The park’s concept was developed by Calgary students, so it was only fitting they got to help announce that it would now take flight.
Langevin School students tossed paper airplanes to celebrate the announcement that the Flyover Park would now be developed, backed by $2 million in provincial and municipal cash.
Students worked with the University of Calgary’s landscape architecture program to put together a plan for the under-utilized space beneath the 4 Avenue flyover at the intersection of Memorial Drive and Edmonton Trail NE.
The plan was a runner up for the Mayor’s Urban Design Award and recently won the 2018 National Urban Design Award.
It’s been a long time coming, but well worth the community effort, said Ali McMillan, planning director for the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association.
“This morning as I was picking up litter preparing for this announcement, I was thinking about how many people have been involved from the grassroots – very simple things, cleaning ping pong tables, planting planters, having people get on board with the vision and support us is super exciting,” she said.
It’s a bit of a forgotten urban space, and McMillan said it’s important these kinds of spaces in the city are activated. Calgary Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra referred to it as SLAP – Space Left After Planning.
“It’s really exciting that we’re starting to innovate in these urban spaces and that they don’t just have to be a dirt patch under an overpass. There’s so much more that they can be,” she said.
“People’s mindsets are changing about spaces like this.”
One of the student presenters said it was about “finding potential and providing purpose to a forgotten space in our community.”
“Being involved in this project gave us the opportunity to make a change.”
McMillan said this park would be a legacy left by the Langevin students
The park’s total cost is $2.4 million and is being done in cooperation with the City of Calgary, Parks Foundation Calgary and the Province of Alberta.
“This will be such a unique park, leveraging a place made of concrete and transforming it into a unique, urban park that can be enjoyed by all Calgarians,” said Sheila Taylor, CEO of Parks Foundation Calgary.
The parks design allows for a family-friendly play area, tiered seating for events, food trucks stalls, ping pong tables and an outdoor classroom, among other things.
It’s expected that after final design and permitting, the project will break ground in Spring 2020.
Visit the Parks Foundation Calgary website for more information on the project.