When a community offers choices - whether it’s homes, gathering places, amenities or services - it becomes great for everyone. Its design and growth should reflect the activity of the people who are there now and be attractive to those people who will move there in the future.

Our daily journeys and activities define our community, as we move from our homes to the places we gather, work, play and shop. Our experience in our communities and the communities we visit is the starting point for planning its future. Reflecting on our own stories today helps us think about and imagine how our communities will grow and evolve tomorrow.

When a community plans its future growth through a local area plan, the Guidebook for Great Communities is a key tool used by citizens, stakeholders and The City. We used it with citizens to develop the North Hill Communities Local Area Plan, and it’s currently being used in the Westbrook and Heritage Communities Local Area Plans.

Experience and share with us: check out the exercise below and in the PEOPLE and PLACES tabs


Great communities are made up of great places where people gather, eat, shop, work, move, and play. Add a marker to the map below to show us a place you love in your community and tell us why you love it.



People are the heart of Calgary's communities making them dynamic and vibrant places to live and grow.

Calgary’s diverse population - whether it be age, income level, stage of life, culture, needs or wants - is reflected in each of our communities. To support the diversity of people living in our communities now and in the future, it is important to provide a broad range of housing types and choices.

When there are more housing choices, people can choose to stay and grow within their neighbourhood, regardless of their need or preference. It allows a community to prosper and be full of life, from generation to generation.

The Guidebook supports diverse housing options in all of Calgary’s communities, striving to accommodate a person’s or family’s changing preferences and needs. Check out the facts below to see who lives here and what housing options are available in Calgary.


Please take a moment to answer the questions below and tell us about your housing situation.

Which household type corresponds to your living situation?
Which type of home do you live in?
Do you see yourself staying in your current home in five years?
If you answered maybe or no, to the above, please tell us why not.


Communities that welcome a variety of people and activity are more resilient and attract a diversity of development. These communities are successful over a longer period of time because they can adapt as people's preferences change over time.

Along with housing options, there should also be different types of destinations and amenities close to where people live. That could be shops and services that meet peoples’ daily needs, opportunities to gather and interact, natural areas to enjoy, places to play, or options to make a living.

Through a community’s local area plan, the Guidebook provides the tools that allow a mix of choices in every community.


Click on the various red icons on the image below to read stories about people's different housing needs.


The different shops, plazas, work places, grocery stores and parks that we love in our communities all have one thing in common: they need people to thrive and prosper.

People go to different areas of a community for different purposes. Places where many people go are high activity areas, while places where fewer people go are lower activity areas. Activity is created by people moving in-and-out of buildings and mingling along the street. This activity happens when people bicycle, scooter, walk, or leave their car when they go to their destination.

The different levels of activity in a community reveal important patterns and clues about how it can successfully adapt in the future. Through a local area planning process, The Guidebook provides a framework, called the urban form classification system, which we use to plan a community’s growth. It’s based on different activity levels within communities and between neighbouring communities.

Using the sticky notes below, tell us:

  1. How does your community support your lifestyle today?
  2. How do you think your community could better support you through the next 10 or 20 years?
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10 July, 2020

mano says:

“green space more ethnically diverse ways of thinking and creating”

9 July, 2020

bison says:

“My community as easy access to active transportation (primarily bike pathways) and transit, it has a vibrant shopping scene. ”

7 July, 2020

kf says:

“I would love to see a pathway or a separated bikeway along the busy collector road in my neighbourhood so my kid can get to school ”

7 July, 2020

cf says:

“I wish there were schools in my community and that my kids didn't have to bus for over an hour. Although schools might change now!”

7 July, 2020

cf says:

“Mine has almost everything I need. Daily amenities I can walk or bike to. Great natural spaces and parks. ”

6 July, 2020

Winston says:

“More shops & amenities that are within walking distance so that I don’t have to drive everywhere. ”

6 July, 2020

Evan says:

“More housing variety is needed - providing condos and single family primarily isn't offering me much choice. More rowhouses, mid-rise!”

6 July, 2020

Marlablue75 says:

“My community is made up of single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses. There isn't a lot of choice for any other types of housing. ”

6 July, 2020

Jericho says:

“I have everything I need within walking distance from my home, so I can walk or cycle everywhere, even in winter. ”



The built environment of a community should support the lifestyles of the people who live there now and be able to adapt to the needs and wants of people who will move there in the future. The built environment refers to the human-made surroundings in which we live, work and play on a day-to-day basis. It includes buildings and green spaces to whole neighbourhoods and cities.

Having different amenities closer to where you live allows for a variety of mobility choices, no matter how you choose to travel in your neighbourhood or to others.


Draw an illustrated map of the places in your community that support your daily activities. Take a photo or scan your map and post it below. Need help or inspiration for drawing your map?

Check out these resources online:


Great communities provide pleasant experiences through well-designed buildings and public places. The Guidebook directs the design of buildings and the public realm. It allows for comfortable and safe places for people to be and contributes to local identity. Design elements, such as landscaping, colour, windows and lighting can influence how a place makes us feel.



Think back to the place markers you added on the map in the first tab "about this project". Post a photo and share a story below about what it is about that place that makes you feel good when you're there.