Public gardens at Calgary’s Green Line LRT stations is feasible, according to a report presented to the city’s transportation committee on Wednesday.
The history behind railway gardens, as they are known, was to beautify public spaces through landscaping along the rail line. The City of Calgary is looking to use that concept at six of the 25 Green Line LRT stations.
“Around the world we are seeing modern cities taking under-utilized spaces and transforming those into valuable public gathering spaces where nature and history can both play a part,” Parks Foundation Calgary CEO Sheila Taylor said Wednesday. “Calgary offers the perfect setting and the Green Line the perfect opportunity to see the trend grow.”
Among the themes being explored is how the community gardens could become community hubs as well as incorporating public art and being available for year-round use.
“Can we put some art into landscaping, make it more acceptable to the public, make it touchable by the public and still have that concept of landscaping art and open space, all put together?” Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating said.
Keating said funding from the much-maligned public art program could be integrated in the gardens.
If approved by council, the next steps would be to create a work plan which will include choosing six Green Line stations that would have public gardens, the costs involved and where the money would come from.
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The city would also look at interest from the private sector to get involved in the project.
The public gardens would be separate from the main Green Line contract and not impact work on the line.
“I think this is one of those things where (we would ask), ‘Does it make sense to take some of the dedicated right-of-ways adjacent to the Green Line to make better community assets?'” Ward 6 Coun. and committee vice chair Jeff Davison said.