West Eau Claire Park + Public Realm Plan

Client The City of Calgary
Location Calgary | Alberta | Canada

As part of Calgary’s downtown riverfront between the Peace Bridge and Eau Claire, West Eau Claire Park defines the Centre City’s edge. The bridge has become an icon and a draw for tourists, locals, buskers, photographers, rafters, and everyone in between. The area accommodates ever-increasing numbers of commuters as new developments continue to shape the city. The new design strengthens the city’s pathway network while reinforcing the importance of the Bow River as a place for recreation and urban life.

To develop the plan, The City of Calgary and O2 delivered an extremely successful engagement process, involving the public and numerous key stakeholders from multiple City departments. Through on-site sounding boards, pop-up info tables, surveys, an online GIS mapping tool, open houses, and site walks, more than 1600 comments helped shape the design.

The design focuses on four main themes identified through this engagement: Circulation + Accessibility, which separates circulation routes for pedestrians and cyclists while establishing a new riverbank promenade; Vegetation + Open Space, encouraging riparian stabilization with new types of perennial plantings for an enduring, sustainable urban forest; Safety + Maintenance, based on SAFE Design principles focusing on light levels, sightlines, circulation, and introducing emergency call boxes; and New Amenities. New Amenities will facilitate river access, seasonal programming, meandering, active living, and simple enjoyment of the place through new spaces, including the Delta Garden + Cove, 8th Street Plaza and the Launch, Peace Sculpture Garden, the River Deck, the Lagoon Boardwalk, and The Great Lawn.