👋Say hello to HIGH PARK - Calgary's rooftop public park space
HIGH PARK is a new rooftop public park and event space in the Beltline serving as an exciting destination for residents and visitors to the city alike. As one of Beltline's parks with the highest city-wide draw, the park reimagines the under-utilized 90,000 sqft (2-acre) rooftop of the City Centre Parkade located at 340 10 Ave SW and provides much needed additional public space in the community.
🏀THE HIGHEST COURTS IN THE CITY!☁️
Phase 3 of HIGH PARK introduces three basketball half-courts to Calgary's much loved rooftop public park space. The installation includes courtside bleachers, new lounge seating around the rooftop fire pit, an expanded astroturf lawn for events, new BUMP Festival graffiti murals and illuminated HIGH PARK wayfinding signage. A fresh coat of paint will be added this spring!
Phase 3 of HIGH PARK is made possible through the support of Prairies Economic Development Canada.
HIGH PARK brings much needed public space to the Beltline and Downtown
Beltline is one of Calgary’s densest communities and it is growing. This means that existing open space deficiencies will exacerbate overtime. For this reason, action to improve and grow the open space network in the community is urgent.
The 2023 Beltline ARP identifies High Park as part of several moves to address public open space deficiencies in the Beltline (Source: 2023 Beltline Area Redevelopment Plan).
Parks make up 4.26% of Beltline’s total area. With the realization of the Rivers District Master Plan, park area increases to 5.8%. However, even with this additional park space, Beltline remains 12.4 hectares short of matching the 10% citywide benchmark for proportion of open space. To hit this target, Beltline would need to add approximately six more Central Memorial Parks!
It is costly and difficult to meet this target in the Beltline given the limited space available and land costs; however, new space needs to be acquired where possible and focused on the areas with the highest need. In the meantime, to offset a deficiency in space, the public realm needs to provide park functions and both parks and the public realm need to be designed at a higher standard to compensate for less space.
HIGH PARK is identified as one of several moves in the 2023 Beltline Area Redevelopment plan to address the deficiency of public open space in the Beltline.
Map showing distribution of parks in the Beltline (Source: 2023 Beltline Area Redevelopment Plan).
HIGH PARK aligns with the Calgary's Downtown Strategy to revitalize the downtown
The Greater Downtown Plan was created to guide direction for place-making and adding vibrancy throughout the area. Principles from the document include:
- Connect amenity-rich neighbourhoods and unique destinations with vibrant public places, and green spaces;
- Support economic vitality by creating exciting places that attract and retain businesses, entrepreneurs and desired talent;
- Celebrate the creative and cultural sectors through programming, design and communication; and
- Put pedestrians first and plan for the future of mobility.
A What We Heard Report and Parks Brief are also published as part of the background analysis for the Greater Downtown Strategy. Key findings from these documents include:
- The #1 goal for parks in the Greater Downtown is to acquire additional park space in the area;
- The Greater Downtown Plan aims to leverage publicly accessible private open space to meet the needs of Parks;
- Rooftop space has been identified as a viable solution to increasing the amount of open space in the area;
- There is a desire to work with civic partners to provide more open space in the area; and
- Outdoor spaces can be better programmed through partnerships with fitness groups.
The HIGH PARK success story
HIGH PARK is the result of a unique vision, a clear identity, and careful prototyping. First opened in 2020, improvements have been phased and expanded overtime. Within Beltline, High Park has the fourth highest proportion of use, the third largest catchment and the second highest presence on Instagram. In 2022, HIGH PARK was the recipient of the Mayor's Urban Design Award for Community Initiatives.
The innovate roof-top park space has also garnered local, national and international media attention with features in Avenue Magazine, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects' professional magazine Landscapes/Paysages, CBC Arts, and even CNN.
HIGH PARK featured in the April 2022 edition of Avenue Magazine
HIGH PARK featured in the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects' magazine Landscapes/Paysages.
HIGH PARK featured on the CNN International show Transformed Tomorrow.
HIGH PARK improves public safety
HIGH PARK improves local public safety in the area by brining more people to the previously single-use City Centre Parkade across more times of day throughout the week. It draws upon lessons from Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).
Watch for upcoming HIGH PARK activations
As part of the ongoing improvements to HIGH PARK, the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association will be working with community partners to program more activations at HIGH PARK including:
- Fire pits
- Live DJs
- Outdoor fitness programming
- Graffiti jams
- Arts & cultural events
- And more!
2022 BUMP Festival at HIGH PARK
Camp Sled Island 2021 at HIGH PARK
Explore the BUMP Murals at HIGH PARK
HIGH PARK features landmark murals commissioned by the BUMP Festival including works by artists Kevin Ledo, Guido van Helten, Ankh One , Derek Simmers, Kalum Teke Dan, and numerous talented local graffiti artists. Inner Warmth by Calgary artist Derek Simmers takes visitors across an expansive prairie sky as they pass through the hallway on the main level to the elevator banks that lead to the rooftop.
Rent HIGH PARK for your next event
HIGH PARK (CPA Lot #25) is available for rent through the Calgary Parking Authority Event Rentals program for birthdays, corporate parties, outdoor fitness, festivals and more. Groups of 51 or more attendees are required to apply for a permit through the CPA event rental program.
HIGH PARK is a Collaboration
HIGH PARK is designed by Public City Architecture in collaboration with the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association, BUMP Festival and Calgary Parking.
Funding for HIGH PARK has been made possible by the Beltline Community Investment Fund and Prairies Economic Development Canada.