A Better Calgary in Progress 2016

Post Date: Friday, August 26, 2016

During the 2013 municipal election, Mayor Nenshi ran on a platform to make Calgary even better by focusing on improving how Calgary grows, how Calgarians get around, how we build communities, and how our government works. While everything done by The City of Calgary is found in the Action Plan four year budget that was unanimously approved by City Council, below are some highlights from the past year and a half based on the mayor's platform.

Even Better Transportation

Whether you choose to drive, walk, bike, or take a cab or public transit, you should have a convenient, safe, and consistent option to get around our city. I will champion projects that improve transportation for all Calgarians.


Public transit
  • Launched cycle track pilot project which will run from summer 2015 to winter 2016:
    • The pilot is under budget at less than 0.5 per cent of the overall transportation capital budget.
    • Within six months of the pilot, bicycle trips on the network have increased by an average 95 per cent.
    • The project team will continue to monitor the pilot closely before Council makes a decision about the cycle track network’s future later this year.
  • Calgary Livery Transport Services implemented Respect the Ride – A Passenger and Driver Bill of Rights.
  • Improved taxi queuing and traffic flow at the Stampede grounds during Stampede. 
  • Created a new bylaw that allows for Transportation Network Companies (such as Uber) to operate in Calgary and revised the regulations for taxi and limousine services to allow them to offer private-for-hire vehicle service in Calgary:
    • Council passed a new bylaw in early 2016
    • App-based taxi companies are already coming to Calgary
    • The new bylaw has sparked a price-war which has lowered taxi rates by 12 to 20 per cent
Even Better Growth

Wherever you live in Calgary—whether it’s in an existing or new community—you deserve to have the amenities, infrastructure, and overall quality of life that is consistent throughout the city. Evolving existing neighbourhoods and changing the way we build new neighbourhoods takes time and effort from many different parties, but I am committed to smarter growth that benefits all Calgarians.

New neighbourhoods & Established neighbourhoods

  • We’re building a more economically sustainable city! Council unanimously passed a new Off-Site Levy Bylaw that creates a fair way to share the cost of off-site infrastructure (water and wastewater treatment facilities, recreation centres, roads, libraries, fire halls, police stations, etc.) in new and established neighbourhoods.
  • The City established a long-term, sustainable means of funding the cost of development by:
    • Developing with industry a transparent method to calculate and share the cost of infrastructure
    • Longer payment plan for developing area
    • Phasing in the new charges in established areas
  • The City has begun accepting building permit applications for six-storey wood frame structures.
  • City is moving forward of planning of the Green Line LRT, this will provide transit to new and established communities along its 40 km route.
  • Construction continues on the four new Recreation Centres in northwest and southeast Calgary.
New neighbourhoods
  • Six Area Structure Plans were completed in 2015 totalling 4,700 hectare in 11 communities in Calgary. The City has 27 to 30 years of planned land supply.
  • Work completed on the Glacier Ridge ASP, the Haskayne ASP, the Nose Creek ASP, and Providence ASP
  • Due to new Community Guidebook adopted in 2014 and revised in 2015, these new communities will be more integrated, complete communities and will be better served by roads, transit, parks, and city services.
  • Opened St. Patrick’s Island Park in July 2015.
  • Supported the establishment the China Town Business Revitalization Zone.
  • Completed work on the Civic District Public Realm Strategy, a comprehensive vision for the Civic District to guide the redevelopment and enhancement of the area, a strategy to be adopted by Council in January 2016.
  • Established dedicated Microcar Parking Stalls in downtown Calgary in spaces where normal cars do not fit to create new stalls for microcars and carshare vehicles to meet parking demand.
  • Adopted new Carshare Parking Policy to ensure fair distribution of parking resources between Carshare vehicles and private vehicles in commercial areas.
  • Started construction of the New Central Library.
Even Better Communities

Our city needs to be attractive, safe, and vibrant, with opportunities for all. Calgary consistently ranks as one of the top five liveable cities in the world, but it can be better. I will continue to fight poverty and support programs and projects that make every community a place where we can all have a great Canadian life.


  • Move forward with planning and design of Haskayne Legacy Park.
  • Completed and opened St. Patrick’s Island Park.
  • Announced gift from Quebec City to Calgary of a Music Pavilion to be built near Fort Calgary.
  • Implemented Parks zero based review which saved $4 million annually and improved productivity and standards of service.
Arts and Culture
  • Began the restoration of Historic City Hall.
Police and Safety
  • Completed Fire zero based review and adopted more efficient deployment to save $15 million annually.
  • Continued to advocate for the retention of the current 911 Dispatch system in Calgary where Emergency Medical Services, Calgary Fire Department and Calgary Police are integrated.
Poverty reduction
  • Launched the Fair Entry Program to make it easier for low income Calgarians to access fee-reduced and free City of Calgary services
  • Advocated for increased flood protection to defend Calgary from future flood events.
    • Received commitment from new Federal government to support flood mitigation projects; and
    • Provincial government announced $297-million to build the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir.
  • Continued construction of flood mitigation projects including funding protection for the Calgary Zoo.
  • Supported Calgary settlement agencies and community groups in the initial arrival and settling of 1300 Syrian Refugees into the community.
Even Better Government

We need a municipal government that is citizen-focused and facilitates the success of citizens... but government can't do it alone. The City is constantly improving and adapting to the needs of our citizens—you—and we’re doing it in a prudent way that ensures we have some of the lowest property taxes in Canada. I am committed to working with you to make this city even better.

Citizen Focus

  • Completed the last phase of Cut Red Tape and Reported back to Council.
    • Total Savings $14,675,355 & 143,516 hours.
    • Saving $2,712,397 and 31,184 hours for the City.
    • Saving $11,962,958 and 112,332 hours for Citizens and Customers.
  • Implemented ePermits.
  • The Citizen Dashboard launched.
  • Supported, through the Mayor’s Civic Engagement Committee, the development of City Hall 101.
Economic Development
  • Completed the update of the Calgary Economic Development Strategy.
  • Passed the Community Economic Resiliency Fund Package, a $30 million dollar fund to support economic development, affordable housing and not-for-profit organizations and City Business Units adversely affected by the economic downturn.
  • $7 million dedicated to Calgary Economic Development to carry out economic development and promotion initiatives.
Responsible Budgeting
  • Property tax rate for 2016 reduced from 4.7% to 3.5%
  • Property tax rate for 2015 lowered from 4.5% to 4.2%
  • Fire Department Zero Based Review found over $15 million in annual savings.
  • Capital stimulus budget brought forward $2.34 billion in infrastructure funding and advances several projects from the 2017/18/19 years into 2016 to accelerate the number of shovel ready projects.
  • Continue the phase out of the business tax.
  • Budget Savings Account set up and over $86 million saved between operation efficiencies and projects savings.
Transforming Planning
Improving Ethics and Transparency
City Charter
  • Phase two of City Charter negotiations with the Province of Alberta is under way.
Citizen Engagement
  • Established Engage Calgary to facilitate better public engagement on City projects.
  • Improved public notices for development and zoning changes including launching the new, easy to use and understand Planning and Development Map.