If you’ve noticed Calgary’s inner city is seriously lacking foliage, you’re not alone. Ward eight city councillor Evan Woolley says the Beltline qualifies as being “parks deficient” – that is, less than 10% of the neighbourhood contains park space.
“There aren’t enough parks to serve the populations that live in the neighbourhood,” Woolley tells Calgary Buzz. “Many people, particularly in the Beltline, have been advocating for more park space.”
Woolley says there are a number of challenges facing the city when it comes to adding more park space to neighbourhoods like the Beltline, but he notes the parks they do have are “unbelievably good.”
“The challenge still remains is the square footage of parks – we need more parks. There are parts of neighbourhoods like the downtown west that have no parks.”
While the city has put aside some money to add more park space to the Beltline, Woolley says it’s not nearly enough. Parks are vital to people living in the inner city, since it’s often the only areas they have to do recreational activities.
“A lot of people living in inner city communities live in condos and apartments and have no backyards. Park spaces within these communities act as their backyards, their front yards and it’s where they go to relax, play, read and participate and live in the community.”
Woolley says the city doesn’t have a timeline on adding more parks, since it’s a matter of acquiring the land as it becomes available, but he says they’re constantly on the hunt.
“We’re hearing more and more from our communities that they enjoy the parks they have and would like to see more of them – we know the Beltline is rapidly transforming, so trying to keep up with that demand is something that we need to continue to push towards.”