The reputation of Calgary’s downtown precedes itself: Busy by day, sleepy at night.
We need to realize that 45,000 people now live in the greater downtown, with another 20,000 residents
expected to arrive by 2035.
We must accommodate this growth by relaxing zoning laws and increasing the vibrancy of downtown by creating new spaces to gather
— like patios, cafes, and live music venues — especially on evenings and weekends. Overall, our city would benefit from relaxed regulations for buildings, businesses, and entertainment — the cumbersome and inconsistent permitting processes must be addressed.
For evidence of what’s possible, take a look at the series of outdoor light and cultural displays set up at the Chinook Blast festival in February 2021. Despite frigid temperatures, Calgarians turned out in droves to check out the variety of displays, bringing new business and enthusiasm downtown.
Relaxed parking and transit fees on weekends would reduce the barriers for Calgarians to come downtown from places such as Ward 13.
Downtown Calgary needs more, not fewer, co-working, co-living, and short-term rentals giving rise to people out and about on evenings and weekends. This includes mixed-use developments with robust street activation. Amenities like green spaces, special activities, and events will attract more people downtown, which will appeal to all citizens of Calgary. Also, repurposing existing spaces for multiple uses, i.e. utilizing the Plus 15 network for a night market, would attract diverse users and create a vibrancy desperately needed in our core, while supporting local entrepreneurs and makers.