Forest Lawn Creek
Design Charrette

Client City of Calgary
Location Calgary | Alberta

The City of Calgary Office of Land Servicing and Housing (OLSH) sought O2 to lead an innovative master planning process for Forest Lawn Creek: a highly constrained site considered for an industrial park at the forefront of ecological design to be developed by the OLSH. For the project to be successful, the challenges of the site demanded innovative and superior methods for stormwater management such as low impact development features, and public open space integration, and an economically viable development program. In order to arrive at a solution that addressed all considerations, O2 adopted a GeoDesign framework. This framework was built on a common understanding of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges (SWOC), which the project team summarized in a series of technical memos and maps. It encompassed the stakeholders’ metrics of success for the project: measurable indicators used to evaluate plan alternatives and judge the success in achieving desired future outcomes.

Design and development alternatives were explored through a charrette engagement process: a series of design-intensive workshops intended to find common ground, iteratively explore options, and identify solutions within a compressed time period. O2 conducted two such events: a first to explore the breadth of possible design alternatives for the site, and a second to create and refine a preferred design concept. O2 used direction from these events to develop and iteratively refine design concepts. This design process was supported by an extensible GeoDesign toolkit O2 developed for this project, which relies on a combination of software packages, including Esri ArcGIS and CityEngine. Using this software and a custom set of Python scripting modules, O2 automatically calculated performance indicators and generated a complete 3D model that included building types permitted under the Calgary Land Use Bylaw and street types from the City’s Complete Streets guidelines.