Successfully reclaiming an incidental roadway into a vibrant park
The site where Flyover Park is today sat empty for nearly two decades. In spring of 2019, the Parks Foundation Calgary (PFC) secured funding to revitalize the forgotten space under an overpass.
Installing pop-up parks in neglected areas is a tactic people practicing tactical urbanism (a citizen-led movement that encourages residents to test ideas to transform forgotten public places) can use to create permanent upgrades. When a group of downtown Calgary residents dared to think outside the box and reclaim an underutilized space, they created a gateway into the community by delivering a vibrant public park—the city’s first tactical intervention to become permanent. It incorporates a hillside playground, Calgary’s tallest roller slide, a ping pong table, shuffleboard, tether ball, and a friendship swing. There is also a bamboo jungle of posts serving as a parkour challenge for older kids and adults, high-impact lighting, murals, and space to host pop-up events such as community movies and events. This space transcends generations encouraging active and passive play and supporting individual and group play.
Built with community collaboration and persistence, the award-winning Flyover Park has taken a forgotten slice of land in an urban area and transformed it into a vital part of Calgary’s urban revitalization.
At a Glance
- Client Parks Foundation
- Urban Design Award, Community Initiative, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), 2019
- ARPA Parks Excellence Award, Alberta Recreation & Parks Association, 2021
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