fbpx

U/D Kicks Off its Design Series: Retail Main Street

by University District

Look All Around with an Eye on Design!

 

We all know the saying, “Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.” This is true in University District, too.

 

But we’d like to take things one step further and encourage residents and visitors to stop and notice the design elements that show why “life works here.”

 

 

Travis Oberg is the Director of Design for University District and kicks off the first in a series of blog posts about his work to bring distinction to U/D through planning and design.

 

Care to share with us a bit about your role here and your professional background, Travis (pictured left)?

 

 

Absolutely! It’s been a decade in Calgary’s fast moving development world that brought me to U/D. I have enjoyed the certain pleasure of working with Qualico Communities and Stantec Consulting in a range of roles that built upon my education and training in real estate development and geomatics. All topics related to planning, project leadership, public consultation and sustainability excite me and inspire my work as Director of Design for the University District development.

 

My peers at Calgary’s Urban Development Institute also inspire through collective work throughout the city to both solve practical problems in creative and attractive ways! Let me try and explain what happens in community design and why it matters by starting with a closer look at the Retail Main Street, with an eye on its design elements.

 

Great. University District’s Retail Main Street certainly is coming to life! As residents and visitors stroll around, what could they experience through design that they may not readily notice?

 

People may not know that community design includes choosing which business belongs in a place best. By design, U/D has sought out interest from brands that we believe will be loved by our residents and visitors and, as a result, thrive! Not samey-samey, not all small or large, not all local or well-known. We naturally drew a lot of expressions of interest from businesses who wanted to locate here. So one of the most striking things that people will notice is the retail mix — all by design!

 

 

From Monogram Coffee to YYC Cycle, Osmow’s to Orangetheory Fitness, we hope you love the variety and practicality that combine here.

The retail mix in U/D is part planned and part spontaneous…based on our vision and who put their “hat” in the ring as plans were taking shape. We are so proud of the energy they all bring and bounce off of one another!

 

LOOK CLOSER: Take note too that there are natural-feeling physical breaks between shops and restaurants that were planned during construction. Sometimes our eyes need a break from “busyness.”

 

Streetscapes are not the hodge podge that results in most major urban settings when you have a chance to build from new. What is there to look for on the Retail Main Street U/D?

 

That is true to some degree, but we know from our research and travels that perfect symmetry and predictability can look pretty on paper and seem efficient. But in reality in U/D there is another factor at play. Our design is far from stiff. We know that meandering matters! That planters and benches, varied heights and textures delight the eye and bring warmth to urban design. Partnering with the builders we have so far reinforces how liberty and character bring quality of life to new communities like ours.

 

 

 

LOOK CLOSER:Take a second to consider the paving on walkways and the surfaces of buildings and how they both vary and complete a feeling when walking along the street!

 

How interesting! Would you talk with us a little more about the guidelines builders were given and the liberties to mix-up the materials they use, styles of architecture etc and surprise people with information about how organic U/D’s approach to design truly is.

 

Most definitely. There are very carefully determined parameters and standards for the sustainable development of each parcel, including our very important Main Street. That said, each builder partner and their architectural and design teams had tremendous freedom to work with materials that work for their vision as well as ours.

 

 

Let’s touch on how U/D design along the Retail Main Street fulfills the community’s mission.

 

Our overall mission is to create a complete, vibrant and sustainable community that enhances the UCalgary experience in harmony with the surrounding neighbourhoods. What’s more, we have taken special effort and put it towards accessibility. Along the Retail Main Street you will see brickwork, carefully planned lighting, planter boxes and hanging baskets, custom designed poles and easy access to the greenspaces that feed into the Retail Main Street creating connections throughout the community.

 

LOOK CLOSER: Did you have a chance to read our blog post from last fall about the importance of great lighting? Outdoors and in! Visit here.

 

Do you have any closing thoughts about the inspiration for the design of the Retail Main Street to share?

 

I would like to add that there is no one place that we looked to emulate over the years that U/D has taken shape. It’s been a natural, organic experience and result! While we visited many places in Canada and around the continent, we took global inspiration to heart. In the end, U/D is purely unique to Calgary and its builder interpretations, its UCalgary proximity and its people. Such a wonderful mix of elements define its design. We are all proud. We are excited to see it continue to take shape in the years to come.

 

LOOK CLOSER: Beyond buildings, streetscapes, retailers and materials, programming and art are also integral to the way a community is used and enjoyed. Have you seen our newest mural? Learn more here!

 

We can’t wait to see you on the Retail Main Street!

It’s passion for design details that shows at U/D and you are sure to love on our Retail Main Street. Explore insights into how design matters in our new blog series. If you have suggestions for design stories, we would love to hear from you! Post your thoughts on University District on Facebook, @udistrictyyc_ on Instagram or Twitter. And let’s stay connected through community design: Mindful and Vibrant!


Join the Discussion

Comments are moderated before being posted. Your email address is required but will not be published.

