding of the opportunities and constraints provided in the focused workshops to formalize the recommendations for the new Greater Downtown Plan.

To learn more about the Greater Downtown Plan, please watch the video of our online, public information session from January 20, 2021.

Additionally, you can also download a copy of the presentation slides from the information session.

Please review the Q&A document with answers to all questions asked by participants at the January 20 information session.