Downtown campus launched

By Ivan Danielewicz

A wine and cheese night about the Mustard Seed? Well, sort of.

The new Department of Urban Design, part of the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, held a wine and cheese night to open the new downtown campus site, on Thu., Sept. 23. At the opening, the faculty showed off some projects they have been working on, which focus on two major local buildings. The first project is to address the problems the Mustard Seed is causing to the surrounding areas, and how to make the Mustard Seed more beneficial to its patrons. The second project is the development of a new downtown campus.

“The current work we are doing is part of a grander scheme,” stated Brian Sinclair, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design. “We have a vision for downtown Calgary. [U of C President Dr.] Harvey Weingarten and I are both trying to return to the community.”

With a variety of speakers, the Department of Urban Design had their entire vision of downtown Calgary on display in their new 5,000 square foot building that opened this past spring. The current space is also used to hold public lectures and group discussions on Calgary’s urban area.

The urban design department believes that Calgary needs to develop its urban area because of the large amount of growth taking place.

“The Department of Urban Design is working on a number of projects with a variety of scales,” said Associate Professor Bev Sandalack, one of the speakers. “We are currently doing work for Enmax and the Mustard Seed. Some of the work is funded but a lot of it is done as charitable.”

This department has also helped a lot of their students get internships, as well as provide employment opportunities to their graduate members.

Working along side the Nickle Arts Museum, Ann Davis, head of the Nickel Arts Museum was also present among the speakers.

“We are trying to focus on a sense of place,” explained Davis. “The Calgary Civic Trust conference focused primarily on space. Various faculties are part of this program which will hopefully be completed in mid-September, 2005. We want to create a sense of place where everyone has something to say.”

With various projects underway and a new downtown campus in the works, the Department of Urban Design has a lot of resources at their disposal along with the support of the university administration.

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