West Springs, Calgary
Truman Development Corporation
CivicWorks Planning + Design
EngageHub was the centrepiece of a citizen engagement effort for a master planned neighbourhood called West District. Understanding the challenges of starting a community conversation around a development vision of this scale, the developer and their multi-disciplinary design team set out to craft a new approach to privately-led public engagement in Calgary.
Forgoing the ‘eleventh hour’ approach and associated siege mentality that often characterizes developer-led engagement, the team formulated an approach that positions the public as a key player in the iterative design of planning concepts. The approach sought to connect with the affected stakeholders early and often; nurture long-lasting and meaningful conversations; and to organically loop stakeholder suggestions into the broader planning process. The team began to investigate options for a “storefront” for the engagement process. While there were potential options off-site, the Team felt that West District was worthy of a home for the conversation within the development lands themselves.
The participant-centric engagement principles sought to encourage accessibility, creativity, dialogue, and openness in both project team members and participating stakeholders. At the centre of the process was EngageHub: one of the most extensive and forward-thinking investments in public participation in Calgary’s history. Purpose-built in support of the participation process, EngageHub was designed and constructed with the above-mentioned principles of participation in mind.