Join our email list for more information and our newsletter.
I'm interested in learning more about:
Popular Keywords
For the Love of NW Calgary: Meet U/D Residents with Deep Roots in the Area
Upcoming Events at U/D this Spring and Summer
New Builder Feature: Crystal Creek Homes Launching GUILD at University District
See All Blog Posts
2023, A year in review, active, Activity, Age-friendly community, Aging in place, Alberta, Alberta Children's Hospital, All ages, ALT Hotel, Alt Hotels, amenities, Ana Cummings, apartment rental, Aria, Artist, August, Bakeries, baking tips, Balcony, Balcony Decor, BBQ, beard grooming, Bike routes, BILD Awards, Block Party, blockbuster movie night, Bookstores, Bragg Creek, Breakfast, Brenda Stafford Foundation, Brenda Strafford Foundation, Brookfield Residential, Brunch, Bubble Tea, Bucket List, Budget, Budget conscious, Builder Launch, Building Industry and Land Development, Business, Calgary, Calgary Activities, Calgary Art, Calgary bakeries, Calgary business, Calgary community, Calgary Drinks, Calgary events, Calgary Fitness, Calgary Hearing, Calgary LRT, Calgary Parks, Calgary Real Estate, Calgary restaurants, Calgary staycation, Calgary tourism, Calgary Trails, Calgary Transit, Calgary Women, Cambridge Manor, Canada, Canada Day, Canmore, Capella, Cartwright lighting & furniture, Celebration, centerpieces, Central Commons, Charcut, charity, cineplex, Classes, Cochrane, comfort food, Community, community festival, Community Living, condo life, condos, connections, contest, cookie baking, cooking, cooking together, Creative, Crystal Creek Homes, Curious Hair, Curious Salon, Date Ideas, Date night, Decor, Decor Shops, Decor Tips, Denim & Smith, Dental, dental care, design styles, Dining, Discovery Centre, DIY, dog park, Dogs, Downsize, downsizing, downsizing tips, Easter, Eco decor, eLearning, Entertainment, environment, events, exercise, Explore, Fall, Fall Decor, fall design, family, Father's Day, Financial, fitness, fitness as we age, food, food waste, Functional Fitness, Garden Maintenance, gardening, gift guide, giving back, golf, Green Calgary, Grey Cup, Group Germain Hotels, Guide to Northwest Calgary, gym, hair grooming, Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Foods, Hearing loss, hobbies, holiday, holiday activities, Holiday Budget, holiday memories, Holiday movies, holiday parties, holiday season, holiday traditions, holiday wines, home, Home Automation, home decor, Home Maintenance, home office, Home organization, Home Ownership, Home Technology, homemade pizza, Homeowners, hosting the holidays, housing, I Can for Kids, IBI Group, Ice Cream, Ice Cream Shops, Ice Rink, inclusive, Interior Design, Interior Design for your pets, Interior Design Tips, interior lighting, International Womens Day, Isolation, Jayman BUILT, Kananaskis, kids learning, Level Playing Field, lighting, local, local business, local good, Love on Main Street, love your pet, made in Calgary, Magna, Maple, Market Wines, McKinley Burkart, meal prep, meals, mens grooming, mental health, mindful spaces, Mother's Day Brunch, Movies at home, moving, multi-generational, Nature, New at UD, New homes, New Projects, New Resident, Night Market, North Calgary, North Hill Mall, North Pond, Northwest Calgary, Northwest Calgary Brunch, Northwest Commons Park, Northwest neighbour, Northwestival, nutrition tips, NW Calgary, Office, Olympic Oval, online learning, Orangetheory, Organization, outdoors, Park n' Play Design, Parks, Partners, party hosting tips, Patio Decor, pet care, pet love, Photography, plant, plant care, play space, Playcore National Demonstration Site, playground, Programs, puppy love, rafting, real estate, recipes, redecorating, rent to own, rentals, restaurant, Retail, Retail Main Street, retailers, Rightsize, Romance, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Save-On-Foods, seasonal maintenance, senior health, Senior living, Seniors, sensory gadgets, shop local, Skating, Smaller space living, Smart Home, Sports, Spring, Spring Cleaning, Staples, Staycation, Summer Activities, Summer Food, summer getaways, sustainable design, table setting, tablescape, Thanksgiving, The Space Reclaimers, things to do, tips, Tips and Tricks, tourism calgary, townhome, townhome living, townhouse living, Trails in Northwest Calgary, travel, travel alberta, TREC Dental, U/D, UCalgary, UD Events, UD Life, UDLife, University District, University District Dental, University of Calgary, Urban Balcony, urban dog park, Urban Garden, Urban Patio Decor, Valentines Day, Vegan Cuisine, Vegan Food, Vendors, vermicomposting, Village Ice Cream, Volunteer, Volunteerism, Walking, West Campus Development Trust, Wine, wine experience, Winefest, Winsport Zipline, winter, winter activities, winter festival, Winter Fitness, winter fun, winter memories, winter pet care, winter pet care tips, winter traditions, winter warm up, Winter workout, women grooming, Women Leaders, workouts, Yard, year in review, YYC Events, YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

Discover NW Calgary's most interesting places, people and things

Visit Our Channel

Looking for something to do in NW Calgary?

Check Out Our Event Calendar

The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and a closer look at the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.