IFLA: Cultural Landscapes Committee

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City of Calgary, Alberta

Cultural Landscape Type: Evolved Continuing   

Project Name: The Calgary Project: Urban Form/Urban Life

Project Type: Documentation Project, Inventory, Historic Research, Cultural Landscape Assessment  and morphological documentation and analysis; Planning Project, Cultural Landscape Report; Management/Stewardship/Legal Elements, urban design strategies

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Cultural Landscape Size: 2010 population 1.2 million, area of Calgary Municipal Area 5,100 sq km (1,900 sq mi)

Publisher: University of Calgary Press, 2006

Authors: Beverly A. Sandalack and Andrei Nicolai

Award: National Honour Award - Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, 2007

Funding: Partial research and book publication funded by ENMAX Power, $30,000

Relevant Historical Dates: Calgary was established in 1883 as a railway settlement

Historic Landscape Architect, Designers: N/A

Contact: Dr. Bev Sandalack, Professor and Research Leader, the EVDS Urban Lab, University of Calgary. sandalack@ucalgary.ca

Project Description:

The Calgary Project is a comprehensive evolutionary study, intended to help to provide a better understanding of the city of Calgary, Alberta, and to contribute to better decision-making in guiding the processes of urban development. It is a richly illustrated publication, examining the forces that produced its urban structure, and the relationship to the quality of urban life, with the intention of helping to guide the development of this prairie metropolis into the twenty-first century.

Although there have been a number of histories written about Calgary, none focus on urban form, cultural landscapes, and the public realm, and none critically analyze the most recent decades, as well as the earlier years. This book adds to the discussion about Calgary’s urban quality, focusing on urban form and process, with current events as a part of the continuum receiving equal attention.

This project provides a comprehensive synthesis of several analytical techniques, drawing from the traditions of landscape architecture, urban morphology, urban design and urban planning. In particular, the contribution of urban morphology to North American practice has thus far been limited; this project demonstrates the value of that approach to contemporary urban design, both as an analytical tool and as a design tool. During the course of this project, several innovative techniques for graphic documentation and computer modeling were developed and tested, which may expand the way that this technology may serve the design disciplines.

The appendices include a detailed explanation of the approach and methodology and of the methods of graphic analysis and mapping, intended to increase its usefulness to practitioners, other researchers, and students.

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Project Summary Form for Submittal

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. . .deterioration or disappearance of any item of the cultural or natural heritage constitutes a harmful impoverishment of the heritage of all the nations of the world.

World Heritage Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972