Why it’s time to enact change on Stephen Avenue
Stephen Avenue is, and always has been, Calgary’s iconic downtown main street. It has played various roles and functions over its history to ensure it stays a vital part of working and living downtown. The success of Stephen Avenue is inextricably linked to the success of our downtown. It provides a wide array of amenities to downtown office workers, residents, local visitors and tourists who visit to dine, shop, play, and enjoy the many arts and culture offerings available on any given day.
In recent times, Stephen Avenue has encountered some challenges that are making it less vibrant than it once was. In some ways, these challenges mirror those faced by Calgary’s downtown more broadly due to a decline in the downtown workforce; an increase in office, retail and hospitality vacancies; and increasing concern from citizens and business owners that the physical condition of the avenue is in decline as it approaches the end of its usable life-cycle.
We are embarking on an exciting journey to reimagine Stephen Avenue and position it for a renewed era of success. As a flagship project for Calgary’s Downtown Strategy, The Future of Stephen Avenue project provides a foundation for The City to collaborate with stakeholders to consider and implement strategic improvements – whether near, medium or longer term – that will re-position Stephen Avenue, and ensure its future as Calgary’s hallmark downtown main street.
If you would like to download a full resolution copy of this brief summary presentation, please click on one of these links:
- PDF - The Future of Stephen Avenue Summary Presentation
- Google Doc - The Future of Stephen Avenue Summary Presentation
If you would like to download a copy of our entire Public Realm Study, please click on the link below.
Warning: this file is very large so we recommend a high-speed internet connection to download the file.
- PDF - The Future of Stephen Avenue Public Realm Study (290MB)
To learn more about phase 1a public engagement and feedback, please download our Phase1a What We Heard Report
PROVIDE YOUR INPUT
1) Project Context + Key Findings
In this section, we will introduce the project and summarize what we learned during our analysis phase. We’ll also ask a few questions to get a sense of who you are and what you think of the avenue today.
2) Vision, Goals + Strategic Moves
In this section, we will summarize our big ideas for the Avenue that will help guide our efforts to achieve our vision, as well as provide opportunities to provide feedback.
3) Character Areas + “Big Moves”
In this section, we start to break down the Avenue into distinct areas and provide an opportunity to collect feedback on our high-level ideas for each area.
4) Structuring the Avenue
In this section, we will share potential street design options for the future and provide an opportunity to collect feedback on these preliminary concepts.
5) Implementation + Next Steps
In this section, we will share how we plan to action some of these ideas, and announce two exciting initiatives that will enact immediate change on the Avenue! Stay informed on these initiatives by visiting www.calgary.ca/stephenavenue and www.downtowncalgary.com
Thank you for participating in our online engagement! We will use your feedback to refine our roadmap towards The Future of Stephen Avenue.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Why this project now?
- Stephen Avenue helps define the identity of Calgary’s downtown
- A vibrant Stephen Avenue is critical for attracting new businesses and tenants downtown
- Physical conditions are deteriorating – a new plan for the street is needed
- Clearly defining a path forward sends a positive message to property and business owners, and Calgarians
This project will aim to:
- Extend the energy and liveliness of the pedestrian mall westward along 8 Avenue S.W.
- Establish a new vision for Stephen Avenue that creates opportunities for private investment and redevelopment
- Create short and long-term strategies that can be implemented over time to make Stephen Avenue better for Calgarians and visitors
A path towards success
Generating a bold and compelling vision for the future of Stephen Avenue will require new ways of working and thinking for The City of Calgary and its cultural and business partners. In order for any public space to thrive, like a garden, it must be actively cultivated.
A great public space must be well located and well designed; seeded with the right combination of culture, commerce and play; and create authentic invitations for many people to care and participate in actively stewarding and caring for the space.
A new streetscape design is necessary but not sufficient to catalyze the transformation of Stephen Avenue. Great design must be paired with a robust program for economic investment and redevelopment and a strong framework for operations, maintenance and stewardship.
The Stephen Avenue Streetscape Master Plan will focus on 8 Avenue S. in the downtown core – from Olympic Plaza (Macleod Trail S.E.) to Mewata Armoury (11 Street S.W.).
Provide your input
The project team has been observing public life, analyzing information, listening to stakeholders and reviewing case studies and innovative place making concepts from around the world – and we’re ready to share insights with you from this discovery phase.
This is your chance to learn more about the current state of Stephen Avenue (ie. development, economics, demographics, form & function), let us know if we hit the mark with our insights, and provide feedback on case studies and preliminary ideas that could inform the future design.
Please click 'here' to review our insight report and then provide your feedback below.
FEEDBACK IS CURRENTLY CLOSED. Please check back October 20 for updated information and the opportunity to provide feedback.