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What if CP rail was re-routed to the perimeter of Calgary? This concept considers the value of that land as a central spine to the city and consi… Read More
What if CP rail was re-routed to the perimeter of Calgary? This concept considers the value of that land as a central spine to the city and considers better utilization, including mixed-use commercial, office, and residential that would take advantage of an attractive pedestrian, cyclist and outdoor amenity spine. Read Less
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I developed this concept for fun, because I see a burning need to do something more with the railway corridor that bisects Calgary.  This concept considers the value of that land as a central spine to the city and considers better utilization, including mixed-use commercial, office, and residential that would take advantage of an attractive pedestrian, cyclist and outdoor amenity spine. My hope is this gets people looking critically our city spaces, and how they can serve us better.
 
What it could be: Pedestrians walk above instead of below the underpass; open sunny overpasses provide excellent opportunities for community gardens; dedicated cycling on the left; cafe seating on the sunny side, with people-watching, lounging, playing, picnicking, skating, etc, in the centre.
Current condition: CP rail downtown at 4th St. SW. A string of parking lots line this corridor: the only use that will tolerate this industrial environment.
Benefits to CP:
Reduce travel time, reduce conflict with people, cars and transit.
Anticipating a significant increase in adjacent land values after the rail is gone, sell land to the City for well beyond its current value.
Case model for similar CP applications in other Canadian cities.
Be a good neighbor.
 
Benefits to City: 
Ownership of significant public amenity makes adjacent land attractive for development rather than parking lots.
Offset acquisition costs with greater tax revenue.
Other parts of rail line outside of the core have potential as transit corridors.
Improve downtown access for peds/cyclists (cars only in underpasses).
One of the last large scale infrastructure opportunities to put Calgary on the map.
 
Benefits to community:
Everything needed to live/work right outside the door, no commute.
Buildings designed to provide sunny public space & units.
Retail, grocery, community gardens, parks, and playgrounds increases interactions between those who live/work/shop in the core, strengthens community.
Integrated social housing opportunities
 
Benefits to pedestrians/cyclists:
Safe cyclist east/west commuter corridor
Quicker commuter time, less car conflict, more scenic
Easy access to shopping/retail on the way
People watching
Mixed-use means presence of people 24/7, increased sense of safety.