A new community being planned in the far northeast corner of Calgary is being laid out in a way that might seem a little retro.
Cornerstone marks a return within the city’s planning department to a old tried-and-true street design — a grid.
“We are returning to the grid system because it is a more efficient system for moving people around,” city planner Jill Sonego said on CBC Radio’s Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday.
Sonego is overseeing the development of the area structure plan for Cornerstone, which will cover 620 hectares bound by Stoney Trail to the north and east, Airport Trail to the south and 60th Street N.E. to the west.
The area will begin to take shape over the next five years, with eight neighbourhoods developed in two communities on either side of Country Hills Boulevard.
It will eventually become home to about 30,000 people, Sonego said.
Laying out the streets along a grid rather than a curvilinear pattern with winding roadways and cul-de-sacs — standard practice in Calgary for decades — makes for a more walkable, transit-friendly community, Sonego said.
“We are evolving in our new community planning. It’s been a shift that has been happening over time,” she said. “It’s just something that’s acknowledged as good planning practice these days.”
A grid network also makes it easier to accommodate densification over time, the city says in its draft area structure plan for Cornerstone.
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The long-term plan for the area calls for an LRT station at Country Hills Boulevard and 60th Street N.E., and a green corridor with preserved wetlands.
The city is hosting a public information session about the new community on Wednesday at 7555 Falconridge Blvd. N.E. between 4-8 p.m. MT.