Calgary’s new RiverWalk project is the only Canadian project to be nominated for an Urban Open Space Award.
RiverWalk, which spans a kilometre along the banks of the Bow River from Centre Street to the Simmons Building in the East Village, is among five finalists for the annual prize from the Urban Land Institute.
"RiverWalk was designed to be both a journey and a destination; creating a gathering place for Calgarians unlike anywhere else in the city," said Michael Brown, president of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), which spearheaded the project.
The other nominees are Highline Park and Pier 25 at Tribeca — both in New York City — as well as Railroad Park in Birmingham, Alabama and Tanner Springs Park in Portland, Oregon.
"We are proud to be in the company of these outstanding examples of public open space development from across North America", said Brown.
The finalists were chosen from entries from across North America based on project design and how each transformed its surrounding area, the CMLC said.
Phase one of RiverWalk opened in November 2010, followed by phase two in September 2011.
The third section — set to open this fall — will continue around Fort Calgary and south along the Elbow River to Ninth Avenue S.E.
River Walk will ultimately stretch four kilometres to Lindsay Park and link up with other pathways in the city.
CMLC is an independent development company the city created to help revitalize the East Village.
So far private developers have committed to over $650 million worth of investments in the area, including two major condo projects covering over half of the land in East Village and a Hilton hotel project.