A Critical Assessment of The Bridges Redevelopment Process
in Calgary, Alberta
Supporting the development of sustainable, vibrant inner-city neighbourhoods is an essential element in contemporary city building. Extensive evaluation of ongoing city redevelopment projects like The Bridges ensures lessons learned are understood and potentially applied to future projects.
This case study of a City-led redevelopment project offers an opportunity to analyze the planning, design and implementation process for an award-winning master-planned community currently underway. It includes an examination of key stakeholders involved with its vision and implementation.
Research was conducted between the fall of 2011 to winter 2012. The study includes a literature review of relevant topics such as innovative inner-city redevelopment, City-as-developer projects, redevelopment assessment, private-public land development, and institutional memory, along with The Bridges document review, and 27 semi-structured key informant interviews.
Interviews were divided into seven stakeholder groups (City Administration, Private Consultants, PAC members, Politicians, BRCA members, Local Business owners, Private sector builders). Questions were organized around key themes that include the successes and challenges of the project, what could have been done differently, and lessons learned that might be applicable to other redevelopment projects within the City.
Through analysing interview responses, The Bridges senior project manager’s recommendations, and a study of relevant literature and project documentation, the basis for my recommendations in this case study were formed. Recommendations are targeted to each of the seven stakeholder groups in the study. Because The Bridges is not yet completed, there may be an opportunity to use the recommendations in the final stages of its implementation.