Denver-Based Landscape Architecture Firm Receives Innovation by Design Award

Calgary Central Commons Park, courtesy of Civitas.

Denver-based landscape architecture firm Civitas’ project Central Commons Park is the recipient of a 2023 Innovation by Design Award in the urban design category. Central Commons Park was designed to be an “every season park” – it includes splash pads which are great to cool off in the summer, and seamlessly transform into a skating rink in the winter; the concept was to inspire the community to get outside regardless of the weather.

“There are many reasons why Central Commons Park is unique to the city, but I believe the most important is that it is a year-round destination packed with amenities and activities,” said Heath Mizer, RLA, of Civitas. “In the summer, Calgarians can enjoy a splash pad, wide open green spaces and picnic areas and in the winter they can enjoy the group warming areas, a custom-designed 50-foot long fire feature and a seasonal refrigerated skating rink that is approximately 17,000 square feet, on top of the central lawn.”

“Winter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon,” said Jessica Doig, designer at Civitas. “We set out to make Central Commons Park an ‘every season destination’ that is authentic to Calgary’s natural environment and culture. Designing something that encourages people to get out and about during the coldest times of the year was really rewarding. We know how much nature plays a part in health and wellness and we think this park will help amplify that.”

Civitas has dedicated its craft to revitalizing communities and encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors by way of design. With park projects that weave cities together such as 5280 Trail in Denver, Colorado, and other outstanding park examples such as Finlay ParkBlack Bay Park and the more recently revitalized Pikes Peak in Pueblo, Colorado. Civitas has cemented itself as a leader in the landscape architecture and urban planning realm for  40 years.

Moving into 2024, Civitas recently took on the master planning of the Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville, Florida, further cementing the firm as an industry leader advocating for more access to public parks for the community. The park is set to be adjacent to the Jaguars’ TIAA Bank Stadium as well as the new Four Seasons Hotel, and will be a local statement piece for the community. Weaving in not only a place for fans and travelers, the hotel will also accommodate the major Jacksonville Music Jazz Festival, and serve as a backdrop for local public media organization WJCT which as a local symbol in the community. Civitas will continue to inspire community involvement by way of public parks.

Project team: 

Owner: University of Calgary Properties Group

Landscape & Urban Planning: Civitas

Architectural Lead & Prime Consultant: Gibbs Gage

Local Landscape Architect: Scatliff Miller Murray (SMM)

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