West Eau Claire Park – 2020 ULI Urban Open Space Awards Finalist

Aerial View of West Eau Claire Park. Photo Credit: Klassen Photography

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Owner: City of Calgary
Designer: O2 Planning + Design
Additional Team Members: Matrix Environmental (Hydraulic Engineering, Biology); Thurber (Geotechnical Engineering); Entuitive (Structural Engineering); SMP (Electrical Engineering); Klohn Crippen Berger (Civil Engineering); Ion Irrigation (Irrigation); Caitlind Brown and Wayne Garrett (Public Artists); Cana Construction (Prime Contractor)
Site Size: 16 acres (6.5 hectares)
Number of People Served (within a half-mile): 80,000
Opened: September 21, 2018
Website: https://www.o2design.com/projects/west-eau-claire-park





Photo Credit: Matt Williams
Crowds on the walking paths at West Eau Claire Park. Photo Credit: Cameron Hunter










The 6.5 hectare West Eau Claire Park defines a new vision for a highly-valued public space along the Bow River in Calgary. The park improves the public realm while implementing a critical component of the City’s flood resiliency strategy through the construction of a flood barrier. With designated pedestrian and bicycle paths, the new park and promenade make it easier for Calgarians to walk and cycle through Eau Claire and into the downtown. The park was designed to be active and multi-modal; part of a continuous, safe and accessible riverfront that encourages year-round active lifestyles. The park serves six neighboring communities and is an evening and weekend destination for people living outside the immediate area. Stakeholder-supported goals for the project included: Improving circulation and connectivity; Supporting tourism, vibrancy, and river experiences; Ensuring safety; and Building resiliency. To protect mature trees located in a stretch of park requiring an almost 2m tall barrier, the team developed the Flood Bench. The iconic 200-metre long bench, part flood barrier and part gathering place, is a new social amenity. New passive and active spaces, including a river vista, access points, and a great lawn, enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the park. At the convergence of the park and the Santiago Calatrava-designed Peace Bridge is The Delta Garden, a new public plaza where raised planters with perennial plantings create seating and define pedestrian circulation.

Photo Credit: Cameron Hunter
Entrance to the Peace Bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava. Photo Credit: Caitlind & Wayne

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