Designs Wanted: Calgary issues RFP for 8 Street SW

Calling all designers. Calgary needs your help. The city is looking to transform 8 Street SW.

A snowy shot shows the downtown Calgary skyline.

Calgary is looking to reinvent the 8 Street SW corridor with a new design. – City of Calgary

Key Takeaways:

  • Calgary is asking for ideas to redesign 8 Street SW.
  • The corridor was hollowed out over the years by high office vacancies.
  • Officials want the redesigned corridor to connect people, parks and neighbourhoods.

The Whole Story:

The city announced it is seeking proposals from design firms to help reimagine 8 Street SW, between 17 Avenue SW and the Bow River. 

Officials noted that the neighbourhood corridor is a vital place that will be central to the re-invention of the western part of Calgary’s downtown. It is an area that has hit the hardest by office vacancies. In recent years the city has seen its office vacancy rate peak above 30 per cent. The city added that the street is also an important connector between the Beltline and the Bow River pathway system.

“It’s time to rethink 8 Street SW,” said Thom Mahler, Director, downtown strategy. “Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan identified it as an important downtown street to transform into a complete street with accessibility for all modes of transportation and as a linchpin of The City’s goal to create a green network of tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly streets connecting downtown’s diverse neighbourhoods and inventory of parks, outdoor spaces and pathways.”

Mahler explained that the project is an update of the 8 Street Corridor Public Realm Master Plan, completed in 2016 that included the reconstruction of the 8 Street underpass. Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan, approved by city council in 2021, identifies public realm improvements to 8 Street SW as a priority. According to the plan, the street holds importance as a potential green network, a pedestrian-focused space, and a neighbourhood hub in Calgary’s Downtown West and Beltline.  

Officials explained that their vision is for the street to create a “contemporary, pedestrian focused urban destination area with a distinct identity that connects people, parks and neighbourhoods, supported by vibrant retail experiences, and a variety of transportation modes.”

They believe the redesign will support private investment along the street and create a high-quality north-south pedestrian route from 17 Avenue SW to the river.

“A lot has changed since the 8 Street Corridor Public Realm Master Plan was developed, with the westside of Calgary’s downtown changing significantly since 2016,” said Shannon Reid, project manager for the 8 Street SW Public Realm Improvement Project. “We’re excited to launch this project to help shape the future of downtown and support community vibrancy in this important downtown neighbourhood.”

The objective of the 8 Street SW project is to execute the planning, design, and implementation of the remaining public realm improvements identified in the 8 Street Corridor Public Realm Master Plan – including the redevelopment of the streetscape and adjoining riverfront park. 

The project’s design team will be chosen through a request for proposal process. 


Get smarter on the 🇨🇦 construction industry in just 5 minutes

Sign up for the free weekly newsletter for news, trends and insights in the Canadian construction industry.

Construction job board

Discover senior-level construction jobs at leading companies in Canada.

Find a jobPost a job



Get the 5-minute, weekly newsletter about the Canadian construction industry.

© SiteNews 2024. All rights reserved. SiteNews is an independently-operated news website. Views expressed are that of the editor's and are based on publicly available information unless otherwise noted through sponsored content.