The Town of Okotoks, located 20 minutes south of Calgary, Alberta, is home to 25,000 residents and is one of the fastest growing communities in Western Canada. This upscale community offers all the amenities of an urban setting, yet is located in a beautiful country setting.
Challenge: The “town” is at risk of becoming a full-fledged city and losing its desirable small-town ambiance. Also, although the downtown core has a number of terrific shops and eateries, most are set in a series of strip malls and front-loaded parking lots – an uninviting atmosphere that is anything but pedestrian-friendly.
Solution:Long known for its leading-edge neighborhoods in terms of new environmental technologies and stewardship of its river-based environment, the town’s brand promises “Creative, Active and Connected Living.” The connection revolves around the environment and major downtown initiatives.
The plan calls for a year-round public market, redesigning the streets to be more pedestrian-friendly, adding sidewalk cafes, reducing asphalt with paver plaza areas, creating shared parking, bike racks, a new wayfinding system, and developing a “home of the future” retail presence downtown to showcase new energy saving technologies and innovations.