Next 20 Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan Review (Stage 1)

On June 11, 2019 by Toun Osuntogun

The Next 20: Municipal Development Plan & Calgary Transportation Plan review is well under way and the City has collected preliminary feedback from both in-person engagement and online surveys for Stage 1. This data has been summarized into two separate “What We Heard” reports (one for in-person engagement and one for the online survey).

Summary of Stage 1 In-Person Engagement

External stakeholders that participated in this process ranged from the public,  to industry leading experts in building, local businesses,  and various other business sectors comprised throughout the city. Discussions in five focus groups were centered around new emerging trends and topics such as autonomous vehicles, walkability, a green and prosperous city, inspiring neighborhoods, as well as inclusive communities (aging in-place).

A survey that was made available at the Calgary Central Library asked, “what are important qualities of a great city?” The top three responses were: everyday needs (e.g. groceries) can be met within the community (62 out of 561 selections); a high priority is placed on protecting air and water quality, water supply, and the natural environment (59 out of 561); and being able to walk to amenities such as parks, schools, services, and shops (59 out of 561). Surprisingly, survey respondents didn’t place a high priority on making the most use and value of existing infrastructure in the community, as this ranked the lowest in the survey with only 33 out of 561 submissions selecting this – perhaps indicating a greater issue surrounding the state of our current infrastructure in specific communities. Read the summary report here.

Summary of Stage 1 Online Engagement

The online survey garnered 543 responses from March 1st through April 8th and asked the following questions:

  1. Describe the most important qualities for a great city.
  2. How close would you like to live to the following amenities or services?
  3. When deciding where you live, what are your top three (3) most important considerations?
  4. What is your current experience when it comes to getting around Calgary? b) For the experience you said you find most challenging above, tell us what makes it difficult?
  5. In an ideal world, which one (1) day-to-day travel or regular trip would you like to see the most improvement in? b) For the trip selected above, I typically…(select all that apply) c) Select the time range(s) you typically take this trip (up to two (2) selections).
  6. How old are you?
  7. What is your postal code?
  8. Tell us what you think of this engagement. Select the option that best describes your experience.

The top response to each question will be provided in this blog for the sake of brevity. For a breakdown of each question and associated responses please see the summary report posted here. 

For the first question, respondents indicated that placing a high priority on protecting air and water quality, water supply, and the natural environment was the most important quality of a great city (with 324 selections out of 2511). In terms of what types of amenities respondents would like to live close to, a majority of responses stated that they would like to live within walking distance to a corner store, a coffee shop, a school, a grocery store, a pathway/park, an LRT station, and a bus route. On deciding where to live, the most important considerations respondents selected was how long it takes themselves or family members to get to work or school (with 347 selections out of 1570). Participants were then asked about what their experience was like getting around the city. The majority of responses indicated that there is some form of challenge, regardless of chosen transportation method, with 76% of cyclists and transit users indicating that they faced a hurdle to getting around the city. A similar sentiment was shared by automobile (personal) and pedestrians, with 60-70% stating that they face some challenges in their movement around the city. Question 5 posed an ideal world scenario whereby participants were asked what one (1) day-to-day travel option they would like to see the most improvement in. The majority (49.9%) of respondents said their trip to school or work, which is not surprising considering the importance of these destinations in our day-to-day lives.

The majority of participants who took the survey can be categorized into two age cohorts, with the majority of respondents falling into the 35-44-year range with 30.83%, while the 25-34 year range ranked second with 26.59% of respondents representing this cohort. Geographical data was obtained through the survey by asking each participant what their postal code is. The majority of respondents could be classified as living in the inner-city, with weaker participation numbers from northern suburban communities.

Conclusion and Next Steps

This summary concludes the Stage 1 “What We Heard” responses and provides an informative data-set for City administration of the NEXT 20 team(s) to work with to ensure that the MDP/CTP update reflects the set of goals Calgarians want to see materialize over the next 20 years. Currently the City is in Stage 2: priorities and considerations (May-June), which is focused upon how to achieve what is needed and what concessions or trade-offs should be considered in order to achieve these needs. You can provide your input in this stage until the end of June online at https://engage.calgary.ca/next20 and this is where you will also find everything related to the NEXT 20 process and copies of the full Stage 1 reports are also hosted there.