Simply Great Green Design!

December 14, 2021 by University District

Our Design Series covers green spaces at U/D.


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.


Stay in the know about U/D design! Check out the first post in our Design Series for fun and fascinating details about how U/D considered design during its planning and development 




Let’s start with the parks!


“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!”


FUN FACT: Did you and your dog know that a unique-by-design feature of our urban dog park is its artificial turf throughout? Beautification and maintenance go together here like a dog with a bone!





Water Features Add Finesse and Function


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!


All About Central Commons Park


At the heart of U/D, Central Commons Park brings plans for year-round cultural, social and recreational significance to life!


Central Commons Winter Skating Rink

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.



Planters Signal the Seasons


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.




Love greenery and want to flex your green thumb come Spring? Check out our blog post about gardening at U/D  



Objectively Speaking



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 FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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