New initiative launched to increase safety, vibrancy around Calgary City Hall

A new initiative is being launched to increase safety around Calgary City Hall.

The 9 Block program was created through a partnership with the city and the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL).

The program launched on Tuesday and aims to propose new ideas that will create safer and more vibrant streets in the area for both businesses and the public — through cost-effective measures.

“It’s going to take all of us to build and reshape this area, and downtown as a whole,” Thom Mahler, the city’s downtown strategy lead said.

“This program is a major piece of the downtown strategy and the city’s continued commitment to support the recovery and diversification of Calgary’s economy — and building a foundation for a great future for this important downtown area.”

The partnership will support hiring a group of SAPL students over the summer to design and implement a small tactical urbanism project.

John Brown, the dean of SAPL, said this project will help test potential improvement strategies for the area.

“We located our City Building Design Lab in the heart of our downtown to take on initiatives like the 9 Block program,” Brown said.

“Our mission is to bring together our students and researchers with municipal policymakers and the public to explore new directions in city-building.”

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