Stephen Avenue makeover to create a ’21st-century experience’: City of Calgary

The city has announced its design partner in the revamp of Calgary's Stephen Avenue. Mike Hills / Global News

The City of Calgary has revealed the design company it has partnered with to complete a makeover of Stephen Avenue, saying the redesign will help to modernize the space.

The pedestrian walkway runs along 8 Avenue S.W. between 4 Street S.W. and 1 Street S.E. and features stores, restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs.

The city announced in April that the iconic pedestrian mall would be getting revamped, and it said on Wednesday the work would be completed with the help of Gehl Studio.

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The company will work with both the city and the Calgary Downtown Association to develop a new design for the entire length of Stephen Avenue.

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Marco De Iaco from the Calgary Downtown Association said it was vital to find the right team to take on the ambitious plan.

“Stephen Avenue is a key cultural and economic hub for downtown Calgary, and we believe it’s critical to reshape and improve the experience of this iconic and historical avenue,” De Iaco said in a news release. “It’s an important step in our effort to revitalize downtown.

“This is not just about creating a beautiful street, it’s about creating conditions that will attract private investment, economic growth and amenities that can entice residents and visitors for years to come.”

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According to Michael Magna with the City of Calgary, the hope is the makeover will improve Stephen Avenue for both Calgarians and visitors.

“The current version of the pedestrian mall was created in the 1980s and was designed to meet the needs of that era,” Magna explained. “We have the opportunity to create a 21st-century street experience.”

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Gehl Studio, which has offices in Copenhagen, San Francisco and New York City, will be “utilizing the local knowledge” of design team members in Stantec’s Calgary office, according to a news release.

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For more information about the redesign of Stephen Avenue, visit the City of Calgary’s website.

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