Urban Design and Landscape Architecture Firm Civitas Honored with 2016 Great Public Space Award for St. Patrick’s Island Park in Calgary

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St. Patrick’s Island Park, designed by Denver-based Civitas Inc. with W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, has been named 2016 Great Public Space by the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP). Once derelict, the 31-acre park was transformed by a multi-disciplinary international team led by Civitas and W into a vital nature-in-the-city experience for Calgary, Alberta.

Showing the ‘Great Public Space’ award-winner in action, St. Patrick’s Island Park hosted more than 1,200 at the 2016 Diner en Blanc – Calgary (image courtesy of CMLC).

Nature lovers, families and urban explorers alike can revel in the natural beauty that has been restored through mindful renewal.

St. Patrick’s Island Park in Calgary, Alberta, designed by Denver-based urban design and landscape architecture firm Civitas Inc. with W Architecture and Landscape Architecture of New York, has been named 2016 Great Public Space by the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) in its Great Places in Canada contest. “Nature lovers, families and urban explorers alike can revel in the natural beauty that has been restored through mindful renewal and a biophilia master plan – a landscape design approach that nurtures the bond between people and nature,” stated the CIP jury.

“St. Patrick’s Island Park offers a model of resiliency and sustainability that creates an authentic year-round nature-in-the-city experience for urban Calgary,” says Mark Johnson, founding principal of Civitas. The result of a four-year design collaboration by Civitas and W on behalf of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), the 31-acre St. Patrick’s Island Park in the Bow River has transformed once derelict public space into a vital outdoor experience. A short video titled “Bike Roll” provides viewers with an off-the-cuff tour of the island park, which opened in fall of 2015, given by Civitas’ Johnson from atop a bicycle.

In addition to the CIP award, the Civitas/W revitalization of the historic park was lauded by Fast Company magazine’s 2016 Innovation by Design Awards, received the 2016 Excellence on the Waterfront award from the nonprofit Waterfront Center and was named one of Canada’s four best urban parks by WestJet magazine. The project was honored with awards in previous years from ASLA Colorado, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) and AIA NY.

The Canadian Institute of Planners celebrates planners’ lasting impact on Canadian communities through its annual Great Places in Canada contest, inviting the public to nominate a great street, public space or neighborhood. Nominees undergo a rigorous review process by a jury of certified planning professionals. Information on 2016 winners is available here.

About Civitas, Inc.:
Founded in 1984 with the core purpose of “creating healthier cities,” Denver-based Civitas, Inc. is an idea-based practice of urban designers, architects and landscape architects engaged in strategic planning for urban change and project design for built works. A consultancy and a design studio, Civitas advises on a wide range of strategies for re-imagining urban life and places, working in U.S. cities coast to coast and around the world. For additional information visit civitasinc.com.

Contact: Anne McGregor Parsons, Word PR + Marketing, anne(at)wordprmarketing(dot)com, 303.777.7667

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Anne M. Parsons
Civitas, Inc.
since: 03/2010
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