The City of Calgary is one step closer toward a new vision for Stephen Avenue, one of the hubs for small businesses and nightlife in the downtown.

The city has hired international boutique design firm, Gehl Studio, as a consultant to help rethink how the pedestrian mall can be improved.

In a release, the city said Stephen Avenue was designed to suit the style of the 1990s and it wants to bring the area in step with modern times.

The focus for the project stretches between 11th Street S.W. to Macleod Trail S.E., at Olympic Plaza.

“Right now, once office workers leave at the end of the day, the vibrancy of Stephen Avenue drops off,” said Michael Magnan, a public realm lead with the city, in a previous release.

“We are looking to invigorate Stephen Avenue to help the area reach its fullest potential as a unique destination and place, whether it’s during the day, evening or weekend. We are looking for a new design that will create short and long-term strategies that can be implemented over time to make Stephen Avenue better for Calgarians and visitors.”

The redesign is looking to:

  • Increase street activity during peak and non-peak periods
  • Establish a vibe that addresses existing character, heritage and attracts and sustains a range of established and unique business activity
  • Create something for everyone, celebrate fun, and encourage social mixing
  • Find ways to address social disorder and help citizens feel safe
  • Improve year round pedestrian connectivity from end to end
  • Balance mobility for everyone — pedestrians, cyclists, goods, and vehicles
  • Give users, occupants and owners an accessible, flexible space
  • Propose temporary measures to address life-cycle deterioration of the public realm