Bearspaw Digital Terrain Modelling

Client Brookfield Residential, on behalf of BrookCal (Alberta) LP
Location Calgary | Alberta | Canada

O2 Planning + Design was engaged by Brookfield Residential to undertake digital terrain modelling and conceptual design in support of master planning for the Bearspaw site. Located on an existing quarry on the bluff east of the Bearspaw Reservoir, the site represents a nearly blank slate: remediation of the existing quarry will require the design of a new landscape, and there is not yet an Area Structure Plan (ASP) in place to govern the configuration of the urban structure. Furthermore, existing features—the topography on the edges of the site, the proximity to a future regional trail along the Bow and to the future Bearspaw/Haskayne Legacy Park — provide the site with uniquely marketable elements than can be leveraged to shape the form of a new development.

The intent of the project was to explore conceptual approaches to the design of the site’s topography that would address the site’s main challenge: the redesign of the existing working landscape into a cost-effective, flexible solution that supports urban development. 

The solution is detailed enough to provide certainty related to grading, earthworks, and grading-dependent servicing (stormwater and sanitary), but flexible enough that variations on a development program and can be explored as the master plan for the site is further developed and refined in later stages of the Brookfield’s development process. 

O2 applied a GeoDesign approach to meet the project requirements, which entailed using GIS as the core software for analyzing designs and producing visualizations as the team explored site configuration and grading options across increasing levels of detail.