The Development Map: improving how we build Calgary together
The City of Calgary has taken an innovative step towards improving the development approvals process by enhancing the Development Map, an online and interactive tool that citizens and industry professionals can use to access planning related information in a fast and convenient format.
“The City of Calgary is always looking for better ways to meet the needs of our citizens and communities.” says Darren Lockhart, manager of Development Approvals. “The Development Map is an innovative digital portal to connect citizens with the Planning Department on projects that matter to them.”
The Development Map modernizes the planning process by increasing the accessibility of planning information to citizens and community members. The Development Map is accessible 24-hours a day and positions The City of Calgary as a leader in how cities and people engage in the planning process.
“The Development Map is a powerful tool that puts information into people’s hands,” Lockhart continues. “Citizens can learn about the developments in their area, ask questions, or share their perspective directly with the file planner in a way that is easy and convenient for them.”
An essential part of the development approvals process is having citizens be informed about, and have their say on proposed developments that matter to them. Prior to the Development Map, there was not a streamlined way to share information about land-use re-designations or development permit applications and required making a permit-viewing appointment with one of our file managers or their community association.
Community associations play an important role in the development process, with residents often turning to them to help understand the proposed changes to an area and what the impact would be for the community. Their contributions help improve the communication process between residents and file managers.
“The Development Map is a very exciting initiative by The City,” says Mike Wilhelm, President of Shaganappi Community Association. “It will help us empower our residents to be engaged in the community. Because The City can respond to residents’ questions and comments through this tool, it will foster more transparent and open communications between residents and The City.”
The Development Map also provides value to industry professionals by incorporating utility information into the tool. Applicants can view information like sanitary, storm, water line assignments, hydrant locations, rim elevations, pipe sizes, pipe lengths and pipe slopes, without the need for a pre-application meeting with a file manager. Instead, file managers and developers can spend their time together focused on the application itself, ultimately saving time and resources.