If you are a fan of Mad Men, you may recall character Dan Draper’s famous line about design: “make it simple, but significant.”
When you look around our mindfully made community, we hope you agree that the design details matter and make an impact. No matter how simple, nuances bring U/D to life in significant ways.
As part of our new Design Series of blog posts, we take a closer look at the park spaces in University District that have been designed to foster community, wellbeing, play and a sense of nature!
U/D Director of Design Travis Oberg sheds some light on how much park spaces — and even seasonal greenery — matter and factored into the U/D planning.
“The sheer number of parks in University District is inspiring,” says Travis. “For walks, bikes, scoots or runs, there is a path for every calling. Benches to rest along the route and open spaces to detour for some downtime, exercise or weather-permitting picnics!
“We know our residents and visitors value how by-design our pathways thoughtfully connect to regional pathways for extra-long excursions, varied views and a feeling of one-ness with the greater Calgary community!
“There are countless ways to get connected to nature when you call University District home. Our plans include the North Pond, dog parks, Commons Parks, lookout parks, the South Pond and linear parks that connect everything together,” says Travis. “One of our community favourites has to be Central Commons Park which is now under construction and set to debut in fall 2022!”
As part of a city that experiences often harsh climes come winter, University District design teams had to get strategic, creative and down to business when considering water features and function.
Rising to the challenges, the U/D team thoughtfully incorporated water elements by way of the spectacularly designed North and South Ponds. These ponds do more than look pretty, lure the ducks and beckon a selfie! They allow for responsible stormwater management.
Next time you are finding solace and urban reprieve, look a little closer and consider how these features add to the sustainable beauty of our park spaces throughout the year, every season!
At the heart of U/D, Central Commons Park brings plans for year-round cultural, social and recreational significance to life!
A proud, three-acre oasis!
Any season and any reason, this signature destination welcomes all visitors to its central plaza surrounded with street-level retailers and nearby quaint cafes and a hub for community celebrations — formal and impromptu! The park will also feature a seasonal skating rink.
If you believe seasonal spins on the skate rink, swaying to the music during summer concerts, and meandering community markets make for a great time, you’ll know Central Commons Park is for you. Add to that outdoor fitness challenges, BBQ picnics and water fountains. You’ll soon see how enhanced a walk in the park can be!
TIPS: Parking is discreetly underground versus front-and-centre. Play areas for all ages are easily accessible just steps from our Retail Main Street. These design elements make getting around seamless, stress-free and natural feeling. Also, curious about lighting design and keeping dark skies? You’ll want to check our blog post here.
Also organic and adding to the effortless flow of U/D from parks to plazas, greenery unites the neighbourhood. Right plant, right place! Did you notice how our generous planters offer us a chance to swing with the seasons?! From evergreen boughs in Winter to sprays of tulips or crowds of daffodils in Spring, U/D gave lots of thought to these elevated planters that punctuate our community for visual interest and joy! Adding some pops of colour to the streets.
At U/D, we often give way to a fluid and organic method of development, where our builder partners are able to bring unique green spaces into their projects. Allowing them to run with ideas and bring a unique spark to their projects. Our goal? Give residents and visitors easy access to greenspaces throughout U/D!
U/D’s simple but significant green spaces are designed to create a sense of place, to harmonize with the surrounding communities and Calgary as a whole and to lead on environmental sustainability! How are we doing so far?Share your tips for enjoying the greener side of U/D and list your favourite green space! Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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.