Alpine Park embodies New Urbanism design, Calgary-style: first show homes now open
First show homes now open by Calbridge Homes, Cardel Homes, Genesis Builders and Homes by Dream
Dream Unlimited launches the new community of Alpine Park with its first show homes opening.
Photo by Don Molyneaux /Postmedia
Principles belonging to the New Urbanism movement helped drive plans for a new community in a scenic end of Calgary’s southwest.
Alpine Park by Dream Unlimited, which formally launched its first seven of 13 show homes recently, is expected to eventually be home to more than 12,000 residents.
Five years ago, Dream first connected with Calthorpe Associations (acquired by HDR in 2019) founded by Peter Calthorpe, which completed the concept master plan for Alpine Park.
Winner of awards such as the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development, Calthorpe is a renowned leader in New Urbanism and is one of the founders and first board members of Congress for the New Urbanism.
“Calthorpe and his team were involved in some of the most iconic, forward-looking new urbanist developments across North America that Dream was excited to evolve and bring to a Calgary context,” says Michael Tandara, Dream’s director, marketing Western Canada Development.
“Communities like Central Park (formerly Stapleton) in Denver, or Daybreak in Salt Lake City were hugely aspirational for us, so it made sense to seek out the same talent,” he adds. “Of course, it also helped that Peter Calthorpe was an influential figure in the movement, and considered one of the ‘fathers’ of new urbanism itself.”
An alternative to single-use, low-density development, principles of New Urbanism may be reflected in various scales and forms of development. At the neighbourhood level, one of its characteristics focuses on the pedestrian.
“It looks at trying to put people first versus the vehicle,” says Tara Steell, general manager of Dream’s Calgary Land division. “It’s a way to have people interact and get that neighbourhood connection.”
“Great cities across North America have welcomed new urbanist developments into their community fabric, like Austin, Salt Lake City or Denver, and to have a community of this scale and calibre in our own backyard is exciting as a Calgarian.”
Among Alpine Park’s features considered in line with New Urbanism are architecture with front porches, wide paths set back from the street, innovative green court park systems, and extensive tree planting effort and protection of existing environmental tree stands.
“All of our streets have sidewalks on both sides with the treed boulevard,” says Steell. “Not only does it make it a nicer, walkable environment, but it puts space between the car and the pedestrian, which we thought was really important.”
Lit pathways through the parks are also in place to help pedestrians enjoy the fresh air year-round, day and night.
“Even on those darker winter nights, the lights will come on at (4 p.m.) so we can be outside and enjoy the space,” Steel says.
Stage 2 of Alpine Park will be home to a Village Centre and naturalized stormwater wetland.
Steell calls the Village Centre the community’s “amenity core,” and supports the developer’s vision for a “complete community.”
“It will include things like grocery, pharmacy, all of your daily needs will be shopped for or accessed from there,” she adds. Curated restaurants and a coffee shop will be part of the mix, as well.
The community will have six major parks that are all connected. “The idea is for people to go out, play and find that next park,” says Steell.
Alpine Park’s builder group features Calbridge Homes, Cardel Homes, Genesis Builders and Homes by Dream.
Its home styles include single-family homes with rear laned and street-oriented garage configurations with lot widths starting at 42 feet, and 26- to 32-foot wide court homes with rear-attached garages or rear detached garages that can fit up to three vehicles.
There are also laned single-family homes, typically ranging 20 to 22 feet wide, and townhomes.
All home forms share the same porch-oriented, socially connected design principals, says the developer.
The court homes may be street-oriented or face a park.
“Within that park space are things like fireplaces, picnic tables and opportunities to connect with your neighbours or your guests,” says Steell.
Dream bought its first piece of land in this section of the city in the late 1990s and has been gradually adding to its accumulation for the 261-hectare (646-acre) community since.
The pending ring road is one of the factors that captured the developer’s interest in the segment of the city. Equally important is its proximity to both urban amenities and natural beauty.
“This area is so close to downtown — 20 to 25 minutes,” Steell says. “You’re off to Kananaskis in 30 minutes. It’s kind of the best of both worlds.
“You’re close to those things that excite you about Calgary,” she adds.
New Ward 13 Coun. Dan McLean agrees. He attended an evening celebrating the launch of the community.
“This is a very exciting development,” he said. “I love the effort that was made to utilize this unique landscape.”
McLean noted the community’s desirable proximity to the mountains, emphasized the importance of the housing choice it provides, and added, “I’m certain that Alpine Park will become one of the most desirable communities in our city.”
For more information, visit alpinepark.ca
For The Calgary Herald