Friday, June 29, 2012


Infographic: Nature of Calgary neighbourhoods changing, new census results reveal
 'Smart growth' emerges in city centre
By Jason Markusoff,
Calgary Herald June 29, 2012

Although the 2012 census shows the same story on all Calgary's suburban edges - grow, grow, grow - a blend of dynamics are reshaping the city's existing neighbourhoods.

In older, inner-city neighbourhoods such as the Beltline, Chinatown and Inglewood, new condo projects are spiking community populations. In the past year, 42 per cent of new homes have sprung up within the built-up part of Calgary - the sort of redevelopment pattern Calgary's "smart growth" blueprints urge.

"If we're maximizing the infrastructure we've already built, that helps accommodate the growth and put less pressure on the edges," said Rollin Stanley, the city's new general manager of planning.

In other communities like Parkdale and Spruce Cliff, population growth is being triggered by some densification, but more so by an influx of new families moving into homes that empty nesters have vacated.

Bowness, which has in the past been marred by population decline, gained 312 residents last year but only five dwelling units.

"Those houses will turn over. We have to track very closely how this changes," Stanley said, recalling in his former neighbourhood in Washington's suburbs, five houses occupied by octogenarians flipped to families with kids, a trend that would put new pressure on once-lagging schools.

The flip side of the Calgary trend is the population decline of communities in a middle ring of Calgary suburbia. Deer Run, Sundance, Scenic Acres, Edgemont and MacEwan all share two things in common: they have lost a sizable chunk of their population in the last four years, and were all developed between 1978 and 1982. A similar generational dip has previously hit communities of a different vintage.

Photo By: John Ostrom

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