Calgary's Downtown: core to our city's vibrancy and economic resilience

CALGARY – The City of Calgary is pleased to announce a partnership with Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and Calgary Economic Development (CED) to further Calgary’s economic recovery and resilience through the Downtown Strategy.

“Downtown is the economic and cultural heart of Calgary,” said Thom Mahler, Manager, Urban Strategy and Downtown Strategy Program Lead. “This strategy ensures a focus on the opportunities to drive a thriving local economy which is key to our city’s recovery and resilience.”

The strategy supports and incentivizes private investment in business and buildings, aligns programming that generates visits and spending in the downtown, and provides amenities and services to enhance the quality of life for people living and working in the downtown.

The Downtown Strategy has four focus areas critical to creating a vibrant downtown: Place, Work, Live, and Connect. To ensure focus, alignment and intensity in the work and to help achieve the desired outcomes, each of these areas has been appointed a lead.

  • Place - Michael Brown, President & Chief Executive Officer, CMLC
  • Work - Mary Moran, President & Chief Executive Officer, CED
  • Live - James McLaughlin, Acting Director, Calgary Recreation, The City of Calgary
  • Connect - Chris Arthurs, Director, Resilience & Infrastructure, The City of Calgary

Michael Brown, President and CEO of CMLC, said that the Downtown Strategy is about working to improve the downtown experience overall by focusing on multiple influencing factors. “What we’re really working towards is a single holistic plan for the downtown,” Brown said. “We want to make the downtown a welcoming, inclusive and thriving place for all.”

Looking at downtown as Calgary’s economic engine, Mary Moran, President and CEO of CED, believes its success can be realized by growing and attracting new companies and industries, and by redirecting and developing talent in support of this. “Downtown is the heart of our economy, and it’s the right place for new businesses and emerging industries to open their doors.” Moran said. “We are acting with urgency to address an economic shift through opportunities in our downtown and enabling the downtown to thrive in the new economy.

Although this work is being led in partnership with CED and CMLC (including Place Committee, East Village and Rivers District), there are numerous associations and community partners that are required to make these efforts a success. This is truly a collaborative undertaking.

Information regarding the Downtown Strategy was presented at the Priorities and Finance Committee today. Quarterly updates on the state of the downtown and on the progress of related activities will be provided through the Downtown Strategy website at

Calgary is a dynamic and resilient city and The City of Calgary and its partners are committed to our economic recovery to make life better every day for citizens, customers, communities and businesses.