Richmond Green Park – an inner city oasis

The City of Calgary has removed the Richmond Green Golf Course and Park off the list of regional parks without any consultation with community members who live in the surrounding area. To add insult to injury, they then placed approximately five acres of green space at the west end of the park on the market to see what potential appetite might exist to develop the land under mixed-use zoning.

Allowing this land to be developed as mixed-use would mean that a building could be constructed and used for both residential and/or commercial tenants. Typically, these buildings stand between four-to-six storeys tall but can be built up to 10 storeys should it be desired.

If there is one thing we have learned by going through this unprecedented last year, it’s that having open and attractive spaces to spend time outdoors with loved ones is too important to risk losing. This piece of land is used by many for activities like tennis, baseball, walking, and tobogganing.

This 52-acre green space, known as an inner-city oasis by those who live near it, should be seen by our City Council as a golden opportunity to do two things:

  1. Create an even more fantastic space for Calgary’s inner city. We should not waste this chance to create a legacy space that future Calgarians will love to enjoy.
  2. Demonstrate the City’s ability to meaningfully engage with Calgarians and create a development process that is transparent and inclusive. We unfortunately continue to see the same patterns of predetermining outcomes and communicating to communities on an “FYI only” basis. This is a model that simply must stop.

Potentially more concerning is that – in addition to the five acres of green space that is currently up on the market – City Council has also instructed the Administration to determine further opportunities to recharacterize the land. Of this initiative it appears that City Council has hit the pause button on its engagement efforts altogether.

I have heard at the doors and through the affected community associations that communication from the City is minimal – despite the growing concern amongst area residents. I strongly believe that city development should start at the community level – this means that planning should include the community from the very beginning of the process.

If you are concerned about the development of the Richmond Green Park space, there are a number of things you can do to have your voice heard:

  1. Monitor the City Engagement Website
  2. Subscribe for City of Calgary updates
  3. Tell your fellow community members about the potential sale/development of Richmond Green Park
  4. Attend virtual engagement events held by the City

E-mail the City of Calgary File Manager

Paul Bergmann

About

As a father, volunteer, local business owner and life long Calgarian I believe it is time for our tax dollars to be managed more effectively.