Monday, May 05, 2008

Rundle: analysis of a calgary suburb

So I am continuing my study of Rundle. The above map shows the neighborhood and I colored in some of the things that stand out for me in the area.

I first must outline my objectives of this study. It is to look at the place I live and analyze it critically, and to come up with some ideas, on a theoretical level, that would improve this area. I realize that I have little actual input in the neighborhood, but the idea is to come with ideas, that others may appropriate as well.

One of the drawbacks of a community like Rundle is its age. It is old enough that there is nothing new being built, and that it is out of the radar of the city planners and developers, but it is also new enough to not require any renovations or retrofits. Many urban communities where, there is a mix of older buildings, are ready for some level of demolition, some infills, some zoning amendments, as things have served their life span. Not here, this community is around 30- 40 years old, and it will be a while before the place sees any major attention.

So where does that leave us? Well, I am going t look at things that can be done with minimal impact, and also at major changes that could be done to improve the neighborhood long term. Hopefully some of it may inspire... someone!

Firstly, it must be stated that Rundle has a lot of things going for it.
-transit access
-shopping areas close by
-mix of single family dwellings and multifamily dwellings
-integrated foot path throughout
-schools and a community center
-lots of designated green space
-views of the city and on a clear day, the mountains
-a leisure center, library and swimming pool in walking distance
- a lot of pedestrian friendly - scale design
-multicultural inhabitants

It is an outer suburb, but as Calgary is one of the least dense cities in North America, Rundle is comparatively close to the core. You can ride your bike downtown in 35-40 mins, you can take the train in 15 mins, and you can drive in 20 mins. It has the stigma of the "east" side because it is east of the free way, but that may change as housing prices in Calgary rise and people want to find locations closer to the city but affordable. I mean, thats why we moved here...

OK, this is getting boring, I want to look at each of the above characteristics and find opportunities to develop these... intermixed with some blog entries about motherhood, and crafting ... so I don't loose you all!

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