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. Think it’s crazy? Maybe. However, consider the benefits (below) to everyone, including CP rail, the City of Calgary, pedestrians, cyclists, and the community. Please share your thoughts for what you think the best use is; the more ideas the better!
Benefits to CP:
- Re-routing freight rail to the city perimeter would 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 putCalgaryon 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.