Calgary street

City of Calgary’s Transportation Department (Transportation Planning, Roads, Transportation Infrastructure, and Calgary Transit); Calgary Recreation, Calgary Parks, and Planning and Development; Calgary Police Service; Alberta Health Services; Alberta Motor Association; Alberta Transportation, Office of Traffic Safety; Calgary Board of Education; Calgary Business Revitalization Zones; Calgary Catholic School District; Federation of Calgary Communities; Parks Foundation Calgary; Safer Calgary; SHAPE (Safe Health Active People Everywhere) Alberta; and Walk Calgary.


$73 million

Calgary's Step Forward Pedestrian Strategy

Coordinate efforts and encourage change

“Walkability allows people of all ages and physical abilities to experience a city and interact in a meaningful way” (City of Calgary, 2016, p. 3).


A collaborative process

Calgary’s Step Forward Pedestrian Strategy was approved in 2016 as the first document to be developed that specifically focuses on how to satisfy the needs of pedestrians. Core to this work was the idea that “designing with walking in mind enhances quality of life by creating complete communities that do not require travelling great distances to meet one’s daily needs” (City of Calgary, 2016, p. 3).

The Pedestrian Strategy was built on the concerns and opportunities identified by community members. The most common concerns were safety, enjoyability and ease of use of the city’s walking network. Based on community feedback, the City of Calgary identified 49 key actions organized into 3 time frames – short, medium and long-term. Each action includes key partners critical to its success. Part of the success for this strategy was the knowledge that although “some of the budget requirements…seem significant…pedestrian infrastructure is generally more affordable than other transportation infrastructure. Because of the lower material costs, investment in pedestrian infrastructure results in more jobs per dollar spent than other forms of infrastructure, and they are typically planned and executed more quickly” (City of Calgary, 2016, p. 54).  This is demonstrated in a table outlining the costs of different types of infrastructure on page 54 of the Pedestrian Strategy.

To carry out the Pedestrian Strategy goals, the City of Calgary identified potential funding sources such as surplus capital from other business units, Calgary Police Services revenue, external partners (e.g. AHS), federal fuel tax revenue, private sponsorships, and partnerships with land developers. Capital cost estimates were organized into short, medium, and long-term time frames according to four implementation focus areas: safety; plan, design, construct; operations and maintenance; and education and encouragement.


An embedded monitoring system to measure impact

The City of Calgary identified 6 areas to be monitored over time through measurable targets to be reached by the year 2025:

  • More people walking: 15% of total trips to be made by walking.
  • Fewer pedestrian injuries and deaths: fewer than four pedestrian fatality collisions, and fewer than 15 pedestrian casualty collisions annually per 100,000 population.
  • Better winter conditions for walking: 80% of people satisfied or very satisfied with snow clearance on sidewalks and pathways.
  • More walkable communities: An overall Walk Score® of 60 for Calgary.
  • More children walking to school: 20% of students (K-12) walking to school.
  • High confidence in the pedestrian system: 60% of people reporting very satisfied with walking programs and facilities in Calgary.


Calgary is currently working on the following actions:

  • Improve intersections with the installation of 50 new Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons.
  • Build missing sidewalk and pathway connections near schools and transit stations.
  • Launch of the ActivateYYC program to help citizens implement 150 walkability projects in their communities (completed, and report coming soon!)
  • A new way of engaging with communities through pilot projects such as tactical urbanism.


Calgary - we like the simplicity of your evaluation scheme and your focus on measurable results!