PLACEMAKING PROGRAM WILL RESHAPE 3RD STREET INTO PEDESTRIAN-ORIENTED STREETSCAPE

In their continuing efforts to revitalize downtown Calgary’s east end, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) is set to begin construction on an exciting streetscape improvement program for 3rd Street SE.

Encompassing approximately five city blocks from 9th Avenue SE to Riverfront Avenue along the Bow River, the 3rd Street SE Streetscape Improvement Project will dramatically reshape a space currently dominated by vehicles and LRT lines into a pedestrian-oriented streetscape that connects the New Central Library with Jack & Jean Leslie RiverWalk™ and the Bow River.

“Applying the same placemaking gestures that have transformed East Village into one of Calgary’s most sought-after neighbourhoods, we will forge visual and physical connections – and highly walkable ones, too – that fully integrate the New Central Library and RioCan’s new urban retail centre, 5th & THIRD, with established landmarks of the west side of 3rd Street SE…Calgary City Hall, Bow Valley College and the old YWCA site, which Toronto developer Great Gulf is planning to activate,” says Susan Veres, CMLC’s Senior Vice President.

“The objective,” adds Kate Thompson, Vice President of Projects, CMLC, “is to create a cohesive visual identity for 3rd Street SE and to shift the hierarchy from a traffic-dominated space to an integrated multi-modal space more respectful of cyclists and pedestrians. Our design for this revitalized public realm will redefine the character of the streetscape through the thoughtful selection of new paving materials, fixed furnishings and lighting and landscaping.”

Planning for the project began in 2015. With the goals of creating a cohesive visual identity and establishing complementary and engaging public spaces that give precedence to the pedestrian experience, CMLC selected PFS Studio in partnership with Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative as prime design consultant.

The design for the streetscape improvements has unfolded within the context of the vision of East Village which has a unique ‘cobblestone-like’ streetscape and an interconnected system of pedestrian dedicated pathways and streets.

Throughout 2016, CMLC worked with the project team to advance the program, undertaking detailed design work during Q1 2016 and, in Q2, submitting engineering and landscape drawings for the southernmost three blocks (9th Avenue to 6th Avenue SE) to the City of Calgary for approvals.

Construction of the 3rd Street SE public realm program is being delivered in two phases. Phase one, constitutes that area along 3rd Street SE between 9 Avenue and 5 Avenue. Phase two represents work being completed from 5 Avenue to Riverfront Avenue. Phase one of the project will conclude in Q4, 2018.