Community designs focus on connections
May 31, 2022
Communities are all about connection – a connection to nature, a connection between neighbours, a connection to the world around it. Developers have taken pains to knit this kind of relationship between homebuyers and the communities they design and bringing in more and better amenities is one way of connecting life to the community lifestyle.
In this issue, we talk to a couple of award-winning developers about how they approach designing their communities to achieve these connections and bring in the most positive, life-affirming amenities that make a modern lifestyle possible.
This flourishing community just west of Calgary in Springbank has become the true stay-cation destination it was always envisioned to be. It has certainly run away with industry acclaim, winning its fifth BILD Calgary Region – Community of the Year award at this year’s ceremonies.
The developers, Bordeaux Developments and Qualico Communities, say they are honoured to win these awards and that teamwork with all the stakeholders has been crucial in the endeavour. But in the end, it’s still all about designing a community that residents will love. And in that, Harmony is a winner too.
And since the first showhomes opened here in late 2015, Harmony has certainly taken giant steps to design a community for the ages.
Bordeaux Developments Marketing Manager, Laurel Campbell, says they began with completing Paint Brush Park and the roadways in Stage 1, and has since added more infrastructure, including its own Water Treatment Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant, the only one in Canada that has Zero Setback Irrigation. They also have several resident-focused amenities including the south beach of the 140-acre Harmony Lake (with changing facilities), Sunset Cove Park, the Adventure Park and over 12 kilometres of pathways through the community.
“I think what sets Harmony apart is the feeling of arrival. The immediate feeling of connection to the vision of a community filled with amenities, space to gather and the strong sense of community,” says Laurel Campbell, Marketing Manager at Brodeaux Developments. “The backdrop of a community lake surrounded by beautiful homes, rolling foothills and the Rocky Mountains. A place to relax, unwind and explore; a place to call home.”
The design of the community had the notion of preserving the community spirit, she adds, so there is a large focus on providing amenities that encourage community gathering. These amenities include the lake, beaches, golf club, LaunchPad, community garden, Adventure Park (skate park, pump track, climbing wall, skating, dog park, tobogganing, etc.) and resident centric events, like the Santa Skate, Movie in the Park, etc.
“Future amenities include a vibrant village centre with restaurants, housing, retail, harbour, and daycares, beach club, schools and golf clubhouse. The extensive pathway system connects housing nodes, providing safe corridors from every home to all greenspaces and existing (and future) amenities,” Campbell says.
Their diverse range of home options are also a big part of the design. Townhomes, front-drive homes, rear-laned homes, bungalow villas, estate homes and even lakefront homes are all found in this community just 10 minutes from the west end of Calgary. Find out more in liveinharmony.ca.
The table is set for Calgary’s first garden-to-table community, Rangeview. Developed by Section23, Rangeview is designed to nourish and inspire authentic living through food celebration, says Section23 marketing coordinator, Sarah Fehr.
“Rangeview is envisioned as a vibrant and social gathering place for neighbours to connect in a setting surrounded by amenity-rich residential living, community gardens, garden-to-table food celebrations and more. The concept plan for the area embraces ‘Agricultural Urbanism’ planning principles designed to nourish residents and foster social connections by creating the places and spaces for residents to gather, grow and flourish and activities to build a strong, resilient community.”
Rangeview is already getting accolades not even two years since it broke ground in the fall of 2020, winning Best Show Home Parade of the Year at the recent BILD-Calgary Region Awards.
“To receive this award is an absolute honour for our team. We have worked side by side with our builder partners Baywest Homes, Homes by Avi and Jayman BUILT to design a streetscape that brings our signature Farmhouse architecture to life. As a new development, it was important to us to convey the community vision within our show home parade to allow the public to see and believe in the true potential of Rangeview,” Fehr says.
That vision of ‘Agricultural Urbanism’ is key. This is the practice of integrating local food systems in the design and programming of neighbourhoods and communities. Driven by the demand for social, economic and environmental sustainability, Agricultural Urbanism is quickly gaining momentum across North America, and Section23 is uniquely positioned to pioneer this concept in Rangeview.
As Calgary’s first garden-table-community, Rangeview offers residents the opportunity to be part of something truly unique, she adds.
Rangeview will have numerous garden-to-table initiatives incorporated within the community. These will include the homeowners’ association-managed community gardens, orchards, greenhouses, structures, and common areas, all designed to connect neighbours through gardening and food celebration.
“These gardens and spaces will inspire lifelong learning and encourage community involvement with events and programs, and will include shared spaces designed for planting, cultivation and food preparation, demonstration gardens to teach healthy gardening principles and practices, and activities, festivals, and markets with a focus on urban agriculture.”
Beyond Rangeview’s bountiful gardens, approximately 60.4 acres or 19 per cent of the plan area is open space. “Public and private open space forms a west-east green spine that runs through the heart of the community using agricultural ideals to highlight recreational and social interaction. Rangeview’s cohesive and integrated open space plan consists of agricultural areas, a constructed wetland, naturalized parks, neighbourhood parks, creative playground areas, schools, and sports fields.”
It will have indoor and outdoor social spaces for seasonal farmers’ markets, festivals, and events. Managed by the Rangeview Homeowners Association, the Harvest Hall community building will be home to a variety of programs and events year-round.
The 320-acre community in southeast Calgary will be developed in 17 phases over the next 15 years. “Rangeview will grow to include additional innovative residential housing types including apartments, townhomes and cottage homes that will appeal to a wider demographic with a goal of creating an inclusive and complete community. In total Rangeview will provide approximately 3,700 housing units to an anticipated population of 9,900 residents,” Fehr says. In fact, there are already 34 families living in this very young community.
For more information, please visit rangeviewyyc.com.
About Pepper Rodriguez
Pepper Rodriguez is a writer, editor of New Home + Condo Guide's Calgary and Edmonton editions.