Retrofitting the sprawled city: Calgary

Retrofitting the sprawled city: Calgary

Our minor was about retrofitting the sprawled city of Calgary. The focus was on the neighborhoods of Inglewood & Ramsay and Haysboro & Acadia and we used our expertise of NHTV Breda University of Applied Science to come up with masterplans which would contribute to a livable Calgary. These masterplans were the result of four different groups which contained experts of: mobility, urban design, planning and tourism. We were the five representatives and this is our story of the trip to Calgary which took place form the 5th up and until the 12th of March.Staying with the localsAfter a flight of over 10 hours we arrived at a snowcapped city. We drove towards Downtown and immediately the amount of traffic and the size of the roads was quite a shock. With massive SUVs and pickup trucks dominating the street view. After a warm welcome we met the hosts of our typical Calgarian family home and the impressive luxurious apartment with an astonishing view of the skyline of Downtown.

Meeting the communities

 Already on the second day we met the people of Inglewood and Ramsay at the community association hall of Inglewood. This was an open house where people could just come by and talk to the groups that provided the plans for Inglewood and Ramsay. The people of Inglewood and Ramsay where really enthusiastic on both plans and they provided us with new insights on the communities. 

On Wednesday the same sort of open house happened in Haysboro and Acadia. It gave the other 2 groups the opportunity to meet the people of their neighborhood and present their plans to them. In this neighborhood the people were also really enthusiastic about the plans made. This open house was combined with a walking tour in the neighborhood to finally see what Haysboro and Acadia looked like in real life instead of on Google maps.

Presentations and products

Get used to attention when you come up with something innovative, because you’ll get a lot of it. Over 180 enthusiasts attended our presentations and were very curious about the results. And don’t expect these attendants to be just some bored locals that only show up for the free snacks. No, these attendants come in all shapes and forms and from all kinds of backgrounds. From traffic engineers, city planners and urban designers to journalists, politicians and film crews. These people take this very serious and that’s what makes it even more special.

Sightseeing and experiences

Besides the various occasions at which we could share our ideas with the Calgarians, there were a lot of opportunities to enjoy the sightseeing and do some cool stuff! As we all never had been to Canada or the States before, we were impressed by the huge buildings and typical North-American things we saw like diners and malls. During our visits to downtown we also went in the Calgary Tower for a beautiful view over the city and got an unexpected free tour throughout the entire Saddledome Stadium. And last but certainly not least there is of course the Rockies.. We went cross-country skiing in the Rocky Mountains which were beautifully covered with snow. It was the perfect ending for a great trip, an experience we all surely will never forget!

We hoped that you enjoyed our story. And that we inspired you to think about the impact this course can have on a city like Calgary. We’ve had an enormous positive insight in the city and its residents. Showing us how different the attitude towards city planning can be compared to European cities. But at the same time, it shows how much opportunity and space Northern American cities have for improvement.

We would like to thank Paul and Greg Hart and all the sponsors and other kind Calgarians for the great experiences.

With kind regards: Dennis Beekman, Juul Doggen, Ties van Ederen, Tijmen Engelkes and Wilko Heemskerk 


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