The University of Calgary and University Heights communities shrank. Calgary grew by 28,468 last year but the two communities saw population declines of 0.35 per cent and 0.80 per cent, respectively, according to the 2002 civic census released Wed. July 2, 2002.
"Typically, inner city areas do tend to slowly decline in population," said Ward 1 Alderman Dale Hodges. "University Heights being a mature community, younger families don't want to move in as much as we want them to."
Ward 1 increased in population by 5.98 per cent to 69,092 residents in 2002. Calgary's population reached 904,987, an increase of 3.25 per cent from the previous year, with a net migration of 20,962 people.
"[2001-2002 showed] the second highest population growth in the last decade, and fourth highest in Calgary's history," said Mayor Dave Bronconnier. "Calgary's rapid growth continues to produce positive economic spin-offs for business."
Bronconnier attributed above-average population growth to a high quality of life in the city and residents relocating from within Canada. Alderman Hodges' Ward 1, which also includes rapidly growing communities such as Tuscany explained populations in communities with established infrastructure do not fluctuate greatly.
"The thing about University Heights it that it has a good location, easy access to facilities and it still has a local school which contributes to stability," said Hodges. "In the outlying communities, there are one or no local schools."
Growth stability provides the community with an advantage since very few of the 1,500-1,600 vehicles added to the city annually end up in the area. Hodges noted the area will experience some growth with the upcoming construction of the new Alberta Children's Hospital on West Campus and expressed concern about traffic on 16th avenue.
"Until we get some more money from the province and federal government, we won't have a lot more happening in terms of the Trans-Canada highway or some of the local roads," he said. "Most of the roads around the university are for institutional use and not residential use."
U of C officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.