Friday 27 May 2011


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The City of Calgary’s Centre City Illumination Guidelines is a document that provides comprehensive, urban design-based lighting direction for Calgary’s downtown districts – collectively called The Centre City. 

The document contains principles, guidelines and solution-based case studies that can be applied beyond Calgary’s Centre City to other lighting initiatives that may take place throughout the city.  The overall result is an illumination strategy that will improve Calgary’s landmarks and points of interest, bring dynamic energy to entertainment districts and increase the vibrancy in our Centre City.

The Centre City Illumination Guidelines are written in such a way that they can meet the needs of diverse users.  Whether the users are the municipal government, developers, private owners or the design community, The Guidelines are written in general enough terms that all sizes of organizations will find them useful and applicable.  Concurrently, The Guidelines specifically establish a high standard of quality, regardless of project size.   The Guidelines are not dependent on current technologies or energy codes in order to be implemented.  They have been written in a manner to support new technologies as they emerge, resulting in ease of long-term document maintenance.

The Guidelines focus on experiential lighting through the illumination of buildings, structures and landscape elements.  Flexible, yet specific direction for a variety of urban lighting conditions are provided in the Guidelines.  These include decision making tools for establishing which elements in a project should be lit and which should remain unlit.  Case studies provide detailed examples for applying the guidelines to existing landmarks and urban features, thereby providing users a better understanding of the philosophies and principles of the Guidelines.

The underlying goals of the Guidelines are to establish Calgary as a leader in urban design illumination, create a unique destination for visitors, enhance the safety of our Centre City (as well as the rest of the city) and also to encourage public/private partnership and sponsorship opportunities.   Shared responsibility and partnerships are the cornerstones of successful implementation for these Guidelines. 

Successful implementation will result in an enhanced image of Calgary, increased community pride, augmented  investment opportunities and enhanced image of the Centre City.



City of Calgary, Land Use Planning&Policy