/ Awards / Fast Company Names Civitas’ Design Of Central Commons Park One Of The Best Urban Designs In Their Annual Innovation By Design Awards

Fast Company Names Civitas’ Design Of Central Commons Park One Of The Best Urban Designs In Their Annual Innovation By Design Awards

Parul Dubey on August 31, 2023 - in Awards, News

Calgary Central Commons Park


The award recognizes its forward-thinking design that emphasizes year-round outdoor activities and play to positively impact society

CALGARY, CA – AUGUST 30, 2023 – Fast Company, the world’s leading progressive business media brand, announced the Denver-based landscape architecture firm Civitas’ project Central Commons Park as one of the winners 2023 Innovation by Design Award in the urban design category. Civitas is a boutique urban planning and design firm whose  expansive and thought-provoking ideas shape the globe. 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’ which 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 their 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 Park, Black Bay Park and the more recently revitalized Pikes Peak in Pueblo, Colorado. Civitas has cemented themselves as leaders 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 where as a local symbol in the community. Civitas’ will continue to inspire community involvement by way of public parks. 

For more information, project images or interviews, contact Rachelle Robison at [email protected].


Owner: University of Calgary Properties Group

Landscape & Urban Planning: Civitas

Architectural Lead & Prime Consultant: Gibbs Gage

Local Landscape Architect: Scatliff Miller Murray (SMM)


About Civitas

Founded in 1984 with the core purpose of “creating healthier cities,” Civitas is an idea-based practice of urban designers, architects, and landscape architects engaged in strategic planning for urban change and project design for built works. Curbed has recognized Civitas as one of five practitioners “who are putting the public back in public space.” Fast Company has acknowledged Civitas in its Innovation by Design Awards, the Canadian Institute of Planners “Great Public Space,” and an Excellence on the Waterfront Award from the nonprofit Waterfront Center. A consultancy and a design studio, Civitas advises on a wide range of strategies for re-imagining urban life and places, working in U.S. cities coast to coast and around the world. To learn more visit civitasinc.com.  


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