Many Calgary residents refer to their city as a "big, small town." With roughly 726 square kilometres of downtown condos, suburban-family homes, as well as parks and rivers, Calgary is a city that's continuing to build outwards.
According to the latest census data released in April 2013, Calgary's population grew by more than 30,000 people from 2012 to 2013, which is consistent with the rate of growth from the year before.
MoneySense magazine also rated Calgary as the No. 1 large city in Canada on its 2013 best places to live list. Not to mention Calgary was awarded the title of culture capital of Canada in 2012. With the city's reputation improving throughout the nation and money-hungry Canadians gravitating to Alberta's rich economy, questions around where these newcomers will live, how they will afford to thrive here and how the city can sustain them, are at the forefront of many minds.
Public engagement needed to sustain Calgary's liveability
Proponents of alternative housing argue that as Calgary grows, urban development must also evolve. They say members of the community should be able to afford to stay for the long haul instead of being pushed out by rising prices and a lack of housing availability.
One option is rebuilding from the inside to include more options through multi-family housing for inner-city people, instead of building outward onto the city's borders.
In a rapidly-growing city, 'intentional communities' create tight-knit, sustainable neighbourhoods
Many people dream of owning a piece of land, building a nice big house of their very own, and heck, why not throw in that two-car garage?
This dream has become increasingly unattainable for many Calgarians largely because of the rising cost of land and homes. In addition, there are those who say this dream is no longer necessarily a smart or sustainable one.
A family-friendly solution to the city's tight housing market
Housing costs and issues with land-use when building homes are leading some Calgarians to consider alternatives to the traditional single-family home.
One option is co-operative housing — also known as co-op housing.
2014 Calgary Real Estate Board Pricing Forecasts:
Alternatives explored to help people find homes they can afford
As an oil and gas boom town many want a piece of what Calgary has to offer. But behind the lure of money and jobs there is a housing crunch — one that some say isn't going away anytime soon.
With about 830 people migrating to the city each month, a young population and a relatively high birth rate, the housing supply isn't stacking up to the demand.
- By ALYSSA QUIRICO, OLIVIA GRECU AND SHANNON GALLEY